Unforgettable — The Oral History of the Twin Towers in Skate Photos

Intro + Interviews by Adam Abada
Header Collage by Requiem For A Screen

The World Trade Center — with its centerpiece, the Twin Towers — opened just a few months before the Knicks won their second championship in 1973, and symbolized a new, modernized era of New York City. As literal twins, the Towers are excellent symbols for the push and pull of capital versus culture which, by the 70s, was really coming to a head in American society. They were the biggest buildings in the world and just one wasn’t even enough.

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Eric Koston NYC Cruiser Footage – Circa 1995

To wrap up this mildly Girl/Chocolate themed week, here is a quick clip of Koston cruising around downtown circa 1995-ish, via the B-roll tapes from his Epicly Later’d series that came out earlier this year. Not much by way of actual “tricks,” just cruiser footage from the area around C.I.A. Ledge and the road that surrounded the Twin Towers (to the side of where the white stone benches were.) Thanks to Chris and the crew at VBS for sharing this with us. The audio is jacked in a few places, but you can deal with it. Have a good weekend.

Loosely Related (from two years earlier):

Feb. 2002 Transworld Article on 9/11 & Skateboarding

Photo stolen from Matt Weber

Following September 11th, Transworld ran this article asking New York skateboarders about their experiences on that day. It appeared in the February 2002 issue, which means it probably hit newsstands in December of 2001.

Skateboarding is at the bottom of the list in terms of things affected by 9/11, but this is a skateboard site. Every news outlet in the country is doing a “Decade After 9/11” feature, so if you’re looking for something with deep insight, you’ve come to the wrong place. That day was a turning point for skateboarding in the city (as trivial as that is in the grand scheme of things), just as it was such for every facet of life. It’s the reason the T.F. exists (you couldn’t skate anywhere else, so ABC made a safe spot), it’s the reason New York is the gigantic bust it is today (buildings heightened security and never let up), and it’s the reason Lower Manhattan is more residential, thus no longer the skateboard-friendly desert it once was at night.

The months proceeding that day were odd, I don’t think I tried heading downtown until Christmas break. If memory serves right, EST2 came out sometime in October, its New York footage largely being from the past spring and summer. Watching it was a glimpse at the normalcy of skating an area that had become completely inaccessible due to rescue efforts, air hazards, and fire. Strange how even in the context of a meaningless skate video, the world of just a few months ago felt like a much different place.

The article’s layout has been modified to fit this website’s layout. If you prefer to view the full pages, here you go: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4.

Big thanks to our good friend Adam Abada for the scans.

Related: 9/11 photo post from last year, World Trade Center skate clips, an interview with Ian Reid that discusses some of the aforementioned points

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