A Sad Day For Southern California

The Santa Monica Sand Gaps were one of the few Los Angeles area institutions shitty enough to be embraced by the east coast. Despite the beachside setting (and perfect ground), the Sand Gaps garnered worldwide recognition based off a few holes in the floor, a not-so-great rounded-off ledge and zillions of small specks that would eat their way into your bearings. The Sand Gaps made those jealous of Los Angeles’ 70-degree winters and schoolyard pavement respect its existence. It is Los Angeles’ version of a famous skate spot that should have never been a famous skate spot, i.e. Astor, Tompkins, etc. It was also the subject of many jokes said at Gigliotti’s expense (the only Los Angeles native to ever be on QS payroll) throughout his time living in New York (“Where are you guys going skating today?” “Just meet us at Sand Gaps.”) Let us not forget it was a favorite among visiting New Yorkers.

The gaps are now filled in with trees. Though the ledge remains, the spot is still called “Sand Gaps.” So, much like the big banks remaining after the city ruined the small ones and took out the ledge section, the soul of the spot is unfortunately no more. We send our sympathies to Joey Brezinski, Robbie McKinley, Chris Roberts, and of course, Giglotti the Great.

Sand Gaps, if you were from New York, we would have loved you so much more than we already did. Give a good home to those trees.

Occupy Seaport

“Skipping occupy Wall St. and looking to start an occupy that new park by Seaport movement.” — Roctakon

By now, the period for high hopes is long gone, and there appears to be no chance of the lies you were told throughout the summer becoming truths. Taji’s mom didn’t design it, Rob Campbell didn’t build it, California Skateparks didn’t pour the concrete, and Mayor Bloomberg isn’t going to let you skate it after he does a 9/11 ceremony there, considering there was no 9/11 ceremony here to begin with. There’s going to be a restaurant on the north side, and a dog park on the south, so the new security guard favorite, “We’ll talk to the park and see if they can open an area designated for skateboarding” isn’t going to come true either. (Evidently, security guards are the ones who dictate the allocation of public space.)

Though Occupy Wall Street’s objective(s) may be all over the place, its “99% against the greedy 1%” mantra aptly falls under the “allergic to stupid shit” umbrella. Whether they aim to combat stupid shit with more stupid shit remains to be seen. This skateboarding site does not care to dwell on the movement’s convoluted political goals, but it does applaud them for sitting in at a skate spot for multiple weeks and trying to make a point, as their headquarters are at Zuccotti Park, or what skateboarders simply call “World Trade Center.”

With Seaport, our goals have more to do with the structure of the spot, and the greed of the dog walkers and lunchtime office workers taking a much larger piece of the pie than they deserve. Preventing skateboarding in a place designed for it falls in line with “allergic to stupid shit” principles, and we will need to adjust our percentages to reflect lunch-hour crowds and dog walkers v.s. skateboarders to qualify the inequities plaguing this spot. A Wall Street Journal columnist described Occupy Wall Street as “a Tea Party with brains.” Occupy Seaport will be an angry-kid-throwing-a-tantrum-cursing-at-security-and-refusing-to-leave with brains.

There are two security guards here, and an entire downtown police force busy with protesters. It’s time we take back the Seaport, and see this movement spread to other spots, and eventually, other cities. Occupation is set to begin after Roctakon’s birthday party on Friday.

See you on Saturday.

P.S. Do you think those fully lit volleyball courts in Tribeca are still PACKED now that the weather in New York is consistently below sixty degrees?

P.P.S. If not the Seaport, this plaza in Cologne, Germany is basically what we need…not parks full of ramps up to ledges and a fifteen-skater capacity. Ledges, banks, flat, that’s it. But then again, the Germans were always ahead of the game with engineering.

‘It may look like a skatepark, but you can’t skate here’

If you live in/around New York, or visited here in the past two months, you have inevitably tried to skate the new Seaport spot at least a dozen times. What brand of logic decides to build something covered in one obstacle completely inherent to skateparks (ledges with flush metal lips that only appear on the exterior of the planter, not the part facing the dirt), only to prohibit the activity that it is best-suited for (even indirectly), is beyond anyone’s wild guess. The most useful recent analogy has equated the existence of this spot to building a basketball court in the middle of downtown Manhattan, and placing security there to kick people out whenever they show up to play ball.

The guards at this specific spot have also had the audacity to suggest that we go to “that park under the Manhattan Bridge.” Even with the imperfect ground, this park is better than any skatepark in New York, except maybe Astoria.

In light of the inane rules that govern this place, and the elaborate narratives as to why you cannot skate a place covered in architecture that otherwise exists for the sole purpose of skateboarding, here is a comprehensive list of excuses the people in charge of security here have used (i.e. people whose entire employment derives from kicking out skateboarders.) Please feel free to add any lies that you have been told to emphasize how stupid they look.

Keep Reading »

For the Tourists and the Kids…

The guiding criteria for whether or not to include something on the spots page is to assess how many Canadian skate videos it has been in. If it’s more than one or two, everyone knows about it. (No disrespect to Canadians, it’s just a good gauge on how many people know about a spot.) So, this update is to fill in the spaces on spots that weren’t in Canadian skate videos around the time of our last spot update. The next one will probably take place in 2012 or 2013. But remember Matt Mooney’s immortal words: “I looked at every spot in the Quartersnacks spot section. There ain’t shit to skate.”

Brooklyn: Humboldt Street YMCA, Kent Avenue Step, Mambo Bar, Brooklyn Bridge Anchors, Hebrew Ledge, Brooklyn Museum, Thomas Greene Park. North of 59th Street: Frederick Douglass Plaza, Green Three Block, Median Ledge, Wollman Rink, Bronx Courthouse. South of 14th Street: Jacob Riis Projects, Pitt Pool, Federal Reserve Gap, Rector Street Gap-to-Bench, Three Up Three Down (!!!), Tribeca Pier. Jersey: Essex County Community College, Exchange Place, Lincoln Park, Newark Courthouse. Queens: JFK Banks, Rockaway Rails. If you live in/around none of New York, you already know everything.

!!!MORE IMPORTANT NEWS!!! The Writing on the Wall 2 is out. It’s nowhere near as good as the first Writing on the Wall (probably the best Gucci tape), but it gets the job done.

Can’t Go Skateboarding Day

As most spend the first day of summer / “Go Skateboarding Day” at various skateboard industry P.R. initiatives, Quartersnacks would like to reflect on many of the spots that are no longer with us. We would hypothetically love to go skateboarding today, but the ways of the world continue to make the act of riding a skateboard outside of a designated space more difficult each and every year. (All due respect to all those who continue to advocate for skateparks, but skateparks are not a replacement for street spots. Leave that sort of logic to sixty-year-old city council members, not people who actually skate.) Predictably, many of these places have fallen out of the public’s concern since people have ceased skating there (maybe 2 out of 11 had or have a greater general public v.s. skateboarding public occupancy ratio.) It’s amazing just how much people love to complain when you give them something to complain about, and how little they actually care once the end-point for their desired result happens.

Thanks for the memories.

Keep Reading »