→ 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.
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.
Just got back from Greece, so maybe there’s a heightened awareness thing going on, but it kinda seems like ~going to Greece~ is becoming more ofa moment now that a second generation of Americans has successfully re-done the entire list of ABDs from the 2000s at the Le Dome double-set ;) ANYWAY! You should watch the new sixteen-minute edit from our Greek friends at Screw Loose Fastening Co. to break you out of the République / Southbank / Barcelona / etc. European content spiral. It looks different, and is a lot of fun.
“The history of skateboarding is the history of the built environment, and of the ruins left by overreach.” Here’s a really rad photo essay about how hill-heavy condo developments in North Carolina that were left all but abandoned by the Great Recession have become ripe for skateboarding.
“Places are all very different but also the same, right? A lot of it is what you carry around in your head.” Big past week for Jacob Harris on the ol’ non-Thrasher, non-Instagram skateboard content circuit: Atlantic Drift’s auteur talks to the Slam City Skates blog about his process and how Las Vegas is kinda the same as London at the end of the day ♥
How insane is it that the two French skate spots most recognizable to Americans have simply been, like, renovated and restored to brand new condition over the past twelve months? There’s actually this cool place by the Brooklyn Bridge that could use a similar treatment, but that probably makes too much sense, right? :(
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Enjoy Giannis in these cute early years before you have to get used to him breaking your team’s heart for the next ~decade are so.
Quote of the Week: “The Sombrero is the only spot in New York that isn’t a bust.” — Cyrus Bennett
“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 ;)
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.
Gotta hand it to Europe’s Most Productive Crew™ for consistently doing something that feels so natural and different than everything else out there, year after year — especially in a country without much of a skate industry. Also ~love~ the recurring role of dogs in their videos. “Nap Mint Nap Volume 4” is the latest from the Rios Crew. We really gotta make it out to Budapest, pretty much everyone says nothing but good things…
In hindsight, it’s pretty crazy that a peak shiny suit era Bad Boy song ever slipped into an Alien Workshop video, even for 45 seconds. And guess what! Twenty years later, we get the full [re]edit: Manolo remixed two decades of Kalis footage to the complete extended version of Black Rob’s “Whoa.” FWIW, that album has some sleepergems.
“Pornography had already been done, and the skate/fetish graphic thing said all that needed to be said on the subject. Take away the black bag and the sticker about censorship, and you just have a dumb idea repeated endlessly. For nearly 3 decades.” Ted Barrow wrote a nice piece on the history of the black bag World Industries board, and everything that followed it over on Skateism.
Solange in a skate clip ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Def worth the watch from Peter Deigaard + Drew, Hugo, Ville, and all the Copenhagen boys, which will make you feel the summer even if you have no Danish travel plans :)
“DOA RMX” is a video featuring some upstate dudes (pretty sure…), and has a random ass remix of Pat Washington footage from the early 2000s at the end, which is timely given Jamal Smith reminded us about his iconic Got Gold? part last week.
“I kind of consider 2000 to 2009-10 the dark ages of skating. It was just like, the filmer and photographer decided what a skater would skate. If you were good, you got shipped out to California and you would skate with people that would be like ‘You need to do this.’ Almost like there were requirements. ‘Do this handrail.'” Spot-finder extraordinaire, Dave Caddo, has an interview with Village Psychic about the rules of skating new spots, blown out spots, and unlocking spots.
Spent a month or three mulling about whether to write something about the three skate movies that came out in 2018 on here. Quite obviously, nothing on that end came to fruition, and this Paris Review piece on Minding the Gap is nine zillion times better than anything I could have written on what is, far and away, the best “skateboard movie” ever made. Get that free Hulu trial if you haven’t seen it yet.
i-D has a long feature commemorating Palace’s ten-year journey from a brand conceived in a dilapidated skate house by Southbank to what it is today: employer of Torey Goodall, Jamal Smith and Tico ♥
Unclear if he’s been reading more women authors or not, but Mark Suciu has a bunch of New York clips in his new Thunder part. Pretty sure he’s the first one to get a clip at those year-old, two-second bust ledges by IBM, and that rock ollie in front of Corner Bistro is fucked.
Ciao is the latest all-New York video by Ricardo Napoli. Teaser here.