Posts Tagged ‘Love Park’

Did The Sabotage Dudes Make The Illegalest Video Of The Year Already?

January 19, 2013

halford

For many downtrodden and disillusioned teens in the 1990s, the famous “skateboarding is not a crime” bumper sticker offered the kind of all-caps catharsis that can only be had by blaring your opinion from the rear of an auto. Those were idealistic times, but with the turn of the century came the dot-com bubble bursting and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that sparked a nervier, more fearful era. In southern California, this new anxiety manifested itself in Shorty’s 2001 cautionary tale “Guilty,” which laid bare the real-world consequences that come from challenging the land’s law. According to unconfirmed rumors, the central storyline was inspired by Rodney Mullen’s brutal takedown and jailing of Shiloh Greathouse, whose time behind bars caused him to become a born-again step-hopper.

A decade later there are signs and siguls that the narrative may change again. DGK’s late-2012 release “Parental Advisory” reveled in lawbreaking of all shades, perpetrated by juveniles and presented in high-definition video format. Weeks later we have the Philadelphia-created video “Sabotage 3″ that comes like a thrice-dubbed “Faces of Death” bookend to DGK’s “Saw,” with an illegality quotient that nears previous high-water marks such as the drill fight in the Plan B video, or Muska brazenly spray-painting his own name on a wall in “Fulfill the Dream.” As far as grit, “Sabotage” guys Brian Panebianco and Ryan Higgins have bags. Across 35 minutes, within the general timeframe of ideal video length, viewers are treated to bums taking shits, street brawls, public consumption, graffiti tagging high above street level, various hustles, police raids and a dude bearing the name of “One Finger.” As if disobeying municipal and state statutes was not enough, several skate-video taboos are broken, including poached pro moves, drum-n-bass music and the execution of the “ghetto bird.” There are a couple clips of Brian Wenning, skating Love Park.

These are some committed dudes, down to link up trick combos on the Philadelphia city hall ledges even after they’ve been cracked to pieces in the process of a tear-down. They blast over the Love Park steps and cans and run from the neon-jacketed cops the same way Tony Montgomery and Kevin Taylor and Matt Reason used to do, but they have figured out some new ways to navigate not only the big ugly planters but also the tiles, propping up two at a time and skating them like a hip. And they mostly operate in the classic East Coast mode. Jon Hadley runs a stringy weed-dealer frame, black tank tops and a tough switch backside heelflip. Brian Panebianco maintains a stash of aged DCs and puts down nollie 360s similar to PJ Ladd. Tore Bevivino is on the Steve Durante tip with switch frontside blunts and switch heelflips out of switch b/s tailslides, plus some long ledge tricks over those planters. This video puts Ishod Wair back onto some East Coast spots that I always thought represent his skating the best, like the pop-out lines he does on the fountain ledge, and footage recorder Mark Suciu does a pretzel trick not seen before down one of those black micro rails.

Love Park is skated more than any other locale in this vid and between the runs up and down the fountain steps and the number of clips featuring day-glo EXP decks makes this probably the closest to a 2012/13 “Photosynthesis” that the market has to offer. They sell the DVD here for $15.

8. Stevie Williams – “Parental Advisory”

December 24, 2012

stevie

Stevie Williams to me never really exuded rap-star decadence, but maybe I’m looking at it all wrong — here he is, tapping spots across three continents for a relatively slim three-minute part, stopping through the old Philadelphia stomping grounds because he knows how a far a couple tossed-off tricks will carry. It seems like Stevie Williams isn’t regularly mentioned among the all-time style slayers, even though his old Chocolate commercial inevitably bubbles up in any meaningful discussion of the best lines ever done, but his first run through the Barcelona blocks here reminds of a gap when he’s not out skating. The fakie hardflip, white tees, waist-high switch frontside noseslides and switch heelflips remain in effect but he still seems to be making an effort when it comes to clips like the switch front blunt and the switch varial flip nosegrind revert (a new spin on one of the all-time Lockwood classics). He keeps his ledge combos Satva and Lucas tasteful and finds a couple angles on the MACBA ledges that I haven’t seen before. Between the show-closer status, heavy Jay-Z tune and his first full part in years Stevie Williams sorta has this section tracking towards a ‘moment’ but does himself a favor by not overextending it toward the five-minute/two-song zone, whether by judicious editing or lack of actual tricks filmed.

Ricky Oyola Would Like You Lousy Kids To Stay Off The Lawn, Stop Pushing Switch Mongo

July 19, 2011

At a moment in time when our graybeard forefathers are pursuing Hollywood starlets a fraction of their age it’s refreshing and reassuring to see an elder statesman straighten his back, hike his pants well past the bellybutton and deliver a verbal threshing to all deserving whippersnappers out here: witness streetstyle legend Ricky Oyola’s VBS turn, front-loaded with do’s, don’ts, shoulda-beens and topical lectures that come off more bemused than bitter, in this longtime fan’s estimation.

Ricky Oyola has earned his bully porch-seat from which to shout and wave various objects at skateboarding’s wayward youth. He has on film one of the best switch kickflips ever performed (flat gap in the street, Sub Zero vid), did switch backside shifty ollies and for those around at the time it’s not overstating it to say his “Underachievers” section shifted skating’s point of view for some years afterward. So let him say his piece: having to stick up for himself, his friends and town, possibly sometimes all at once, living in the shadow of New York City and California, skating uphill to school in the rain both ways — there may be few better suited to a role as what may be the first post-young skateboarder, righteously rattling his cane at an industry obsessed with youth and not properly thinking out which end of the board they’re going to pop off next when filming their lines.

A certain world-weariness seems to have replaced the belly-fire that prompted vagrant beatings and sober instructions as to how one skated the Love Park ledges, and as an occasional grumbler on various topics beginning with “kids these days” it’s nice to see someone with a legitimate claim comfortably shift into the role of loudly complaining oldster. There is a goal and purpose to growing old and the luxury of righteously bitching is at the top of the list. You’d think this opens up a whole new realm of potential sponsorship deals to supplement Traffic — pro model arch supports or knee braces, stretching videos, Aleve, etc.

Higher Than Man, No Free Beats — White Powder Beats Vol. 4: Gangz Gunz N Gold Grillz Edition

March 8, 2011

Checking in again, briefly, to lob up one of my all-time favorite ads from when Brian Wenning’s ascendancy to East Coast legendhood was happening in the pages of magazines as opposed to Youtube entertainments and DC was continuing to experiment with color-schemes for what was at the time their fastest-selling model to date. Found this by happenstance tonight, searching for some unrelated magazine cover (no luck there btw). Kind of like thrusting your hand deep into the duffel bag of life and pulling out a long forgotten t-shirt that still fits, but is maybe musty and discolored. If I remember right, this appeared in a TWS that featured a 20-questions sort of feature with Wenning where he switch backside smith grinded a little handrail also. Think there was maybe a Rick McCrank article. I remember all this because naturally it is not among the seven or eight or ten boxes of skate magazines littering the basement/garage. Also love the light in this photo. To link this somehow to what’s currently happening we can draw a vague line to Tom Asta’s going-pro video that’s slated to go live on the Black Box website in about 23 minutes and chances are will include some form of switch heelflip at this same locale.

Loaded For Bear

April 26, 2010

Whereas a lot of the “name” gaps particularly on the west coast have become sites for caged-bird shoots in recent years, decked out with roll-ins and banner ads and a cast of thousands, the crankypants running the city of brotherly love have kept JFK Plaza off-limits, to the point of throwing DC’s briefcase full of c-notes out the window a few years back. The jam-format contest trappings don’t make a Carlsbad or a Wallenberg or that one handrail Moose 360’ed any less gnarly of course, and the danger of friendly fire in a shooting gallery environment adds a kind of delirious unpredictability to the proceedings, but there’s a certain type of man-versus-beast purity to Tom Asta’s recent switch trip down the famed Love Park fountain as he kicks his heels into the Mystery reboot. I mean there’s still cops and bloodthirsty rogues and autograph seekers and Brian Wenning legacy defenders* still running around this spot right? Regardless, awesome “form” on this and it’s made more forbidding by the way it looks like he’s got some backside drift going on, although maybe that’s just me.

*not like I’m not

A Family Affair

June 18, 2009


This preemptive Father’s Day post brought to you by the Wilt Chamberlain Genealogy Foundation

The whole mainstreaming thing that’s gone down the last decade or so hasn’t just put Cristal on the table and Aston Martins in the garage of your favoritest pros, it’s caught the attention of soccer moms and hockey dads the nation over, board by board and blown-out shoe by shoe. Probably a mixed bag in general, with each heartwarming father-son backyard ramp building session matched by EXPN-wise would-be momagers quizzing hapless team managers at demos, demanding a roadmap to Shecklerdom. Was it like this in the 80s? Surely Christian Hosoi could provide a longwinded answer that would save souls in the process, but I can offer only run-on sentences and Ace of Base references.

It’s easy to tot up the often lame/annoying/embarrassing aspects of increased parental involvement – at least one blogging skateboarder has a mom that still asks why he doesn’t wear a helmet, after nearly two decades of this nonsense – but this Philadelphia Weekly story on Love Park casts skateboard parents in a new role, namely defenders against (alleged) police brutality:

That’s precisely why 37-year-old Jen Chattin plans on attending this year’s [Go Skateboarding Day] with her sons. “I’ll even skateboard,” says the single mother of four boys. She’s fired up and ready to raise hell about the fact that a cop put his hands on her son.

It’s hard to say whether this type of thing will galvanize moms and dads as to the legitimacy of skating spots (as opposed to parks) but it’ll be interesting to see how things develop in the next decade or so, as this type of situation comes up more often, and the ranks of parents who skate themselves gradually expands. Aside from a clunky description of skate action at Love and heavy reliance on an internet message board as a source, it’s a good article, you should check it out if you’re bored in work/class. See if you can spot the paraphrased Stevie Williams quote.

Bonus: This sort of amazing quote from one of the few cops that talked for the story…

“It’s illegal for a reason,” contends Wilson. “They’ve broken those blocks [on the floor of the park] and popped them up so they can use them as ramps. They grind all that marble [sic] to shame. If they were just kids who rolled through and didn’t do any damage, that would be one thing, but they’re not.” 



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