Eras in recent New York skateboarding are earmarked by shifts in the lowest of price points. For example: Up until it was phased out in maybe 2003, the chicken cutlet sandwich + can of soda for $2 deal at Universal News kept half the people I know fed. By late-2005, Little Debbie’s line of 25-cent snack cakes had doubled in price. Dollar menus were becoming dollar-and-up “value menus.” Some psychopaths really tried to charge tax on a dollar slice.
And now, the beverage that we lovingly spent our adolescence drinking, and punishing our blood sugar levels with, is trying to pull a fast one. You’re ranting about a generation of kids being homogenized by a skatepark; I’m more worried about the thought that they’ll have to pay $2 for an Arizona tall can, or $1 for 11.5 oz. of one.
The other day, I met some people at T.F. West. After the hour-long pandering that goes on whenever the “where are we gonna skate?”-question is raised, some permit-wielding kickballers showed up. Outnumbered and frustrated, we left the park.
“So-and-so is at T.F.” An hour of half-hearted flat skating and aimless shittalking — it was not enough. We still craved a new chainlink cage with nothing more than flatground and maybe a trash receptacle to put on its side. We half-walked/half-skated the twenty minutes to T.F.
After a half-hour at T.F., a suggestion was made: “So-and-so wants to a try a trick over the can off the bump on 20th Street.”
The “bump” on 20th Street? You mean that small groove on the ground that just-maybe-kinda-but-kinda-not hoists you up? In an empty court surrounded by a chainlink cage? How did we get here? Three T.Fs in one day? We’ve been everywhere and back but I just can’t remember it all. What am I doing?
Here’s a complete history of how we got here.
2000: Alien Workshop’s Photosynthesis video is released. The second half of Robert Dyrdek’s part is filmed at a graffiti-covered indoor facility, which we later learn is called the “Training Facility” or “T.F.” for short. (This place later proved to be a blueprint for the “Fantasy Factory,” but that is a topic for another day.)