Love Park in 2015: An Interview With Brian Panebianco

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Looking in from the outside (or from 100 miles north on the interstate), Love Park seems to have always existed in eras. There was the Ricky / Eastern Exposure era, the Kalis / Wenning / Pappalardo et al. / Photosynthesis era, and now, after some downtime last decade, there is the current “pink planter” era. And there’s no crew or series that has been pushing footage of Love Park and Philly in 2015 like the Sabotage videos. Below is a conversation with Brian Panebianco, one of the principal filmers and creative forces behind Sabotage (video #4 is due out 9/11/15), about skateboarding’s most iconic skate spot as it stands in 2015, and all that surrounds it.

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Are you originally from Philly?

I’m from the suburbs, like 35 minutes out.

When was the first time you went to Love Park?

Probably when they had the first X-Games street contest at City Hall [in 2001.] I remember everyone was skating the Municipal Building, but you couldn’t skate Love because the cops were waiting there. By the next year, all the pink planters were in.

Where would you skate in those years after downtown Philly got shut down?

I grew up skating this D.I.Y. spot in Lansdale, Pennsylvania that’s actually still there. Or we’d just skate around the neighborhood.

Did you ever go into the city?

Once I got my license, I did, but by that time, Love was completely shut down. I grew up without it being skateable. We’d try to skate City Hall and sometimes get lucky, but usually not. We’d go to the three block, Temple and those shitty spots.

There was also that D.I.Y. spot with the parking blocks under I-95 that Wenning and Kerry Getz used to always skate.

How’d you get into making videos?

I’d film with this shitty camera until 2005, when I got a VX1000, and that’s when I got hyped on it. I was never a Skate Perception dude or anything, but I had a few friends who were. Some of the first people I started going out skating with were Ant and Dom Travis. Ant had a VX and he was into cameras. We started making little montages from that D.I.Y. spot, but nothing much beyond that. We still didn’t skate downtown much.

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