Expensive Navy

This is the last week it gets dark before 7 P.M. 🤞

Shadow is a full-length Long Island scene video (though obviously much of it is filmed in the city) by David Rind. Last two parts are fire, though you may have caught the link for Max Rowlette’s section last week when Skate Jawn ran it.)

Not sure there has been a Johnny Wilson trip edit since that “Roadtrip” one way way back. Tom Knox, Nik Stain, Eric Koston, Louie Lopez, et al. in Texas with Miles Griptape, ICYMI. Love that this roster could come together for something as arbitrary as a griptape team trip, and have it feel like an actual homie edit ❤️

“If, when I was 15, somebody told me to stab someone and they’d give me this, I would’ve done it.” Greg Navarro — creator of The Upper West Side Curb Club — hung around …the Upper West Side with Eli Gesner to get a breakdown of the neighborhood’s landmark spots for a new Jenkem video series called “Neighborhoods.”

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Bump To Supply Chain

“I realized so many stories or moments that I’ve lived don’t have photos to accompany them. I wasn’t equipped, equipment-wise or mentally, to decide, ‘This moment is a photo,’ and I need to go out of my way to get it no matter what people think.” The Slam City Skates blog has an interview with French photographer, Benjamin Deberdt, about coming to New York to shoot photos of Keenan, Huf and the Cardona brothers in the nineties. (He shot the above Huf photo.)

Added Vu Skateshop’s “Lyric” video — filmed entirely at the Lyric Monument in Baltimore — to the QS One-Spot Part Map.

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The Upper West Side Curb Club — An Interview with Greg Navarro

Soldiers & Sailors Monument, 1979. Photo by Nathan Tweti

Intro & Interview By Tom Ianelli
Photos by Greg Navarro, Daniel Weiss & Matt Weber

When a kid first picks up a board, their perspective on skating is inherently limited. It is a moment in which all skating is usually represented by the neighborhood spot — be it a driveway, parking lot, or skatepark — and the people found at that spot. The years pass, and skate culture opens up as one watches videos and travels further away from home, but there is a purity to that initial perspective, when skating, and one’s burgeoning love for it, is narrowly embodied by that singular spot.

Filmed entirely at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Greg Navarro’s “The Upper West Side Curb Club,” is a skate filmer’s loving tribute to the spot he grew up skating.

Rarely seen in videos, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, or just “The Monument,” is made up of a few curbs, canons and some “ledges,” that are tucked up in a park on 87th and Riverside, secluded from the shinier skate hubs of New York. With a cast of locals hitting every inch of the park, making spots out of the crust available, Greg’s video is reminiscent of simpler days spent trying to find new possibility in obstacles that have already taught you everything you know about skating. “Upper West Side Curb Club” is not limited by this nostalgic simplicity: the video is evidence that a spot’s value is determined primarily by the devotion and creativity of the skaters who hang out there.

I sat down with Greg at the new Andy Kessler skatepark on 108 to talk about the video and The Monument.

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The Upper West Side Curb Club

As skate tourism has grown and grown and grown, New York spots have snowballed in brand recognition. Run down the best tricks at the city’s marquee spots, and two of them will be from some random Volcom summer edit. A new bump-to-bar pop ups, and you can almost watch its NBD list get checked off in real-time on Instagram.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument on 89th Street and Riverside Drive is the exact opposite. It is not the type of spot a visiting team stops by on its east coast tour. It is a local staple — it’s as local as the nondescript corner store in your neighborhood that has deceptively great sandwiches and the grill still on late at night. The Monument is mainly skated by people who live in that neighborhood, with the occasional visit from a friend. It’s the type of spot that you could set a low bar for sneaking a session between getting home from work, and the sun setting in 30 minutes, but end up tricking yourself into having more fun than you would at a proper skatepark.

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