The QS Year in Review Countdown: 5-1

jesse columbus park

Photo by Mike Heikkila

Last post of the year. Be safe out there tonight. Previously: 10-6, 15-11, 20-16, 25-21.

5. The Year of Columbus Park

For a spot that has been around for so long, Columbus Park didn’t become the main only place people go if they leave L.E.S. Park until recently. There was Puleo’s INFMS line, A.V.E’s ollie over 5050, and the seminal 2002 “Ja$onwear Day” clip that may have been the second time the kinked ledge ever got waxed — but besides routine 2000s video appearances of the ledge, the spot was never a bustling nexus until now. In 2015, it clocked two major video enders, one magazine cover, a newly established A.B.D. docket of tricks done up the two block, and is the place you are most likely to see a group of semi-motivated skateboarders pointing iPhones at each other.

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The Year in Spot Checks

chuck venn

Diagram via Charles Rivard, PhD.

Gaps between generations have seemingly insignificant signifiers. For instance, a lot of people now in their teens or even early twenties have lived lives where landlines were a mere novelty. They never had to call their friend’s house and ask for them to be put on the phone (“Stacy can’t talk now, she’s grounded.”) Spending even a few years in landline purgatory, dealing with the anxiety of the unknown on the other end, helped shape your personality in one way or another. We like to think that it helped us relate to people older than us in a closer way than those 5-7 years our junior.

The same could be said of those currently in their late-twenties/early-thirites and spots in New York. Though the much mythologized “Banks during the day, Astor in between, midtown all night”-days never happened for us, we know what it’s like to, you know, at one point have skated a row of marble ledges in lower Manhattan that you didn’t get kicked out of. Kids who grew up meeting at 12th & A or even L.E.S. Park don’t know what that’s like. Those days are a decade back in the past. On the flipside, when a twenty-year-old responds to your “Where you at?” text with “This spot on Mott and Prince,” you know not to get excited because it means they’re more than likely skating a spoonful of asphalt to a traffic barrier.

That midway point gives us a decent perspective upon which to observe the current state of “spots” in New York. Unlike the Dogg Pound, the #tfreport hashtag has not been active. Thus we are sad to announce that there is no “Year in T.F. Obstacles” for this year (previously: 2014, 2013, 2012.) Instead, the QS Twitter began compiling a visual journal of the stuff that people skated, sorta tried to skate, sorta kinda considered skating, or sorta kinda only joked about skating throughout 2015.

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The QS Year in Review Countdown: 10-6


Photo by Brian Kelley

Dude it’s almost 2016. Previously: 15-11, 20-16, 25-21. Don’t forget to vote in our reader’s choice awards. Only two days to go ;)

10. Gillette’s Lafayette & Howard Ollie

This spot has always been a mirage. It looks cool, and is a bit out of place from the rest of the shit you passed along the way, but there’s not much there. The way people skate it also only evolves every ~ten years: what has been a wallride for as long as people have been making the skate from Supreme to the Banks, became a chain-to-manny concoction with Dill’s Skate More part in 2004. And this past year, Austyn Gillette eyed the barely wider-than-a-board slab of concrete at the bottom of the wall, and made the massive [blindsided from traffic] ollie into Howard Street.

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The QS Year in Review Countdown: 15-11

basket outdoors

Took last week off for some administrative duties. Previously: Part one, part two.

15. Le Basket Discontinues Outdoor Seating

It has been observed that skateboarders are the original gentrifiers. The undesirable corners of society are familiar territories to us, especially if they have something we want. And what do we, Skateboarders: The Original Gentrifiers™, want more than a place to get drunk? A place to get drunk in public, naturally.

Of course we’ll sit in plain view on Broadway, looking completely unemployable with our boards stacked along the wall, and the aluminum remnants of six six-packs teetering off the table. It wasn’t long until others took notice of the cheap real estate, and started closing in. By 2010, we were sharing ~fifteen seats with ~fifty bike messengers. By 2012, NYU students with a thirst for Magic Hats priced us out. In 2015, the party was shut down, but we barely noticed.

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The QS Year in Review Countdown: 20-16

drew 5-0

Big week for Andrew Wilson Manhattan Bridge headliner images :)

Moving along with the countdown. Part one is here.

20. New Spots on That Bridge Above the Skatepark

You’ve gone east and west on the Manhattan Bridge millions of times. People will stop to talk about the gap Muska ollied on the Manhattan side, or to say “maybe, it’s possible, someone could do it…one day” about the black rail on the Brooklyn side. There’s stuff to skate on the route, but not really. That is, until this year, when a small but resourceful group decided to turn the spaces between the knobs on the rails that follow the entire bridge into a hazardous new spot.

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