Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Steve Nesser #3.

Color me impressed.

Frontside feebles always look radical.

It's a little weird seeing a Birdhouse ad without the plain silver border.

My streak of skateboarding ended at 53 consecutive days on Monday. There were some heavy thunderstorms after work.

Transworld - August 2008 Volume 26 Number 8

Monday, June 18, 2018

Elissa Steamer #5.

Manic Monday.

Christian Maalouf's new part for WKND is great. All he does is ollie stuff and it's perfect. He fakie flips a picnic table, too.

Slap - December 2008 Volume 17 Number 12

Friday, June 15, 2018


Nickel City Spotlight.

This was a cool article to see in Skateboarder. I honestly don't get up to Buffalo much to skateboard. I usually only go to see bands play and that hasn't happened frequently in the last year or so. It's an easy hour drive, but I like to space my trips out rather than go there more often. That's mainly just from getting older.

I'll chip in my two cents on a few of the places in the article.

I've probably skated with a couple of the guys mentioned at some point over the years. Jake Donnelly would come down to my local park when he was still in high school. I know some of the names from mutual friends and might have met them back in the 90s.

Buffalo has a free public skatepark in La Salle Park that was built after this article was written. A number of cement parks are being constructed or are in the works in the surrounding towns. The Tony Hawk Foundation recently designated grant money for the area that municipalities can submit requests for. I really need to check out some of these spots. I've seen photos and they look cool.

X-Treme Wheels is gone. I went there once on the day after Thanksgiving in 2007 with a couple of friends. There might have been some type of metalcore bands playing, but the show was getting going after we were done skating. It was a sea of masonite ramps and ledges. I think I would have had more fun if I had been there a few times. I probably just skated a little ledge off in the corner or something. I'm going to say it was a neat place for a rainy day based upon my vague recollections.

Sunday is still going, but they are in a different location than they were ten years ago. I've been there exactly once. Their team would come down to ride the park here.

I haven't been street skating in Buffalo in well over twenty years. We would sometimes go up to skate around. I don't really remember what spots we went to. I feel it was a bunch of cruising the streets over a session at a given location. I think there might have been a parking garage and some other random places. I recall maybe doing some wall rides at a bus terminal. There was also an indoor park in 1996 or 97 at the corner of Virginia and Washington. It had some sketchy ramps and a manual pad.

Buffalo is a drinking town with a sports problem. I'm not a fan per se, but I do follow the Bills and Sabres from living here. It gives you handy conversation material for when you go out to the bars. I'm always good for impartial critical evaluations of both teams, more so the Bills because they play less games. I started watching the Sabres again this year and it was brutal. They were the worst team in the NHL.

For food, Mighty Taco is awesome. They opened a franchise in my town, but it closed after a Taco Bell opened right next to it. I hadn't eaten there in ages until this last fall when I had to take photos at a high school playoff football game in Buffalo. There was a Mighty Taco right around the corner from the school so I had time to grab dinner before the game. Chicken wings smell great. It's the type of aroma that could convert a vegan back to eating meat. However, I don't think they are fun to eat so I seldom ever have them.

The bars in Buffalo are open until 4:00 AM. This can lead to some hazy nights. The Mohawk Place is a solid little venue. They get a wide variety of acts from punk to indie rock to metal, and whatever else. They used to have a special on Old Vienna bottles, but they discontinued that. It was the only place I drank OV and it was a little shocking when they made the change.

Soundlab was my favorite place ever to see shows. They closed down five years ago and the owner passed away in the time since. They would get all the weird and experimental bands that I like, as well as some more well known groups. I am friends with a lot of the people who went to shows and/or worked there so that made it more welcoming. I got to know some of the touring bands, too. I was also Soundlab's photographer, which is why I included a picture of Lightning Bolt from their 2011 show. I got in for no charge and was given a free beer or two in exchange for a little camera work. For the really sparsely attended noise gigs, I'd give the door guy money when the manager wasn't looking. I was happy to document some of the interesting stuff that was happening.

As is the case for anywhere, Buffalo has its pluses and minuses. Overall, it's a good city and there's not really as much snow as the national media makes it sound like. Most of the time.

The article is by JP Gillespie. JP is the owner of Sunday. The photos are by Justin Faso.

Skateboarder - August 2008 Volume 17 Number 12

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Tony Hawk #10.

Wise old owl.

Transworld - October 2008 Volume 26 Number 10

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Bobby Puleo #7.

Purple haze.

It's a little odd to see Bobby at a recognizable spot out in public.

For the sake of comparison, here's a few things that were happening in 2008:

1. Print media was going fairly strong. Thrasher, Transworld, Skateboarder, and The Skateboard Mag were alive and functioning. Slap was also still around, but ended in December. Currently only Thrasher and Transworld are publishing. The Skateboard Mag became The Berrics and they've managed to make all of two issues.

2. Skateboard blogs were starting to become a thing and that's what motivated me to start Vert Is Dead. The Chrome Ball Incident, Boil The Ocean, and Police Informer all began in 2008. You Will Soon got in the game in 2007. Patrick O'Dell was continuing to post behind the scenes skateboard content on Epicly Later'd. Myspace was considered a viable promotional platform, as is illustrated by the top left corner of this ad.

3. I'd been at my current graphic designer job for about a year. I was also teaching a night class as an adjunct at the college, plus freelancing sports photos for the local paper on Friday nights. I have no idea how I found the time to do anything, but I did.

4. Girl and Anti-Hero teamed up to go on the Beauty & The Beast tour, Baker launched Deathwish, Fallen released Ride The Sky, and Independent Trucks turned 30. I finally finished watching Indy's 30th anniversary tour video last year.

5. A few bands I liked then that I will still admit to liking include No Age, Yellow Swans, These Are Powers, AIDS Wolf, High Places, The Body, and Windy & Carl.

Slap - August 2008 Volume 17 Number 8

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Emmanuel Guzman #3.

Trip at the brain.

Emmanuel has been pro for Santa Cruz for what seems like forever now. He shreds it all. Pools, street, transitions, hills, handrails, and even an occasional switch 360 flip. He's delivered a few quality video parts over the years, including a section in 2009's Prevent This Tragedy from Thrasher and Converse, and Transworld's Let's Do This from 2007. Eman pops up in Creature vids, too.

RIP Mark “Monk” Hubbard.

The photo is by Ed Dominick.

Transworld - August 2008 Volume 26 Number 8

Monday, June 11, 2018

Willy Santos #2.

Hot Dog.

I guess when you mention that a hot dog company sponsored a few skateboarders ten years ago, you have to scan an ad in since nobody else remembered it. Ball Park was doing some youth oriented product placement in the action sports market and paid for a year's worth of ads in Transworld. The advertisements featured short interviews with a number of skaters, including Tyler Hendley, Richie Belton, Brandon Turner, Andrew Cannon, Stu Graham, Peter Smolik, and Jason Adams. Sadly, there were a lack of questions about grilling and cooking habits in many of the ads. I suppose this is a silly type of sponsorship, but it feels a little cooler than being sponsored by an energy drink, department store or fast food chain.

Maybe I should put together a week of content focusing on corporate sponsorships in the future.

The photo is by Blair Alley.

Transworld - November 2009 Volume 27 Number 11