We did two overnights in D.C. this past summer with one explicit rule: no stopping at Pulaski. It was mostly because of the blazing heat that accompanies a place with no nearby shade, but the irony of avoiding the greatest spot still standing on American soil was that it forced us into one or two zones that we would’ve otherwise neglected.
→ 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.
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.
Pulaski, for connoisseurs of plaza skating, offers the most authentic experience left in North America. One is out in the open yet simultaneously in one’s own pocket of reality. The Capitol looms at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the White House stands only a couple of blocks away. The locals know the color schemes of the different law enforcement vehicles that encircle the block and react accordingly. The sheer electricity of the overall experience blows away your local park, no matter how expansive or plaza-like.
Like I said here, the power resides in the marble.
D.C. videography dates back to Sheffey’s A Reason for Living part, but exploded onto the scene via Chris Hall’s New Deal parts and the first issues of 411. Dave Schubert’s camera and Giant Distribution’s willingness to feature their riders at the time offered skating writ large a window into an intimidating but mind-opening scene that overshadowed Love Park for most of the early nineties. In 2018, “east coast” is synonymous with wallrides ‘n shit, but Pulaski locals were just as tech if not moreso than their Embarcadero contemporaries.
In addition to producing generations of rippers, Pulaski has produced as extensive a library of independent scene vids as anywhere — back to True Mathematics’ Prosperity², to the seminal Pitcrew (R.I.P) vid Where I’m From, to the turn-of-the-century classic Pack a Lunch. As computer technology facilitated D.I.Y. video production, more essential documents emerged. Along those lines, we recently caught up with Smalls, the dude behind the longest-standing D.C. video series, to discuss Stop Fakin’ 3 — the third in the trilogy of the same name — and the culture of one of the most prolific scenes in the world.
You can purchase Stop Fakin’ 3 along with the whole trilogy here.
Dude, we love themed video parts. Grate themed video parts, garbage themed video parts, dumpster themed video parts! And there is no more beloved theme to build a video part around than to learn every nuance and cranny of a skate spot by skating it for the full duration of said part. Given the rate at which spots worth learning have been diminishing, we’ve been given reason to celebrate such one-spot achievements more than ever. You think it’s a coincidence that both 18-year-olds and 38-year-olds love Gonz’s “just cruising in the street”-thing from Video Days? Cruising is everyone’s M.O. now, whereas maintaining fidelity to one spot takes extra effort.
With that, a genre has skyrocketed in popularity within the skateboard media marketplace: spot-based content. Whereas since the demise of 411 “spot checks,” the story has 97% of the time been about the skater, the team or the event, spot-based videos are the new way to make us remember that we better learn how to skate walls if we ever want to skate an street object outside of a caged-in skatepark ever again ;)
Atlanta’s checkerboard spot benefits from more lenient “plaza” definitions that we allow in 2016. There aren’t many longstanding street spots with multiple ledges left, so it becomes one by default — though it may be the only Great American Skate Spot™ 2.0 that I have no desire to skate. (Shit looks mad high.) The spot doesn’t have a storied mythology or celebrated culture, and its background is not densely layered with regal civic buildings or skyscrapers. It’s just a spot that has been long enough for us to be forced to respect its status in the era of depleting spots. An all-Columbus Circle part was in order for last year to commemorate its ten-year run for the same reason, until a cop decided to pepperspray a teenager…
Jimmy Lannon, noted “regular” Magenta outlier and 2014 “Best Line at Three Up Three Down” titleholder, paid tribute to the spot’s longer-than-usual tenure in Thread / Headcleaner, with a literal #musicsupervision choice that’s one step removed from Mark Suciu skating to Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” or like, Soy Panday skating to “Panda.”