Sanguine Paradise

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.

Jesse Alba is the latest guest on The Bunt, and really happy that he no longer lives at 51 Eldert Street.

…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.

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What It Do Babbyyyy

Photo via the tumbleweeds. Tumblr in 2019 is like that one ledge spot that was popping five years ago. Everyone used to meet there, get clips there, get stuck there. Now it’s chunked up, the bevel got as round as Blubba, and it sorta just sits there. Maybe a group of guys in their 30s will skate it for 20 minutes before they go to the bar. Maybe a pair of kids in #curated thrift store finds visiting from out of town will film each other do two-trick lines for their trip edit on it. The solitary man who shows up after work once every two weeks to ensure that he hasn’t lost his back tails is always a fixture. But sometimes, all three of those end up there together, and it’s fun — not fun like the old days, but enough to remind you that they existed ;)

NBC visited Tompkins to speak with Zhu and Yaje about how much that square of asphalt means to the community. Please sign the petition to preserve Tompkins Square courts as an asphalt space, if you have yet to do so.

The Canal boys have a new video coming out this fall :)

Medium has an awesome feature with Justin Bohl, a guy who has been the go-to tour guide for skate teams visiting Detroit over the past eight years. He put together a twenty-minute video entitled Mint, which features a bunch of behind the scenes footage of all the traveling skaters who have come through the city as it became sought-after skate trip destination in the 2010s.

Ultra” from Chris Burt is up there with the Bos brothers’ “Wide Open” for 2019’s best videos outside of the Thrasher/Insta content spiral. It’s a Minnesota video with three parts, mostly filmed in the suburbs, yet somehow feels all the right ways different than a lot of the other stuff you’ve watched this past week. Ender part from Frog’s Pat Gallaher.

The New York Times has a quick profile of Alexis Sablone.

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Save The Tompkins Square Park Asphalt

Sign the Petition

Update — September 7: Tompkins Square Park is saved. Thank you everyone for signing, sharing, and making your voices heard ♥

Update — August 28: The community will be holding a rally to show the city how much this space means to us all, and how it should be kept asphalt + multi-use. Please come show support on Saturday, September 7 @ 1 P.M.

Update — July 1, 2019 — 6 P.M: The Parks Department reached out to the skate community and will hold a meeting about the matter early next week. Will add any new info once we get it. Please keep your #savetompkins posts respectful so our cause gets given the same respect.

The city approved a plan to cover the asphalt at Tompkins Square Park A.K.A. The T.F. with synthetic turf. On the Parks Department’s “Projects” page for Tompkins, the only mention of anything in this vein is a proposed project labeled “Multipurpose Play Area Pavement Reconstruction.” The community that spends much of their days in this portion of the park was not consulted, and only found out that it had been approved a month after the fact, with Tompkins’ resurfacing crammed in with other sites where they intend to do the same.

A multi-use, open asphalt area in the East Village is scarce. If the city goes ahead with this approved plan, it would alienate many of the end users of the park, who have called it a home for decades, and built a community around this small patch of sacred asphalt.

Skateboarding has been a part of Tompkins Square Park since the 1980s, when Shut Skateboards would lug over makeshift ramps and throw contests there. Skaters continued to call Tompkins a home ever since. In the years after 9/11, when much of the city was under lockdown and the places we skated in before became closed off for security measures, Tompkins became a hassle-free refuge for the skate community thanks to the nearby ABC and Autumn Skateshops, who would bring ramps to the park, and store them in their stores overnight. We have quite literally shoveled snow out of the way to skate here before.

This isn’t only about skateboarding. A roller hockey league calls Tompkins home on weekends. If you’re trying to teach your son or daughter to ride a bike or any roller sport, you take them to an open asphalt field like this one. And while skateparks have become more abundant in New York City, if someone is learning how to skate, they are definitely not going to a high velocity atmosphere like a skatepark to learn how to ride.

Tompkins is an unshakeable part of our community. Much of the details about the resurfacing remain foggy. Many people have reached out asking how to help convince the city that a synthetic turf field here is a giant mistake. Several different threads are being tugged on with regards to how we should proceed on this issue, but in the meantime, we ask that you sign the petition that was started so Parks can get a sense of just how much this place means to us.

We will keep you updated on any and all developments as soon as we hear them.

Free Agency

You may have heard that the city approved plans to cover Tompkins with synthetic turf after a hearing this past May. There is very sparse information about this, outside of the Tompkins courts being outlined with a rectangle in a PDF. Several friends with, um, knowledge of how to navigate these things have begun to reach out for more info, as groundbreaking looks like it is set to begin this winter. Anyone with insight into how this could be debated and compromised with Parks, even after it has been approved, please feel free to share what you know. We’ll try our best to keep you updated as well.

“My project in Malmö felt unreal. Imagine that happening in New York. I wouldn’t even know where to start.” Hmm, on that note… MIT Masters degree holder, Alexis Sablone, has been heavy on the interview circuit lately, and everyone is happy about it. Alexis for president of skateboarding :)

Josh Kalis re-did the ender that capped a video part he filmed at age 23… at 43

Go Skate Day videos aren’t exactly the first things that get clicked on around here — unless they’re from the Sabotage dudes, who, rather than running the whole “this is the one day I refuse to skate” thing that contrarian “core” guys do, went out and got nine minutes worth of Philly footage in 24 hours. (Yo, where is that mini windowsill ledge? Figure it’s Center City somewhere and sucks IRL, but that thing looks super fun.)

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Genesis Evans & Max Palmer in ‘Plays Pretty For Genny’

There’s a special place in our hearts for people who wait until the hell weeks of winter to drop edits from a much warmer recent past. Though more of a ~vibe~ than a montage, Marcus Pulvermacher‘s “Plays Pretty For Genny” is one pinch a Genesis Evans cruiser vid, and another pinch Max Palmer reel via the evolving Spiker’s Island spot out in Brooklyn. In between it all, you’ll catch a bunch of familiar faces from Johnny Wilson edits, et al.

No matter how much you may resent the T.F. for the many false-starts it has served all of our lives, there’s no denying that last summer — when it reached full-fledged junk spot status for maybe the first time in its history — was a special moment to lurk there. (Provided you never set any grandiose ambitions for the day.)

Heitor might have the first great part of 2019, but this is the first edit to make spring 2019 in New York feel like a tangible thing.