“I went from being a kid skating on my block to hanging out with all the best skaters in New York City because I learned how to do a frontside 360 boneless.” A friend once had a story about how their book club took a razor to The Powerbroker and sliced it up into three books to make it more reasonable of a read. This isn’t that dramatic, but a blog interview that takes over two hours to read is a lot for most people in the era of byte-sized #content — but we’re *SO* happy that people are putting detailed, rich content on the internet that requires a commitment! Isn’t that what it’s for?! The Slam City Skates blog’s interview with Eli Gesner about skateboarding + graffiti in New York in the 80s, night clubs in the early 90s, the beginnings of Shut + Zoo York, etc. is like a little history book :)
According to The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan’s Street Names and Their Origins, Allen Street gets its name from William Henry Allen, the youngest Navy captain in the War of 1812. (Our then-recent ex, Great Britain, was beefing with Napoleon while America stayed neutral. The U.S. was trying to send a flow box to France, and Britain felt some type of way about it. Like any bitter ex who sees someone else wearing your hoody after a messy break-up, they went to war.)
Legend has it that Allen was in the English Channel on the hunt for ops, when he stumbled on a Portuguese cargo ship carrying wine. Him and the squad had a wild night with the haul, but unfortunately, got caught slipping by the British on the following day. Allen and his crew’s colossal hangover would be their last: British canons shot off his leg, and he would die on August 18, 1813.
200 years later, L.E.S Skatepark was born.
→ Please sign the petition to show your support for keeping the asphalt at the Tompkins Square Park courts. This space is as sacred to skateboarding and the East Village as the Rucker or the West 4th Street courts are to basketball. It would be a massive loss to the youth and cultural fabric of the neighborhood if they were covered with synthetic turf. We are a few hundred shy of 25,000 (!!!) signatures, so please please please share the petition with your friends, and on your respective social channels.
After many years of captivity, the Zipper Ledge is finally free and dressed with a fresh, yellow paintjob, as first reported by @mini_spots. (Don’t ask for pin! That’s like asking where the Empire State Building is!) If only the park starts opening the gate at Yellow Rail, then the entire Morningside little kid skate scene circa 2003 will be in full revival.
…aanndd Max Palmer is half the man he used to be in Jesse’s new #longform iPhone edit.
One of the hardest things about interviewing skateboarders is not asking the same ten things that the last few interviews they did asked. It’s special and rare when you get someone for their first one. Caleb Barnett did his first ever interview with the Slam City Skates blog.
We’re not in the habit of posting surf footage, but there’s a first time for everything! City schools get out in the coming week, real summer is almost here, and everyone ends up scheming on how to bum a ride to Rockaway. In honor of that, we threw together a greatest hits remix from the past ~year of footage from prolific back noseblunter, #top10 staple, and also the QS office’s unanimous favorite surfer, Shin Sanbongi.
Footage is pulled from Shin’s Instagram + Tao’s awesome Marseilles vid for Carhartt WIP, which is worth a rewatch since it feels like it flew a bit under the radar + a couple loose Adidas clip / Polar video bits.
Photo via Giese
“Jake Phelps surely embodied worlds in decline: Old San Francisco, famously non-PC, MJ1s on his feet until whatever deadstock tap ran dry, proofing a decades-old print publication with a snarling discontent any seasoned editor would recognize and respect. An artifact arguing and cussing every day for a place in a world moving some other way.” Unfortunate to link their way two weeks in a row for obituary purposes, but Boil Ocean has a way with them words.
“Though I would sometimes cross the street to avoid him, I can remember so much of what he said to me.” Patrick O’Dell also wrote a thing about Phelps over on Vice.
And here is a re-link to Willy Staley’s California Sunday profile of Phelps that originally ran in 2016, A.K.A. what BTO labeled as “secular-press skate piece top five.” Would be *so* open to a conversation about what the other four are ;)
The new Gang Corp video, Black Business, is premiering this Friday, March 22, at 198 Allen Street at 7 P.M.
Someone mashed together five minutes of Hjalte Insta clips a nice remix ♥
Mike from Lottie’s takes five minutes to tell you what he’s pissed off about.
Munchies has a mini doc on the institution that has sustained New York skateboarding like none other throughout the 2010s — of course, we’re talking about 2 Bros. They also bring up a terrifying reality re: the ten-year leases that got signed at the start of the decade ending (e.g. when everyone was still reeling from the recession), and the dollar slice soon becoming a thing of the past.
“I think the mainstream American skateboarding culture is kidding itself. They’re really dismissive of emotions in a way that is hurting itself. It’s becoming more and more inline with traditional athleticism, but also what is acceptable as a skateboarder is so narrow – you have to be cool, not talk about your feelings.” If you’re one of those idiots like me who put off watching Minding the Gap for months, here’s another motivator: Skateism put their interview with director Bing Liu online. Yeah, you need to enter your card details, but a Hulu trial to watch it is free, and you can cancel the second you finish the movie — provided you’re not destroyed for the rest of the day.
Solo has a video profile of steez lord and Polar rider, Shin Sanbongi + Nick from Palomino took his legacy media expertise and wrote an introductory guide on Japanese indie zines and videos for the mag’s all-Japan issue. No Meatball interview?
TWS interviewed John Shanahan, though we all know A.V.E. had the best part in The DC Video.
Let’s just throw the interview loosies in one place… Frank 151 interviewed R.B. Umali (text), Enrique Lorenzo interviewed Dani Lebron (this one is audio, and yes, they have heavy accents, but their english is pretty perfect) + the Slam City Skates blog interviewed Colin Read (text.)
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Going to suspend our micro coverage of the NBA this week to acknowledge that the best feat of teamwork and athleticism of the past seven days was this guy getting a ~15-foot I-beam onto a New York City subway.
Quote of the Week: “Who the fuck is Andrew Wilson?” — Jake Phelps, flipping through a Skate Jawn