Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

West End Girl

West End Girl

I just figure we will meet at TF, but we want to skate Gay Ledge so Roctakon suggests TF West, which makes more sense. I swap my Allen Edmonds for Dunks and skate over on Prince after my job interview, still in tie and two shirts and black wool Freeman's jacket with Red Backpack. The layering is good for the weather and the black Freemans piece is a durable outer layer since I fall some when I skate. I get to TF West first first, set down my bag and take off my jacket since the park is in strong sunlight. I start popping tricks then Roctakon comes though in a Tebow Jets jersey. We politic and Zach Baker texts to say he's off work on and his way. Roctakon and I play SKATE and I set a tre flip to start off that he lands too. I end up beating him with fakie heels and shit as he gives me SKAT. Baptiste rolls through on two wheels and a bike basket full of Sex Hippie gear and vintage menswear. He likes our enthusiasm and says he might come out to Gay Ledge.

A few minutes after Baptiste dips, Baker shreds up with backpack and we skate flat for some more deciding if we are really going to go to Gay Ledge. There is a group of children gathered around a teacher and after some time we hear commotion and look over to see huge spray from a two liter bottle of cola that has undergone a reaction. Then a party boy skater shows up and starts doing back 360s every try, the gentleman way. I film him and ask if he wants to skate ledges and he says it sounds fun but he is kicking it with his other friend so i say Later. I drink to finish my water bottle and go over to the fountain to refill it. While we're drinking an Asian woman longboards past dressed in a trench coat.

We walk past Da Silvano and Pitti then cross 6th Avenue at Bleeker, where we see the long boarder again. She is pushing strong against traffic on a cell phone, along the green cycling path paint job that is sort of worn because autos end up riding on it on the thin street and we have to pay mind to the bicycles heading into us too. Though confrontational, this is the fastest way to Cristopher street and it's tight watching this girl push on a mission. She rolls over a grate with no fear that i always avoid on my smaller wheels and it poses no problem. We end up kind of passing her and she has to notice us even though she is still on her phone, then we cut left onto Christopher and take that down to the water.

Now that we ride downhill in the flow of traffic we can relax, enjoy the ride and pop a couple flat ground tricks, though I don't because I have a backpack so manual more. We get to Gay ledge and it is chill, kinda windy but we don't let that stop us. I do a line of half cab nose slide then back tail then nollie 360 flip. Now that I have done 360 flip and back tail in the same day I am content. Some parks workers give us the boot and tell us about nearby skatepark offerings. Roctakon suggests Strip Club ledge so we cross the highway back into the city. Roctakon's deejaying at Westway that night so we might as well scope the block while there's daylight. I'm chilling on the skating but am down to film and they both want to pick up clips. Roctakon fake 360 flipped down 3 up 3 down the other day and now wants to take his new ledge moneymaker, the back 180 nose grind out to fakie on strip club ledge.

So here we are, at the metal ledge, frontside for goofy, kind of tall on sidewalk. It's pretty high and anything is cool as far as I'm concerned. So you know: Marquez did back nose grind pop out in a line in undershirt and bucket hat. I start filming. Baker lands a nose slide third try then does a wall ride further down. Then he starts going for crooks, to either fakie or pop out as he grinds. He was scraping them through the crusty Gay ledge and now on this angle iron is able to enjoy the grind. I film each of them as they take turns. Roctakon kick flips up the curb first and I film him from the back is fine because his Tebow Jets jersey shows. After a first few pokes he's kinda getting into the 180 nose grind. He depends on the ledge to take him for the ride, not like he was able to stand over it on the low Gay ledge. The attempts look good and he grinds for a few feet then he rolls away to fakie 10th try with enough speed to finesse a switch heels to finish. We scope the footy and I kept his body in the frame.

With this footage the day is officially chill and we agree that refreshment is in order. We skate east and stop by a deli where Roctakon buys a bottled beverage. Baker and I vaguely mention coffee but don't make any moves to get it and just like that, we have dodged a financial expenditure. We decide to wind down with more flat at TF West since we still have daylight, which turns into a blue raspberry sunset and Baker does a wallride. Roctakon dips to go to a meeting so Baker and I keep kicking it since we have no other plans. Zach rolls a spliff and we are about to go in but I saw it was the last of his pack and I don't have any so I say, "how about we wait for a little." He says "why." I say "so we'll have it later."

"I can get down with that," so he tucks the spliff behind his ear then rolls and smokes a cigarette instead. Mooney texts that he's coming through so we sit there as the day turns dark and Mooney skates in, in a sweatshirt and we comment on the cold. It is too dark to skate so we sit along the wall that Baker wall rode and smell the smells coming from the Italian restaurant. There is a girl with a dog over by the dugout benches and she keeps throwing the ball toward us and the dog keeps bringing the ball back to us so we throw the ball toward her back and forth. I don't really feel comfortable around dogs all the time so leave this pitching mostly to Mooney and Baker. Mooney mentions how he is into the girl. Of course he is, we like all the girls who bring things to the parks and if she's going by this park with a dog she lives in this good area. Then she leaves. If we come here around this time again maybe we'll see her again.

A few minutes later a couple more girls walk in. They are older. One is white with short blonde hair wearing black. One is brown wearing orange pants and navy wrap up top. Maybe they are roommates. They both know the Dog and throw his ball around. I wonder if they're lesbians. Mooney says they are not.
One girl smokes something and soon enough this dog is coming to visit us too. This one is big and powerful and Mooney handles him and says the skin is tight because it is fat. He bets they feed the dog human food and we imagine the filling meals these women eat.

They come over and I ask the dog's name. "Knuckles." Mooney says they should name it Tank but the brunette says says that too many boxers are named Tank. "I would name him Jerome Bettis."
"Her, actually. I knew she would come over once she saw your boards. She likes skateboards."

"She's a skateboarding dog?" Mooney says.

"No, she just likes them. She knows that skaters are cool."

"Your dog has good taste in men." They laugh. The girls have to be tough to handle this dog and they kind of are. The one who had been smoking has a rounder face dark hair, the other has short blonde hair and leather.
"Are you single?" I ask. It is best to know.


"me too." The brunette is the one I wonder. This is good news.

"Me too." So is the blonde. So is Mooney. So is Baker. I introduce myself. Her name is Annette. Her friend is Lisa. Since I talked to them I might as well go further.

"We were about to burn this joint. Do you want in?" The blonde says no first, then the brunette says yes and Baker sparks. passes clockwise to Annette first and she offers it to Mooney after a couple hits but he declines so I take the stick from her. Now we're closer to kissing and more high too. It's good to be passing since that makes the illegal substance disappear quicker.
"Do you ladies feel like spending more time together? We can combine trios."

They look at each other. Lisa speaks. "We're going to a movie first. Do you want to meet up later?" Of course we do. Annette asks for my number. She does not give hers. She says "I'll call you." They head out, south east. Annette and Lisa look older than us and anticipation is almost better than going somewhere right now, though of course they could not appear again once we part ways. She has my number. I don't have to do anything.

And now we have to wait for some time so we aren't wasted by evening. We decide to buy a meal at whole foods that we will take to Mooneys to cook it since that will fill more time and we can buy some beer too. Baker likes to cook and it's easiest to have one person cooking while we drink and Listen to Future. Once Dinner is served, steak and Peppers with pasta, we watch the video Cell Out I reviewed below this entry. I text with Eugenie and Coupons and they're both talking about the moves they'll be making after midnight.

Then Valentine and Thando come out of Thando's room. We didn't even sure they were in there. They're about to go west because Valentine is singing around 10:30 at the 92nd St Y in Tribeca. After our Meal we skate west on Prince and head to Valentine's show where we buy three dollar Budweiser before the show starts. This fourth beer is just what I need to keep my buzz going and there are plenty of girls to observe as Thando presses play and Alison Valentine sings with heart and charm. She is better than the audience expects a singer they don't know to be, and the crowd draws in as she sings "It Girl" and ends with Tele Francaise.

After the show Valentine is glowing and says she want to dance later but let's have a drink first. She wants to pick up her bike and we all have our boards so we go to hers and kick it in the garden. I'm looking at my phone when I get a text asking "You guys still want to meet up."

I say, "yeah, We're still in the neighborhood."
"Barrow Street Pub,"

When I read the text aloud Alison reacts, because Barrow Street Pub is where Alison and I have been meaning to drink for some time so we take that as a good sign. Since 11 is a half hour off I say we'll be there at 11. Valentine and Thando want to meet these girls too so we finish our beers then we all roll over. The bar is crowded but we're text that we have some sitting space in the back. The girls come as we're settling into our drinks and we all have seats and it's not too loud to talk. We introduce each other and tell about the time that's passed. They went to the Basketball documentary and Mooney says how couldn't they have invited us and she said because they had to decide if they were going to meet up with us. They think Valentine is cool too so we're all making roving conversation. Lloydski is back in town so Valentine wants to go to Night People so we decide to go to Le Bain. Eugenie is going to be there too so we decide to make our way, walking since we're with these girls and this time it is Annette with a spliff that we enjoy.

We say whats up to Ian at the door, then they take our skateboards into the security room and I leave my backpack too. Once we are up there it is slow progress in high crowd, a good reason not to have boards. These girls have a card that takes care of the drinks even though Lisa closes the tab and we start walking around as the DJ switches between Young Scooter and Royal Trux. Mooney and Lisa disappear so Annette and I remark on that as we step up to the outside and I don't know what happened to Baker or Valentine either. My phone is out of battery so it's not in my power.

We make it up to the roof where Annette smokes two cigarettes then we're just standing there and our drinks are empty and making it to the bar will probably be a 10 minute 20 dollar project. "Do you want to leave?" I say.

"Where to."


"Not yet."



We take the elevator, grab my things, say goodbye to Ian, then walk down along the Westside. Annette smokes a cigarette and I watch, then we turn the corner on Jane and are about to head up when Annette says, "you're right. Let's just go to mine."

We stop by a deli on the way. The deli guys appear to know her. We get ice cream, snappea crisps and soda water. Annette gets cigarettes. She pulls out a card. I give her a twenty that is my last through I don't say anything. She takes the 20 then she tucks it back into my jacket breast pocket and tells me to save it so I say cool. We walk down King Street, which is the same name of my home Street in Indiana. I hear wheels rolling past and look. It's the girl from earlier in the trench coat. "Do you know her?" Annette asks.
"Not really, but I got footage of her skating earlier today."
"Yeah, I see her skating around all the time. She's a tough chick."
I take out my flip cam and scroll through the clips until I get to hers and show Annette the clip. It's not a magnificent clip, mostly my pushing to catch up with her, but definitely the same girl. "That's a cool video camera. Can you set it up to film us?"
"So long as we keep the lights on."
As she pushes the key into the lock this courtship finally starts to feel real, then she closes the door behind us and it is.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cell Out with Me Tonight

When poor at the skateshop, things like the best Nike Dunks on the shoe wall are effectively behind bars. Though don't despair, because there are always rarer pleasures like buying the cheapest video there, probably made by some skaters about my age who understand the struggle and make accommodations. In this case I turn over the back of Cell Out, read Gilbert Crockett's name at the bottom and know I have found my purchase. I bought mine from Uprise in Chicago for 8 dollars. You can too and lurk

This Richmond, VA based video is sponsored by Venue, sure, and, groundbreakingly, by DeWalt Power Tools, so read assured that there is certifuckinfied and approved mastery to come.

Enter evidence of the current American police state and the painful physical sacrifices this battalion of skaters endures in the freedom quest. As Bone Thugs and Tupac rap over Gun sounds, Gilbert boardslides a big boy backside, nollie heels at the DIY pitch and party tricks go awry. I recognize the second stair ledge spot from Gilbert's Doin' Thangs part There are girls, a front nose slide on the the unlatched bed of pick up truck and hand railing in darkness. They tag Cell Out on the passed out homie's neck so you know it's real.

Thando described Trey Jackson as a goofier Alex Davis who receives first part blessing from Mariah Carey's Fantasy, music supervision that sings to how we are the ones engaging at a remove while these dudes have lived this magic. Trey begins with clips on a flatbar, flat gap and flat ground, then pops the Video's Cherry on Sun Trust Ledges footy. In Jackson we have a highly -competent body varialer who also gets nice on a variety of horizontal spots, some quite tall. Also, Brooklyn Banks and the EL GATO SPOT that Galen, Miles and Gigliotti loved while Kosta stayed in the car shows up! I wonder if 2012 will be a high water mark for cuffed pants footage.

Erich Bielefeldt lets us know this roller party is only heating up as he kick flip nose slides a handrail and goes Head Over Heels with Tears for Fears. We observe the construction progression at the DIY pitch, Erich does a flip trick between semi truck backs and rolls out through an open side door. He is really good and Frozen in Carbonite said he gets boards from someone but this is a cell phone video so its hard to make out specifics like board graphics. He does a manual at the top of the Brooklyn Banks and hippie jumps the chain switch. He does a back tail on rail and has two kickflip to grind enders that show his remarkable board control. This video is a great document of these medium sized handrails in unique shapes that the Cell Out Boys are determined to shred every time they see one on every side street. It is a rail mastery arguably as difficult as the commercially popular big and long, though Erich gets down on the big and long too. I found myself thinking of Vincent Bressol during this video part.

More than most, skaters find themselves in close calls with cars, conversations with the recently unincarcerated, and Friends Sections. TLC as the soundtrack is a rarer decision that continues the theme of songs to which your girl can have fun dancing. This one dude in a nice outfit skates this sick spot he made out his front door. There's a chill back lip pop out that deserves the self- celebration. Jake Johnson has a trick. There is one dude whose two tricks are both down a triple set: pop shove tail grab and double flip. Note the impressive scooter riding. Witness the gap to lip slides that mark the pinnacle of the fall's flannel clad downtown night sessions.

Ty Beal is the truck stop rose who begins his part by falling in all manner of ways then shows the gain that follows the pain. I feel like Pat Burke and Ty would get along if they already don't. Again, great soundtrack - This one "That's the sound of the Men working on the chain gang." Ty's shirts fit him well and he does fashionable things like going to the Brooklyn Art Museum ledges for back lipslide shove in a line. He could pass for a Londoner. His pants are often shredded. J.P. Donleavy's The Gingerman

Pole dancing, dribbling the spider and controlled ice sliding mark Will Rosenstock's second to last part. He skates to Madonna's Like a Prayer. The skateboard sounds are the angel's sighs. Will skates Marlo's spot from the Wire. Observe suitable use of a car tow in. There's double angles of this flatbar to stair set up that is deliberately a sick challenge, a triple set ollie, flat gap lines, this ollie to wallie that leaves one wonder if deliberate or an amazingly fast creative adaption, then ends with a commentary on his earlier tow-in to turn the page.

Do you recognize that it's Gilbert Crockett writing his name in piss? The best trick in the video occurs at the beginning of this part when a dark haired babe in a sweater rolls off a curb. We return to cocaine beats in stereo for these pro quality tricks at the spots we've grown familiar with throughout the video. Nickatina's lyrics match Gilbert ducking a chain, then Gilbert demonstrates how to slide back lips really long. He does a back smith no comply, then continues the line at this chill bank spot with painted yellow lines at top and bottom. The fakie flip on the steep bank, knocking over obstacles as he lands tricks, ollies between hotel rooms, the stand up 5-0 and so on.

The credits song is Damn is feels good to be a Gangster. There is a line in nature that shows these dudes are in the state parks rather than Girl's studio space. There are no bonus features because this is an adult production that has already given us more than we deserve.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chicago's Finest Part 1

Chicago's Finest Part 1 1:30 pm Thursday I traveled west, one hour earlier in time. In a search to be with the most beautiful girl in the Chicago area, I text Amelia Pool, hit Molly Soda on twitter and take the Blue Line from O'Hare to the Damen stop, near Jeremy Tubbs's apartment, where I had stayed before and would stay again. There was a 4 dollar burrito deal since it was a Thursday and I hadn't eaten since leaving my New York apartment at 9am that morning. Tubbs was at work until 9:30pm so I decided to spend the day at work too. I had 50 Dollar Stories in a ziplock bag so I began to walk up and down the six corner streets pulling my Supreme bag on wheels. I was wearing black Corduroy Supreme posse hat, big green Polo shirt from Thando, black Levis from Ryan, and Composition Book print Vans from Rise on their last, shoe goo'ed steps. The day was sunny and warm enough. I asked the first six people who said no, then I approached a boy and a girl walking toward me as the girl walked a bicycle. I said: "Short stories. One dollar apiece." The boy said No Thanks. I turned to the girl. "What about you?" She said yes. I said you can choose from 10. She said, the most popular one. I handed her 2 dollar dances as she searched into her backpack for a dollar that I put into the ziplock bag. I thanked her and kept walking with my bag strap in one hand and sack of stories in the other. There was consistent foot traffic but not too crowded. I made eye contact whenever possible and was more likely to avoid people on phones or using headphones. Some people keep their cash more or less convenient based on how rich they are. I wondered which vintage store held Molly Soda inside of it. Another girl locking up a bicycle asked if I had written any of them and I sold her On Leave. Most people had bags. My rate of success was about 10 percent though thorough canvassing and constant speech. I walked past an outdoor cafe section and I said "Short Stories One Dollar apiece. Amazing Value for Amazing Literature." I didn't stop walking so that I wouldn't be too needy, then I turned as I heard someone say something. It was a pretty girl younger than me. She had a dollar in hand. "What do I choose from." I pulled out my quiver and she wanted the one about the army. I told her I wrote that one. She asked if there was contact information, I said yes and she said she would contact me. I went into St. Jerome where one of the workers paid for his and his friends Copy of the one about the strip club and we talked as I looked around. The two best pieces in the store were Dead Stock Nom de Guerre shirts for like 200. I had not sold enough dollar stories to afford them, but earlier that morning I had packed Nom De Guerre's James Joyce Ulysses tee shirt and showed him that which was folded in my bag. On my way out I picked up a Frank 151 that had a photo of Tabatha and her Dad and one of a BMX rider at the old Manhattan Bridge Park pyramid. One worker knew Jeremy Tubbs and had been to the Moontower (should have asked which one but was happy enough to hear the word). On the corner by the shell I gave Robert Norman's to a young boy waiting for a bus who said he liked wrestling. At the Division and Chicago Ave stop I told a girl with only enough for bus fare to pick one and she chose the pink one. I sold one to a woman who realized how amazing of a Deal One Dollar Is. Whenever there is a pretty woman buying my stories I generally want to sell her mine. I can sell Josh with good enthusiasm too. Two guys in front of a bar said no but the third guy said said for sure and that he was always down to support a hustler. I sold him Joe Koplowitz's Real Americans. When a rainstorm hit I took a cross street into the direction of Uprise. There was a really hot girl smoking a cigarette walking the opposite direction right before I reached the shot but she said no. Mike at Uprise bought 4 copies for the shop and gave me a copy of Uprise, Chicago's Finest. The rain let up and I hit the streets again, where I made 20 more sales throughout the late evening to everyone from parents to pretty girls to veterans to crust punks. Around dark it started rain. I ducked into Urban Outfitters to look for K Merrel Judy but didn't see her. It was more awkward to carry my rolling bag around an establishment than the streets. I had to do something and stood under and awning and watched the rain. Then I remembered I had passed a Lomo Camera store and a sign had advertised an opening party. I walked down that way and was there on the early side. I asked for a 16oz Pabst and tipped a dollar from my 33 story sales and looked around. I remembered the set Stephanie shot including the one of me kissing Katy with my gold teeth that was my myspace profile picture for some time. There was deep dish Chicago pizza and hot dogs with all of the chicago trimmings and there was hard alcohol too had I been in the mood. I kicked it there for over 100 ounces but the food kept me drunk rather than wasted. I talked to some girls with varying levels of success and gave my last two to two who said they wrote. I went home back to Jeremy's once he was there on roads that were drying up. He headed to Indianapolis and left me with the key to his room. I went to sleep easily on his comfortable bed before midnight. I talked to his roommate for a minute again about videos then he had work. In the morning Andy Sisemboune was on the Sofa. He offered me coffee which I took black and he played football while I wrote messages to girls on Okcupid. We watched #miAmor then he made chicken and rice and salad for lunch. Then we watched the Uprise Video (not available online), which gives first part to Jackson Hennessey doing a tail drop in that basically up there with Josh Zickert's Natty K drop in as gnarliest tricks done this millennium and some other gangster shit that is legendary like the back nose grind the full postal service bench or drop in on the Picasso sculpture. My family came into town so I directed them to Tubbs's where they picked me up and we drove into their Suisshotel, which had fruits flavored water in the lobby that I filled up my vitamin bottle water with. Even though I preferred the raspberry and blueberry combination on sight, taste went to the oranges, since slider, flavored the water stronger. We passed a couple nice black marble ledges right beside that hotel, and gap to ledges too, and caught the school bus to the convention center somewhere an interstate ride away from the hotel. It took about 15 minutes and we passed Shedd Aquarium and I sat beside Tyler. We got out at the place and there was a man wearing a Supreme hat at the bottom of the escalators. We went up like 5 flights of escalators and I tossed a penny down to the bottom and didn't wish for anything but watched it fall to a distant splash. I got a free 5 hour energy bottle that I stashed for the morning of the race, pink for breast cancer awareness. There were some other samples of fine consequence and some candy. Everything besides the free samples was out of my budget. There was a place selling "nearly new shoes" for 50 dollars. If they really wanted to offer people a deal they would make it cheaper though 50 may have been a first day price. Nike had printed a thing where every runner could find his name so he circled it in sharpie we took from Bank of America. Then back to the hotel where we ate salsa mom made from Garden product with tortilla chips and sun chips and watched the Cardinals beat the Braves. Then we drove to a place with thin crust pizza where I drank water and we ordered a white cheese pizza and a fiorentini with sausage and peppers. The waitress may have been into my brother. My parents dropped me off at Pat Binkleys, where we he was with Andy and we drank a beer then skated to the mini ramp in a garage which is close by. 2/3rds of the mini ramp was covered with building materials and partial construction. One part of the 4 foot was in effect. I strapped on my knee brace and did my basic tricks like back and front rocks, backside axle stalls kinda consistently now finally though I still don't stand over them, fake frontside and backside kickturns to rock to fake and got a front disaster, which did not end in disaster though I did kind of fold my knee on one try, but I was ultimately fine and a relief to feel each twisting fall as not being catastrophic and I consider yoga and a brace and not drinking and skating to thank. I landed the front disaster a couple tries later then concentrated on filming as Binkley did a bunch of shit and Andy worked for some cool shit. Then we went back to the streets and skated flat in front of his house for a minute then Andy dipped one way and BInkley and I went to get beers then back to his house to drink 24s and watch the New Escapist video Red and Yellow which features those Kansas city banks and Sean Malto shares a part and there is some dude Aguilar and generally high caliber skating and dudes putting on for their city. We drank our first 24s apiece, then split the third 24 and saved the other 24 for later. I showed Binkley my shredded shoes and he offered me a pair of Emerica Gablers that were good to go, and so we went out the door, to Inner Town Tavern, which was okay for a beer and BInkley said it was usually more busy, so we went to Rainbo room, which was busy. Both bars so far had 2 dollar pints of Pabst, so that was cool and we stashed our boards at both places. Rainbo room was mostly standing room and one Died Blonde girl with an up do and red lips I talked to her and a friend cockblocked but I persisted a minute later and this girl, a visitor from Columbus Ohio insisted that the girl was not her friend and we mentioned friends from Columbus and our course she knew Franz, then we talked about New York and we mentioned Uncle Marty and going to London and she disappeared with friends she was staying with and last call happened after a couple beers and we headed out when told to and peed around the corner and some dudes asked if we wanted to do white and we declined and went back to in front of the bar and talked to some girl with bangs who skated and the homie Nate who skated and was slamming trying to do a nollie 360 shove in 10 tries for 5 dollars but did it in 20 tries anyway and we all kept skating flat on cruisers and making bets on like nollie flipping in five tries and any car that was mad at our games of skate was driving too fast anyway. A cute girl passed on her bicycle and Nate knew her and she was going to ride home to smoke a bowl before anything and I invited myself over but she declined and said to meet her at the Contintental so we skated flat for some more then Nate got us a cab to the Continental Bar, the Conti, where we went upstairs first for beer and shot. There is pool but I would rather not play so I take bathroom break and dance to Magic Man then Pat and I head downstairs and dance to Pulp and I ask the blonde bartender on a date and she says no thanks. Out front after last call we talk to three hot girls, one of whom knows Steve Fauser and recognizes Binkley from when he walks his dog Max past where she eats brunch. Nate knows the Russian girl from when she used to work at the bagel shop. A cute girl at a bagel shop is an amazing sight in the morning. Binkley and I skate home where we pass out pretty fast after eating some pizza, he on his bed, me on the wooden futon. I wake up early with the sun on my black on the black snack man tee. I read from Dave Carnie's Boob, where he makes good fun of religion and features a surreal vulgar road trip in its earliest pages. A shit and a double flush (Juicy J voice) and I've clogged Binkley's toilet. He feels terrible and hungover in the morning already. My parents swing by and we drive past some nice ledges by the Lincoln Park apple store to the Franks N Dawgs where I had some Thai dog and pretzel crusted cheese curds and Neko Case played as we ate. Pat is still sleepy when I'm back so I meet with Nate to take the bus to the Damen spot where we pass the Big Star Tacos across from Penny's noodles. He ask if I care to stop in there and I wonder if he's getting a taco even when we end up at the bar. Where he orders us each a shot of the day and a mini schlitz and a glass of water to silence the shakes. He reads Shaggy's Dollar Story then we skate to Uprise where he buys a new board and shoes then back to Damen blue line downtown to LaSalle where we get out and find the black Wendy's ledge with blossom of square ledges around it. We get nice slides and not kicked out as long as we wish. It is slightly rounded and slick and we avoid very painful falls and Nate suggests we leave after I land my switch front board. Then we go to the car gate bank with the diagonal paint job. No one works mans the adjacent guard station and the nails at bottom prove reasons to plan that leads to better skating instead of annoying obstacles. Dudes have gotten nice on it, Isak Buan should do a wallie Stalefish over it, I settle for carves, ollies and rock to fakie while Nathan films. Then we go to an alleyway bank to bumper that he suitably describes as a Puleo spot where we each get something. We part ways and I give him one of Pete's Dollar Stories for the train ride home and I skate along sidewalks in the end of daylight past a bunch of great ledge spots and over the river to Maggiano's for 6:30 reservations where Adam Schwartz's face is the first one I see outside beside my dad, brother and Mom. Adam's sister, mother and girlfriend are inside with Jen, her daughter and mother, our next destination.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Opening Ceremony

While it rains on Saturday evening Mooney and I go to his, where I pick up the new QuarterSnacks black back Snackman tee in XL. It feels Amazing on me, like a dream come true. I have on an all black kit. We listen to Future and I text all the sexy girls I know to see whats good. Eugenie gives me 57 Walker St address of art opening which means free drinks so Mooney and I prepare to leave his. The Snackman graphic on my back looks so good that I leave my backpack at Mooney's to show off the Snackman on my back. I leave my Clash Skateboard too since it's still raining. We walk downtown in the drizzle and listen to Future on my phone, then get to the art show where there are two floors and the alcohol choice between Brooklyn bottles and Prosecco so Mooney and I pull bottles from icey tub then I pop the caps with lighter and find Eugenie in the back sitting down. In the year after knee surgeries I am always down to take a rest so we do some talking and see some other people. Mooney says he is developing a taste for Brooklyn beer since we keep having it at openings but he will still not pay money for it. Sandy Kim has taken many photos of breasts in situations and some other cool things. Eugenie is not holding a beer and I ask if she drinks and she says Not beer and I tell her there is prosecco and she goes up for a glass. The beer is in no worry of running out and we are six bottles deep, well on the way to 100+ ounce goal, by the time we make it downstairs, where Nolema is with her friend Ira and we talk to them all and pick up one of Tyler Healy's print outs and see Egg Yolk's melted popsicle corner, all blue besides one orange. Mooney hypothesizes this is a race discussion. I talk to Sage and Marin for a minute, then see them later with Carly Mark and we talk about how much Roctakon likes the treats she brought him from Paris. She tells me to make sure to have Roctakon pass her along a Dollar Story. She can also pick them up at American Two Shot. Thando comes, Valentine comes, Jorge is there, Maggie Lee has video art, Riot Chris is still straightedge. Kosta arrives right when things are ending, in a tan Lands End rain jacket very much like the one I used to wear before a black Krink marker busted in the pocket years ago. I should sew a different color pocket over that jacket since I have it in Indiana and we follow Thando's suggestion of Patriot Bar en route to the Wang Party. On the way I stop to introduce myself to a girl who has found a resting position on a window ledge that suits her angular body very well so I stop and tell her things. She is rolling a cigarette then I see she is rolling herb into it as well and I ask if I may share and she says sure. A true SF girl, smoking loud in public 8 years into New York and she runs a literary journal so we have plenty in common and she lets on that she has a boyfriend, which is considerate. She encourages I smoke the first half of the joint myself, also considerate and she asks who I'm listening to on my phone as I say Future, the song Astronaut Chick and she says she'll have to download it when she gets home. When we say goodbye she remembers my name and even though I don't remember hers I have the courage to ask what it is again, and I just take her full name into my phone to play it safest even though I feel like we'll see each other again too even though I haven't found her on Facebook yet. I meet up with the team again at Patriot Bar. A beer there, cheap prices, Ty comes through, friendly bartenders, I pick up like 5 buffalo wings from a tray someone was done with and the team goes in. Valentine doesn't realize they are leftovers and says that they are cold. I have one dollar on my person and have to save card money for rent so could not have bought an order of wings even if I wanted to and we explain the situation to her. Then we go check out the Wang party but don't bother trying the door as Mooney's connect is slow to respond and people are only getting entrance when people leave, but why would anyone leave, so we head back northwest. We pass the smoking crowds outside Tribeca Grand and stop at Soho Grand where Thando and I go up to check out the party on the second floor near where I met with Arnaud for Carhartt interview for which I should have worn looser pants and entertained Arnaud's offer of breakfast. Thando points out how well our outfits work tonight, since I am white and wearing the black Snackman tee and Thando is black wearing the White Snackman tee and some Supreme Dunks. The black doorman looks at Thando in this weird way then Thando tells the white door girl the deejay's name and we are in. We walk through and wish it was open bar because the decor is nice but the scene is not too crowded so we can't just cruise up on a bottle so we meet back up with Mooney Kosta and Valentine outside then start walking toward Jane. Thando supports my buzz with a street beer from the deli by where Liz used to live. Valetine grabs her bike and rides off to Night People at Le Bain then Kosta turns around when we're about to be at the Jane. Inside at Jane we pass the line and go to Grandpa in the dj booth and he gives us drink tickets. I use mine on Vodka gimlets. I use my last cash on first round tip and cannot go to my card tonight. Then later I tip change from my Anti Hero coin purse which I know is worthless to the bartenders but feel better about myself at least giving them something as the 13 dollar drinks go down very nicely/potently. Buzz Lightyear. I don't come up on any babes at Jane as usual but have a fine time as usual and talk to Miyako which is always a pleasure. Thando leaves at some point and this is when the night gets hazy. Mooney and I split a whiskey shot on our last drink ticket and then i bet we left and headed toward the Fish though i don't remember. I do remember being so fucking tired on the subway home and kinda feel like I may have taken two trains somehow and had to stay awake so I didn't miss my stops. I do remember getting off the subway at Halsey to morning light and running home so I could go to sleep sooner. I had taken off my knee brace at some point and was carrying that. I woke up to my Computer as an alarm, so I must have realized before I went to sleep that I didn't have my phone. When I skated with Roctakon earlier Saturday he had told me I drink too much, later in the day Mooney disagreed with that statement and I wonder if me not having a phone is proof of that. THe front of my Flip Cam is now missing the Battery protector but the video machine still works despite that, even though I have to tape the batteries in place now. Then I wake up, make sandwiches for work at the house, also pack an orange and some carrots along with water in a Gatorade bottle then take the bus to work my shift very well off 4 hours sleep. You have to be very mindful when moving product while on a ladder since that shit can be dangerous, then I head home and hit up Mooney on twitter to see where I should meet him that night. I text with Michelle on Ryan's phone about her plans for the night since I may go to Montreal with her the next day. She is saying Fish. Twitter looks like Mooney's at a y3 party though I don't have an address and I talk to Eugenie on Facebook chat as I wait to hear back from Mooney on the situation and chomp a carrot. Eugenie is mentioning Opening Ceremony thing then Mooney tells me to go to Webster Hall so I split a spliff with Ryan and take the Snackman cruiser and my red Supreme backpack out the door. I'm wearing two new Polo shirts and polo Tennis shorts and white Nike indoor soccer shoes with hair in ponytail and bobby pins. If I was Mooney I would tell girls I am a pro tennis player. I have a nice seat on the subway which is good for my knee but then the train gets crowded and I help the aged to offer my seat to an older woman, since if you don't do it, nobody else may do it either. I get off at 1st Ave to be on Manhattan streets ASAP and skate around to hit Webster Hall from the West. The block is hot and I step off my board and scan faces then see Austin Peters walking in with his girl. I yell his name and he hears me but he is being hurried in as door men keep shuffling me along another way so I loop around and approach the door like Austin did but with Snackman cruiser on my arm instead of a babe. Some worker calls me young man and tells me I have to move away as I'm getting my bag ready and I tell him I'm going in so he says okay. I walk to the door and girls younger than me with iPads are confirming names. I say Austin Peters and she says okay enjoy your night. The entry is crowded and the crowd shuffles in slower than I would like but progress happens. I walk into the bigger ground level room and loop first floor looking for Mooney. I see Benny Zooted and Mike Avedon, who says he went to high school with Lauren Piven so now I know she grew up in the city and Mike and I talk about Matt Avedon for a minute and we talk about the US Open. Zooted and I talk about the sweaty Triple Six show then I see Jenny Correa who says she saw Roctakon and encourages me to get a drink so I head toward a bar. I see Austin Peters and tell him how I got in then he tells me it's open bar and I get a beer like he has. Ashasi poured from bottle into plastic cup. I see Amir beside me at the bar wearing a black collared shirt. I see Sky and we talk about our approaching court date, then I suggest we head upstairs even though I saw Zooted and Avedon go downstairs I had heard a girl's voice say "upstairs" earlier. The second level is the main stage standing roomspace with DJs up front, a balcony area up and around. I see Roc and Carly in the middle back of floor, Roc in Camo, having fun dancing. Roc takes my photo first and it's good to know I look good. I can talk to Roc anytime but talking to Carly is a rarer treat but the space is so loud it is hard to talk though we make effort. The most effective way is to speak right into someone's ear. "To be famous is so nice. Suck my dick. Kiss my ass. In limousines we have sex. Every night with my famous friends." Harsh Euro Barge was my introduction to Miss Kitten but Roctakon knew about her before then. I kinda dance but dancing is kind of tiring and my heart isn't in it though a wandering dancing babe gives me attention. I twirl some circles and see Josh Zickert and I wonder if he knows I am the person who wrote the Natty K review on QuarterSnacks. I wander up to the third level and it becomes apparent there is a new party in every different room of this entire Hall, like 20 parties in the whole building and one room filled with roses and comfortable chairs and if I had my phone I would text Valentine, instead I film footage since flowers looks dope on flip cam footy. I grab another beer and head back to the second floor where a fast paced remix of Video Games draws me to the Dance floor until that song ends too soon and I head toward the stairs where I see Sage and Marin, both looking as fine as ever for the second night in a row. It is so loud that Marin doesn't hear me say hi, so I stand beside Marin for a second as she looks into her phone then she senses my presence and we talk about how good the Rap CDs she donated to friends were. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, Diplomatic Immunity, Lil Jon and 20 other discs of similar quality. I worked too late before they were gone. How many girls do you know know who have bought rap like that? Marin and I talk about what we did last night after we last saw each other and I admit I lost my phone. Marin says she is sorry, that she lost her phone in a cab at the same damn time last night probably but got hers back today. She has eye make up with lines going up at the edges of her eyes and I wonder about her eye make up and if she will do that in five years. I hope that at least on occasion she will. This Opening Ceremony 10 year anniversary party will never happen again and the open bar will go till last call. I have not broken my 20 that I withdrew because Mooney advised me to never withdraw more than 20 from the ATM at once is the best way to be responsible when poor or anytime. Marin announces she wants another drink as I say Me too and we head to the bar with Sage and Sammy, Claude's friend. Marin is drinking pineapple and vodka something so I place her order and my beer. I show her a clip of the room with roses. I ask if Sage wants anything while the bartender is around but Marin says Sage doesn't drink. As I am standing at the bar I see Katy standing eight people to the right from me, white, blonde, older than my memories. I have not seen her in like 3 years and she doesn't see me yet, but she is standing beside Daria who does and who smiles and waves. Katy and I do not make eye contact but I bet Daria identifies me to her and then Marin's and my drinks come and Marin invites me to come along so I walk away without making eye contact with Katy and no effort at further approach from me. I tell Marin how I got in using Austin Peters' name and she says she and Austin used to date years ago. I tell her I just saw my ex-girlfriend across the bar who I hadn't seen in four years and wonder if I should have said "an ex-girlfriend" to sound less attached. We walk as Marin texts with Carly to find out where she and Roc went. I see Marin's phone's Hello Kitty background so show her my Hello Kitty key holder. She asks me if I found the keys and I point to myself to show her they are mine. She likes. It is so loud. We dance some as Dave Moche and Deering are there then Princess SuperStar starts rapping with a dance troupe and i start to wander again. Catherine's white face stands out to me and I walk toward her then realize she's standing beside TJ Carlissimo closer to me so I say whats up to him first, hug since we haven't seen each other in over a year and I have a Snackman cruiser in one hand and drink in the other. TJ is wearing dark clothes and I try to make out his shoes. We do our best to talk over the sound. He has no drink and I ask if he is drinking these days. He says he's waiting on drinks then Clark Hassler arrives with four drinks for their quartet. There are few sights more pleasant than Clark arriving with the handful of drinks. I give him a cheers with my beer, which is easier than hand shakes, especially since I have a scrape on my palm and point to my ear to signal how difficult talking is and he agrees. Someone hands Deering a colorful plastic eggs that he twists open to reveal a smaller egg. Inside that egg is a small square box and inside that a folded silver plastic package which Deering tucks into his breast pocket to move our minds. Another beer and I wonder about work tomorrow. I go to the basement where there is some ASAP sounding rap playing and I see the oldest man I have seen at the party looking at me and think about talking to him but keep it moving. The restroom downstairs has an attendant who keeps the paper towels flowing and I get another two beers at the bar since I had to wait so long to order. I go upstairs and see Danielle sitting down so talk to her and use her phone to text Michelle where I am. Michelle says she's going to Sway and I say maybe I'll go there in an hour though I'm feeling less like I'll leave this place and I still haven't seen Mooney and I don't know how Michelle could get in here. Danielle tells me there are free cookies up at this Magnolia stand so I go up there and pick up two and am also given a petite cupcake that I give to Danielle on the way back and she's smoking her e-cigarette and i try two hits and she talks about all the drugs she is on and we tell stories for some time. The girl who danced with me at first sits down beside us and I tell Danielle that girl danced with me. Danielle asks if I want to dance and I tell her no and tell her how I didn't want to dance with the other girl either so it isn't personal. My left knee surgery story is kind of wild and she hadn't heard it. I grab some more cookies from Momofuku Milk bar and put them in my backpack and there is coconut water coffee that I put bottles in my bag too, just loading my bag up to capacity for the future, the house and work tomorrow. Fully stocked, I go for a beer but they are now out of beer so I switch to vodka and juices with caution. I go upstairs and see Fat Bill in an Adidas tracksuit with Chloe Sevigny but they are talking to other people too and I figure I'll see them later again. There is a room that is a recreation of Sway, long and Narrow and Ben Cho is there playing the Smiths of course since it is Sunday and I wish I could get Michelle into this party and wonder what it is like if she is actually at Sway. I see Maggie Lee by a bathroom line in an adidas track jacket too and we wait together and talk about Ryan and Sydney and her work with Bill and how we both have backpacks. We go into the one private bathroom together when our turn comes and Maggie shoots a photo then I turn away while she goes, then I go and we are washed, then kiss on the lips then she puts her tongue in my mouth then someone knocks at the door then we head out, where Maggie changes her film and she starts talking to someone else so I keep it moving. Allen Ying is there now in Sway room of course and he says Paulgar got him in. I see Paulgar a few minutes later with Bill and Chloe and it is a great treat to see Paulgar though of course conversation is still difficult but it's better outside the sway room where you take a right like you're heading to party ledge, which is where I talk to Chloe for a minute. I ask her if she remembers when she and Roctakon went on a date to Grand Central Station Oyster Bar and she says yes, that she loves Andy and we talk about him being there tonight. Chloe kinda is looking into her phone and I wonder if she knows my name. She announces that she cannot find her date and I say "You should make me your date" but it is too loud for her to hear me and I do not repeat myself and leave her looking into her phone. I head to main floor while Lil Kim is rapping and people are waving large flags. The last time I saw Kim was with Gucci Mane at Stadium. I see Roctakon and Carly have taken good sitting perched vantage points with Ross One and HVN looking lovely and happy to see me, haven't since her birthday girls. Then I say Hello to Ross, which is the most we can say when it is this loud and then all these silver balloons in the shape of stars fall from the ceiling, like one thousand or two thousand of them, and hands bounce them for a while in strobe lighting then people stomp them and I wander through the crowd and stomp them and I wonder if someone in heels will twist an ankle or knee on the less stable surfaces. Back on the entry level I dance to No Diggity walking around and it's nice to hear Money Power Respect and All About the Benjamins. "I'm trying to cop those Colossal sized Picassos" is one of the best rap lines. I pick up a rose and have it sticking out of my backpack. Then back up by Roctakon I see Thando and Ty and some babes. Since Thando and Mooney are roommates and co-producers of 21 Sprung Street I know I can go home with Thando and pick up my things. He says Mooney left already. People are giving out colorful lights to strap on our fingers and I get Thando and me a few more drinks. I talk to a girl in Jordans who says she is waiting on her boyfriend but she is still down to talk and I end up selling her a Dollar Story, then sell a Dollar Story to the downstairs bathroom attendant then give one to one of the bartenders who was nice. Then Ty and Thando and I walk downtown and Thando convinces me to not go to Montreal the next day with Michelle since I should not leave the country when I have less than 100 dollars to my name, especially considering how I have the opportunity to make money if I stay in New York for two more days until the US Open ends. As Cam'ron says, "I'd rather do business than pleasure," so I text Michelle the next day and know she'll understand and I'll go to Montreal in the Spring when my knee is even better. I wonder if my next phone will be Clay's old iPhone when he gets the new one. I kinda want to go to phone Cex and pick up a blackberry so I can have two phones like a dope boy. I pick up my bag and board from Spring Street so now I have two boards and two bags at 4:15am. I blast up first Ave on Snackman cruiser and get to L and see two police right in the station. I see the next Brooklyn L is coming in one minute. I swipe my metro card but the turnstile stops my stomach and I see the reader says INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. I hear the train coming and if I go to the machine to buy another card I'll miss the train and the next one is 28 minutes away and it is 4:20am already and I have to be at work at Flushing Meadows by noon and I need to go to Grand Central in the morning before that to pick up a check and deposit it so I can pay rent 10 days late. The police are not looking at me and I do not have any drugs on me so I duck under the turnstile, but the turnstile opens my backpack so Dollar Stories, cookies and coconut water bottles spill along the ground and I still have my wallet and metro card in hand as I frantically try to place everything onto my Clash board as a collection plate, which I somehow do, and carry bags, boards and it all downstairs and onto the train, where I put all the goods back in my bag as I ride the ten stops to Halsey again and at least it is still dark when I get off the train this time and go to sleep for 4 hours again before waking up with my computer as an alarm clock. I leave my house at 10:17 in the morning which is obviously all you need to know to know that today was going to be a good day.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Flowers He Left Have All Died

Chity is a video made within Chicago city limits with a part from Pat Binkley. You're welcome to read this whole thing, but that information was all I needed to know to buy this video, which you can do here Let's open the recycled paper sleeve and take a look inside.

For a video indebted to its geographical constraints, Chity fittingly opens with some slightly grainy shots of Chicagoan architecture as the skaters' names appear. Nancy Sinatra sings about living in the past, which relates to how street skating thrives on remastering already mastered landscapes. Depending on whom you're talking to, the Marina City Towers are the corncob shaped pair from Mindfield or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Manufactured light reflects on water. The first human in this video is a window washer. As the sonic buildup crescendos, the curtain rises and skating enters, first with a trick done up a set of stairs. These Alley Boys skate Frank Lloyd Wright's City at Night, do nose manuals on banks, skitch on busses. These are (white) skaters in their mid twenties with at least a decade of skating under their belts, doing better tricks than ever with a tendency away from verticality and more toward pushing horizontal barriers with the help of the speed and finesse that confidence grants.

A wrecking ball destroys the fourth wall and Elliott Zelinskas starts us off with a wide stance, slighty beatnik look and street gap nollie. A ye ye girl sings over brass and reverb as Elliot continues a line to include a horsedrawn carriage and skates on sidewalk grates as fresh incorporation of anti-terrain. Bright parking garages are sometimes the closest we get to daylight. Sean Culllen joins the party with an outfit so good he filmed multiple lines in it. He does a memorably smooth back tail to fakie and some combination of factors brought Aaron Szott to my mind, though Cullen's hair is longer than the conservative cuts that The Economist favors. This one guest skater is a party boy in white v-neck with both kness ripped out of jeans who does a chill switch line. Zelinskas returns to showcase his back 360 talent in a pair of Wallabees. No complies and back 5-0s receive love and the quality of tricks is high at the end of the part, with a switch front wallride ender at the big, famous wallride sculpture thing that Jackson Hennessey dropped in on. I feel like these guys kick it with girls who go to music shows.

Tucker Philllips and Adam Mills come next. Everyone sessions this concave fountain spot with pleasant results. Ollie over nose manuals are a classic demonstration of commitment and balance. There is a wallie on a tree, another fountain spot, a zip zinger for a rough spot and loud ollie to wallrides on this pulldown grate. Hammer gloves appear when skating a spot with grass in cracks. I cannot overstate how many good ledge spots appear in this video. There is a sick nose bonk, a trick on the Sea Wall, gnarly underpasses, obstacles that were there that day, a gap to nose grind stall, multivelel mannies and combo ledge tricks. The kickflip ender on a mosaic train station entrance is dreamy.

When this lady steps on a board, she wants her hands held so it looks like she's dipping in a slow dance when she loses her balance. Fan favorite G-Baby skates to his theme song from the Dixie Cups. They sing lines like "he's the best" that speak to the action in the part. He skates this cool spot at a Chanel store in a variety of ways. Lizard King, Daniel Lutheran and Conner Champion come to mind as G-Baby doesn't let a grass landing stop him from rolling away from a trick, then back nosegrind reverts a ledge through a flower bed. There's a spot that is the Chicago equivalent of the Garvey Park flatbars. G-Baby grinds up and back down on a bridge support. He does a kickflip bs nosegrind wiggle out that brought Weiss to my mind, The smile on G-Baby's face after Varial heelflipping out of a long back 5-0 is enough to remind anyone nitpicking the cleanliness of his rollaway that he has ended his part with a Van Wastell tribute trick.

You know those metal banks that typically have guards in booths beside them to let the bank down should a car need to pass? Tim Johnson does wallie over one of those to start his part. A few tricks later he does a slappie crooks under a bridge that Janoski would like. Nollie tres are a good look. The low-fi song is a cool change of pace and T.J. does a grind to transfer to the top of the ledge he was grinding. The way buildings loom in the background of lines at night is an effect to exploit. Red sky at night, skater's delight. There is a switch wallie back 5050 on a rainbow ledge then a 5050 down a curve ledge that mine a terrain vein most often explored by Eli Reed. Tan pants and navy blue shirt are a stylish and functional outfit for getting dirty.

Tom Gallagher skates transition in his brief part. He is probably important to the scene and wears a shirt from Yeah Board Shop which a couple other people rep throughout as well.

Austin Whiting wears a Girl t-shirt during a couple of his tricks, which I mention because it is rare to see a logo tee in this video. He does a line at a school named after Federico Garcia Lorca and we turn into a friends section at some point. Some dude with dreads kills it with some big tricks that look great on their own and also sort of highlight how comparatively rare gap and stair skating is in this production. Whiting does a kickflip nose manny under the sculpture of Marilyn Monroe's blowing dress. We see a cellar door that is at once a spot and a symbol. Look for Dan Zvereff. There is a sick nollie heel out of a nose manual. Melcher and Jub would fit right in here but do not appear. This dude who reminds me of Ross Hammerschlag does a sick back 5050 on a rail against a wall and some other daredevilry. I cannot see a lion statute without thinking of Nick Jenson's recent Blueprint photo ad. Nollie back bigspin a skreet gap is a rare trick that looks better here than it could have and there's a big front shove at this multi level spot a lot of dudes skate that looks fun.

Pat Devine skates to some gothic chamber music about Killing Cops, does a back lip kf out, filmed while nursing an injured paw, does a bs noseblunt, probably likes Nestor Judkins, and does a boss bs flip switch manny. He sometimes wears collar under crew neck, likes his bank tricks, does a step off flip up stairs, and has a multi-combo ender at the multi level spot that he deserves a treat for landing.

Now here is the part I have been waiting for, that of PAT BINKLEY. With Lee Hazlewood covering vocals, Pat starts off with a bs ng pop out tribute to Photosynthesis then bsts 270 shove it. He lands a ssbsts in front of a babe. He does a bsng bs 180 out in the middle of the ledge like that one by Danny LeBron's friend in the Best of QS 2011 clip. Binkley wears his hat backwards sometimes, forward sometimes just like he skates regular and switch both with skill. He does a switch heelz up a curb that looks really great, then switch front blunts to switch to remind us that he is really good at ledge tricks most of us never reach the level of attempting. He skates a sweaty grey shirt because it's hot in the summers in Chicago. He skate ledges in the heart of the city, then ledges in the cuts along the El line where instead of getting by on how good the spot looks with some basic trick, Binkley blesses the ledge with a switch bs180 nosegrind back to switch. He wears this red flannel with blue jeans outfit that reminds me of one Marquez wore for some Ziegfeld lines. These are ledge tricks that would be sick on any box taken to manly street spots. There are a couple clips that end with a missed flatground trick, an accurate portrayal of how skaters push fun and demonstration to the limit where rolling proves impossible.

Paul Stacey has long hair and does long ollies. He lands a trick then runs into a tree. He takes us to their Pilsen schoolyard spot with two consecutive 3 up 3 downs. He gets buck on less than ideal manual spots and feels comfortable in harsh industrial spaces. He wears a coach's jacket for some clips like a manual 360 flip, then ollies over this cool cube to drop. He does progressive tricks up consecutive sets of stairs then a wild wallie back biggspin over a jersey barrier. He wears a drug rug while he back heels a street gap, then for his ender does a sick bs flip over another one with obvious speed and shows control on his rollaway.

Ever since Lizard King dedicated his Deathwish Nose Yank to Satan, this maneuver has been deemed an acceptable intro to a skate part by the Dark Lords of Gnar so long as further carnage ensues.

And lest you think these boys would let a whole video go by without a rap song, Dalba enters the picture skating to 2pac when he is more pissed off than he is on Hit Em Up.

Dalba is the skate game's brawling bareknuckled boxer who is an ideal Chicago figure straight from a shift at the stockyards that Norman Mailer wishes he hadn't died before having a chance to watch skate. Dalba manhandles spots with a taut brutal strength befitting a 4 wheeled acrobat clad in cut off shirts and cut off jeans. He does switch bonelesses shiny with sweat and rarely misses a chance to grab or nosepick. For some reason, I had always associated nosepicks more with a pick axe than with picking one's nose. He has a motorcycle tow him so he can do a long early grab. He is the type of American about whom John Phillip Sousa would have written an anarchic march. He wouldn't be out of place in a Natural Koncepts or GG Allin video. He does fearless rooftop shit to make Zarosh proud, some multi-level ledge combos that Mike Mo would respect and some shit from sources as mysterious as spring water. Call his last trick what you want, we know an ender when we see it and the curtains close with the Chity logo Stamp of Approval.

The credits feature guest skater names and song information to help us sort out the past 28 minutes. Pat Franklin was in there, one of the songs was by Ennio Morricone and lifestyle clips show the glue that held this production together. A joint of marijuana appears, a 4wheeler wheelies, someone chops a board in two, someone else twists out a sweat soaked shirt, a skater exectues a darkslide, and there are some encounters with babes that lead to make outs. Haven't you always wanted to jump in the passenger side of a Fed Ex truck since there's no door and take a ride.

In summary, Chity is a really chill video, a landmark portrayal of of the city destined to be a classic in the manner of A Midwest VIdeo. This excellent documentation of what America's Second City has to offer skaters will inspire visitation plans from all who take the time to view. Everyone's part is beyond competent and creative in a way that such a vast city allows. On a first watching, it may be difficult to remember which white skater was doing which tricks where, but differences emerge after the repeated viewings this video encourages.

Bonus features conveniently split between Travel footage, Wilson Park footage, and G-baby's footage collection.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Shop for All Seasons and Forever

Memories of Autumn


There is a tendency to consider things older than ourselves permanent into our future since we have no memory of a time without them. Autumn was in New York City before I was and it had soldiered on for so long that I only imagined that it would continue to do that. Now the shop is closed. I will be thankful if this writing of Autumn’s death proves premature or temporary. Its rebirth is the SnackMan’s number one prediction for 2012 and my fervent hope too, right up there with last year’s prediction of Slicky Boy switch Nosegrinding a handrail. I feel the coming of both may arrive jointly, or once Slicky Boy’s rap money allows him to buy out the whole block of 9th St, reinstate Autumn with the bowl on site and start the Tompkins Deli back again too with a nightclub downstairs that will create its own Barmuda Triangle with Blind Barber and Lit. A resurrection of Autumn would be similar to the creation of Nobel Prizes once the living Mr. Nobel was declared dead in the press, that is a chance to live again more vigorously than ever before in the celebration of ideals, effort and truth, for all of which Autumn was a beacon despite its lack of extensive storefront signage. It existed in location and aesthetic right between Supreme and KCDC. The development of the gentleman skater genre owes much to Autumn. One time this kid asked the Philosopher how to get to Autumn and Philosopher told him to stick around the TF till 7:30 then help carry the box back to the shop.

The first time I visited Autumn in 2004 I saw a shuttered storefront in daylight and thought it had gone out of business. In my life as a skater in search of skateshops I have come across a vacant location more than once. In this case I came from Indiana and had the address of the old 2nd St location. Then I read a sign that directed me to Autumn’s second and for now, last location that would anchor my location for much of my time in New York.

My first visit did not result in a purchase. Snackman is right, there was no complimentary massage at Autumn. I don’t remember who sat behind the counter in silence. I was free to browse as I wished. I wanted to buy a Tino Is My Homeboy shirt but had not met Tino at the time, only seen him in videos. I wondered if that made me his homeboy and once I was in the shop my conscience wouldn’t let me buy the shirt even though I was certain we would get along once we met. I was younger then and didn’t realize that at a store in a city where no one knew me no one would know who I knew. But then I figured everyone who knew would know. I didn’t think how Autumn would appreciate the money because Autumn was a shop that needed money to run. I picked up an issue of Vice for free. Anyway, I would be back and spend money there, though the Tino shirts had sold out by the time I met him.

In skate shops it is acceptable behavior to sit all day reading a magazine. This is also a discreet way to monitor the comings and goings in the shop. There was the friendly repartee with the UPS man and the shop gave him a pair of shoes he had asked about. I saw Clyde Singleton out front and had to call my friends in Indiana to tell them. Patrick O’Dell was there sometimes and I saw Spanky. I had read Patrick O’Dell and T. Barrow’s writing about Autumn in the magazines, how O’Dell had mail delivered there and Ted conducted Gentlemen’s meetings in the back. Epiclylaterd was my laptop homepage before Quartersnacks emerged from the death of 5050skateboarding. Since I was too young for the Fish at the time, Autumn was my best chance to see the people who do things that are cool in New York on their daily grind.

The mid point of this millenium’s first decade was in the heydey of the allover print t-shirt, and I purchased a rainbow shirt with diagonal striped colorful print and the black shirt with white stars all over it, the same one FlatBar Dave had. Owner Dave Mims’ wife Kristen was working that day, before I knew her as Dave the owner’s wife and I felt like this beautiful woman was giving me a homie deal because I wasn’t charged tax, but then I was unaware of tax free shopping since I was new to the city.

I was sitting at the shop one evening, reading a magazine, when people were going to the Autumn Bowl and asked me if I wanted to come. We drove in Dave’s car with Alex Porta and Oscar. I couldn’t believe I’d been asked to tag along when I was quiet. Once in Greenpoint we made my first walk down the alleyway type thing and walked on planks set down over standing water, then were in. Some other dudes were already there and the session was too heavy for me so I dropped in and took a couple cruises through but ended up sessioning the mini ramp in the other room with Oscar. The last time I skated the bowl I did my first grind in the deep end. I guess the fact that the Autumn Bowl closed was proof that Autumn didn’t have the funds to maintain a Brooklyn outpost that was not a store, rather an amazing, beautiful handwrought space that existed only for stoke, but Autumn did the best things as much as it was able and we all benefited from all of them.

My parents came to visit my first fall and we saw Dave walking through Tompkins Square and he stopped and introduced himself and my parents were happy to see that I was friends with quality people. It was easy to find quality people at Autumn. Paulgar sat behind the counter cool as can be with pomade in his hair drinking iced coffee on a summer day when the shop was hot with no airconditioning, one fan running and the door propped open with the tail of a snapped deck. Grandpa would price things in his mind and always was generous. It was said that the whole city was on Autumn flow. I cannot wait much longer for Jilleen and Brengar to collaborate on the Autumn video that has still not come out. There was the Zero style Grandpa pro model wearing his beanie that hung at the tresh hold to the back. Charles Chatov and Brett Land worked there some and called me the Prophet when I would come in there dazed from contemplating skate theory and needing an outlet. Brett Land’s Doghouse made of skateboards was in the storefront for a while. The front window was also a first home to the world’s finest example of contemporary portraiture, Gigliotti’s study of Brengar with the popsicle. One time last year I called the store and asked if Dharam was there. I knew he wouldn’t be, but wanted to keep his name on people’s lips and heard laughter over the line when Dave announced my question to whoever else was in the store.

My first board purchase from the shop was a dipped white 5Boro Virgin Mary board and I learned switch crooked grinds on the black flat box at Tompkins right after I set it up. I bought my first Zip Zinger there then Jake Hanly and I kicked it in south Tompkins and watched The Virgins play. Many times I used the shop tools to assemble the hand me down boards that Roctakon offered. There was the board that had all of the photographs of girls blowing bubble gum and they were the girls I wanted to meet in New York.

One time at the Fish Ted Barrow told me if I went up and talked to this girl she would kiss me. I walked up to her and told her I liked her dress. She said “Really?” I told her yeah, that the pattern was remarkable. Soon enough we had gone outside and were kissing. When I came back in to grab my board to leave, Ted focused my board in front of me. He then apologized and said he owed me a board. Three years later he told me to stop by the shop and there was a Workshop cruiser board covered in Aesthetics and Autumn stickers waiting for me.

At the end of my first schoolyear in New York, before I left for Indiana for the summer, Jeremy Corley, he of the 100 dollar haircut and small dog, said I could take a Slayer shirt on the house. I wore the black shirt often that summer and have used it as a pillowcase. There was the burning Church t-shirt in orange that I gave to a friend, The bela Lugosi is dead t-shirt an ex-girlfriend took off me one night to have sex with me again anyway. The No-Beach t-shirt that I have managed to keep free of stains. The Morrissey in Supreme font t-shirts in black on black and white on white. The white Autumn hoody with the green circle logo on back I like to wear with the Orange Helmut Lang jeans I picked up from the 12 and A flea market when that was still running. Autumn sold the Palace t-shirts that help attract models. I gave my all over print horror movie tshirt to this girl in Brooklyn maybe named Zoe after we made out one night at a party. There was the Fuck The Police t-shirt with Sting’s band on the front. Autumn had better vintage pieces at more reasonable prices than anywhere in the East Village, the only skateshop in the universe where you could find Yves Saint Laurent and Brooks Brothers collars. I bought my first Five Brothers flannel that I am wearing in my current facebook profile picture from Autumn. On a number of occasions I grabbed an extra layer before heading somewhere. One time I bought a longsleeved black metal band t-shirt and we were debating how much Dave should charge me. Someone pointed out that it would sell for 100 at Search and Destroy. Having seen Miles’s purchases there I believed that. Dave ended up giving it to me for 25. On the front it had skeletons in electric chairs sitting down to the Last Supper. On the back it featured a baby’s head in a vice with the words “I was Born Alive. Isn’t that punishment enough?”

Much of the time Autumn didn’t have stickers, but when they did they were great and generously distributed. They may not have had many shoes, but the shoes they did have were straight from Dave Caddo’s packages. The Chief in the frame watched you while you tried on clothes. Andy Kessler’s last shoes found a home at the highest point in the shop. There were few things better to do than moving the bench out front in pleasant weather and watching the girls walk past while assembling a board. No matter how inconsistent Autumn’s soft goods selection could have been, they always had boards and all the hardware that you needed to stay skating which is the most basic and important definition of a skate shop.

Danny Weiss and I were in there with Miles on his 18th Birthday when Grandpa searched up a Deluxe catalogue and Miles took the Anti-Hero Eagle, added an American flag to its talons and we headed down to St. Marks for Miles's first tattoo.

I was in New York most recently in November. I wanted to maximize my time in the city so took the first flight in. No one was really stirring when I made it to the East Village with my bags before noon. I waited at Autumn until Dave rolled up to open the shop. He let me leave my bags there until I figured out where I would be sleeping.

Before the shop closed for good, the shop closed at 7:30. There were the times in the summer when the box or ledge would have to go inside when there was still prime shredding going on in late daylight at TF. In the winter, the box would be returned when it was dark before 5 and we hung around the shop because it was too early to go home and too cold to be outside. The TV didn’t always work, but you could crowd around the counter in back and watch whatever the employee wanted to see on youtube. I remember Slicky Boy unsuccessfully trying to get Martin to play an A$AP song but he obliged to look up another beat on the condition that Slicky Boy freestyle over it. There was the bathroom with toilet paper roll on the truck where the wheel would go that was a preferred stop to the Tompkins park facilities. Autumn gladly provided a venue for me to distribute my short stories. Roctakon tre flipped inside the shop and taildropped out of it. I have never been into the shop that Waka Flocka blessed on 11th St because I always went to Autumn instead. This winter I’ve been wearing the yellow Charlie brown hat and my favorite black Autumn pants ever that I have in sizes from 28 to 36 and keep wearing long after I have had to have all the top buttons replaced. Autumn was the place Jake Johnson returned to after his days spent wandering, where Lurker Lou saw him that morning as he finished painting the front of Autumn’s pull down screen.

My first winter in New York, after darkness shut down the TF, I was in a pizza shop up Avenue A one night with Ryan Chin. Mike Wright stopped in with a pair of IPath Cats with Shearling inside and said that we were eating where ABC skate shop used to be. I had seen the video with Matt Rzeszutko’s part in it, but I had no idea where the shop had been. We thanked Mike for the knowledge.

The last time I went to Autumn was on my last night of my most recent time in New York. I went over after the TF got dark with an hour to spare before meeting Liz to talk about Miles. Switch Back Ted had just set up a board and wanted me to confirm that one of the handsome dancing characters on the fresh Mike Carroll graphic looked like him. The Snow Man and the 12th St Assassin stopped in then left to play Uno. Jilleen came in and offered me a beer straight off. She was with Julian whose band the Morning Benders made Torey Pudwill’s song in the Transworld video. We set about kicking it, talked about when we listened to music on Discmans and only the good ones had shock control, and I filmed them doing slappies on the box in the shop. I bought Jerry Hsu’s Decapitated Bart Simpson tshirt that Ted told me was a slim fit that I wouldn't like. I had overheard him say this to someone else a few days earlier and knew this to be the case, but was buying the shirt for a friend and told him so. Martin was at the counter reading a pocket edition of a populist novel set in developing California. I gave him a crisp 20 in exchange for the shirt. Liz’s haircut took longer than expected so I walked down to the beer store and returned Jilleen and Julian’s beer favor as we continued to lurk. When Liz was finished I left the store with the t-shirt that I would end up using as a scarf that chilly night. I said goodbye to everyone there, but did not known I was saying goodbye to the shop. I had no idea that less than 2 months later as we celebrated Autumn's 10th Anniversary the shop was set to close.

I imagined returning to New York in the spring and finding Autumn just as I left it that last night. Now I will return to a different New York. I am sure this closing will effect TF and world culture to some great extent. At least product can outlast the stores that produce them and I will treasure my Autumn product now more than ever. As Grandpa said in that interview, everybody is on the Autumn team. As 2012 begins we have lost a beloved sponsor that I was proud to support. For now Autumn can exist in products, words, video, our hearts and minds and Lurker Lou’s Autumn paint job still riding on the pulldown grate that marks where this skateshop Autumn once lived.