Midtown Sundays, Museum Mondays

Antonio via Paul Coots. The footage of this one was in the 2018 “End of Summer” edit, but felt worth reminding everyone how insane it was. This photo does it great justice ♥ Just observe the height ;)

Jawn Gardner uses his gifts to do what nobody else can in an incredible new Earth Day part. The line at CBS is maybe the most third-eye-open choreography that place has ever seen.

What an amazing idea for a feature… “‘Perfect Days’ will interview familiar faces in the Boston and Northeast scene, and pose them with the simple question: what was one of your favorite sessions ever?” The Orchard Skate Shop blog is following the footsteps of the Slam City Skates blog in creating good, old-fashioned web content outside the Insta-sphere. Kevin Coakley is the inaugural edition. (Fwiw, all-time favorite skate day around here is probably Yume Farm with *literally everybody* in fall 2018 ♥)

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Mashed Potatoes

Nik Stain by Paul Coots, who has a couple shots from John’s Vid over on his Instagram.

Patrick Kikongo, creator of The Black List, has a public service announcement to keep in mind while you’re doing any skate-related holiday shopping.

“I think you’re the first person to actually own up to drunk claims in one of these interviews.” Joey Pepper talks drunk claims and everything in-between for his new Chromeball interview.

Really know nothing about this edit, but enjoyed it a lot — maybe because editing a pandemic-era skate video to “World Hold On” is funny and perfect. “TFTI” is a fourteen-minute homie edit by Reilly Schlitt that looks like it was largely filmed during lockdown days, as all the Stroud, etc. footy is from when none of the courts had hoops. If you don’t have that whistle stuck in your head after hearing that song…idk, one day you will have to answer to the children of the sky ;)

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‘Too High To Go Fakie’ — The BSA Boys ‘Sober’ Video

Political parties in New York skateboarding have grown splintered in the post-12th & A and increasingly skatepark-ified late 2010s. Many found themselves in Brooklyn, pledging allegiance to Borough Hall afternoons, or *grinds teeth* …a lifetime stuck at Blue Park. The most longstanding of these nu-age political sects has been tethered to that chunky ledge by the McCarren Park bathrooms — or “the couch” — for already a decade. The BSA Boys are unique in their uncharacteristically high employment rate for a group of New York City skateboarders, many working for the set design studios that surround the couch’s north Brooklyn home, while the other parties largely operate on the fringes of the American economy.

Sober is their follow-up to 2016’s Whole Bitch video — the film that propelled John Francomacaro onto the national stage. Sadly, his skateboard appearances here are limited, save a special treat at the end of the video. Otherwise, there are plenty of faces you’ll find familiar from the Space Heater era of Johnny Wilson videos, or what Max Palmer once referred to as “the peak” ;)

Filmed and edited by Max Hull and Paul Coots.

Skaters With Jobs: A Special Investigative Report

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Photo via Colin Sussingham

A job is like kryptonite to a skateboarder. A normal schedule, conceding to authority figures, responsibility — these bare minimum characteristics of employment are pretty unappealing. Many skaters’ job histories involve quitting abruptly or getting fired hungover. It’s not exactly an activity that promotes “growing up,” at least in the traditional sense.

One of the most commonly asked questions by people on the outside looking into New York skateboarding is “How do you afford to live there?” San Francisco might’ve just knocked us off for highest cost-of-living in America, but surviving here still costs a lot, especially if you’re intent on staying for more than a summer or two. A bit has been written on jobs in skateboarding; there’s less information out there on what type of jobs most skateboarders actually have. For as long as many of my friends have been above adult working age (post-“slumming it out to avoid any semblance of responsibility”-age), a sizable portion of them have worked for set companies.

This may come as a surprise, but a set company makes sets. The background of most ads or commercials you see is fake. Say a fashion company wants to do a photo shoot with a bunch of babes. Some creative director will scream at a bunch of people with MFAs to sketch out a concept for the backdrop. That concept gets given to a set-design company, who in New York, will potentially give it to a responsible skateboarder who they employ, who then, delegates work out to a team of maybe less-responsible-but-still-responsible-enough skateboarders to build out and deliver to the client.

Chances are, when you flip through some magazine and see a Victoria’s Secret or Ralph Lauren ad, the entire background was built by skateboarders you see in videos on the internet. See, it ain’t only Olson and Rieder — skaters come into fashion on all levels fam.

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Photo via Dave Dowd

After years of hearing about this industry that employs at least a few people in every skate crew throughout the city (“can’t skate for three weeks, I’m on a job”), it made sense to shine a light on it. We asked Lurker Lou, a decade-plus-long set-builder / C.E.O. of Iron Claw Skates, Fred Gall, a freelance refugee in the set-building industry / Governor of New Jersey, and Paul Coots, a project manager at Ready Set who’s been able to help many skaters keep money in their pocket — about why the hell every skater works for a set-design company.

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