Via Pat Stiener
Keeping things moving right along…
The longer you stay in one place, the more you get to know the people there. If you’ve skated in New York anytime since the Autumn era, it probably didn’t take long until you ran into Keith. As around as he was, though, you somehow never got as much as you wanted. Closer friends saw him skate on trips or sessions between work, while co-workers got some of his hardest working hours.
The skating that did trickle out to the public was always timeless, though. As it turns out, one of those co-workers turned him pro. It is this kind of steady, thoughtful, genuine living that makes Keith’s personality and skating alike so delightful to be around. It’s been long overdue to hear, in his own words, what makes Keith …well, Keith.
ICYMI: A Flushing grate N.B.D. that’s been speculated for years on end, a Lego piece between the two rails at the Williamsburg Bridge monument, and a wild one at Grant’s Tomb in Frankie Spears’ all-New York outing of X-Games Real Street.
Jahmal Williams is as humble as he is effortlessly flowing on his skateboard. He is someone with thoughtful personal aesthetics that you could never mistake for pretension. That translates into his effects on skate culture — one that he has been a part of for many decades now. A painter, sculptor and connoisseur of 180 nosegrinds, Jahmal is also a father and runs his own cult favorite brand, Hopps.
“Keep It Moving” isn’t only Hopps’ slogan, but a philosophy that keeps Jahmal relevant and creating great work. With a mind and personal history that exemplifies striking while the iron is hot, Jahmal’s new mural and accompanying short is the type of pandemic-era work that reveals how constantly evolving he is.
Photo by Pep Kim
New York has quite literally never felt like it does right now in this quarantined liminal space that we are in. The level of quiet in Manhattan at 8 P.M. is incomparable to even the deadest, coldest Sunday night in a residential zone. Obviously, there’s a reason for this, in that we all must do our part to minimize human contact so that COVID-19 can be contained, hospitals can maintain a semblance of functionality, and we can begin to burrow out of this chapter. Mobbing to skate midtown and being a responsible member of society are clearly at odds right now.
However, the current state of the city did bring up memories of a different disruptive event: Hurricane Sandy.