January 2011

01.31.2011

Hard to H8

This looks to be a pretty awesome documentary on skateboard graphics. SK8FACE, aside from having a sorta dumb name, shares an oral history of art’s development within the skateboarding tribe. From its primitive beginnings to the well-oiled, albeit less soulful, machine that it is today, the movie will feature interviews with some of the industry’s most respected artists and pros. It’s a completely DIY production, like most good things in the world of skate, and it’s slated for some time in 2011… but like the Chocolate video, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Nonetheless, the trailer is great anyway.

I’m way more into the idea of having pieces of the graphic on a curb or on a ledge somewhere than hanging in someone’s house. — Andy Jenkins

Board graphics are one of the few byproducts of skate culture that even outsiders can easily appreciate and recognize as cool, probably even more so than substance abuse or going to jail. But for those of us who have at one time dealt with the heartbreak of scratching up a brand new deck, and later watched as that heartbreak gradually transformed into nearly obsessive fascination with the board’s progression towards total destruction, skateboards themselves can be as interesting as riding one. Which shouldn’t be that surprising when there are gems like these circulating out there.

golden girls boards Hard to H8

Anyway, here’s the typical promotional description from the creators if you still had any questions about what this film is going to be about…

Where did skateboard graphics come from? How did they evolve? Meet the masters who changed the face of Art History and Skateboard Evolution. If you like grip tape, paint markers, pens, pencils, pools, curbs, ledges, concrete, plywood, power tools, sawdust, grinding, art, design, photography, music, film, video, xeroxes, silk screening, spray paint, urethane, sealed bearings, going fast, old school, new school, making stuff or skating stuff, you have arrived…

Well, well… they just named all of my favorite things — hard to argue with that!

01.31.2011

Light and Dark

Here’s a small pile of photographs that have been, ahem, darkening my hard drive for the past few months. In truth, my backlog of photography is likely more impressive than any of the photography therein. And that’s not supposed to be as self-deprecating as it sounds, I just have like… seriously a shit ton of pictures from months ago that I haven’t looked through yet.

view out train window dark street Light and Dark

This is one of those problems that will probably never go away as long as I continue to bring my camera along whenever I (rarely) leave the confines of my apartment. But it’s also one of those problems that isn’t really that much of a problem, either.

glowing water glass overlooking street Light and Dark

door to rooftop Light and Dark

empire state building from roof top Light and Dark

clouds over moon Light and Dark

Roof access is one of those things I hope to acquire while I’m still young enough to truly enjoy it (because nothing’s enjoyable when you’re old), along with a balcony and a ball pit. After the ball pit’s in, then we can start talking about the pool full of gold coins. Baby steps.

01.29.2011

Start and Stop

If synchronized faceplanting is going to be in the next X-Games, I think I could really be a contender. Although, obviously, the bar has been set pretty high already…

As funny as the fall itself is, the slow-motion commotion from the crowd really steals the show.

01.28.2011

This is what happens when you won't drive to Brooklyn

One of the perks of living in New York City is that something is always going on. There’s always something new to see… like cabs spontaneously combusting, for example. A couple nights ago on the Upper East Side, they were partying it up like it was the last night of Woodstock ’99.

Karma’s a bitch — maybe don’t pretend like you’ve never even heard of any of the outer boroughs the next time I try to get a cab on a Friday night, dirt bag.

I don’t know the full circumstances behind this, namely, how the cab managed to catch on fire in the first place. But anybody who’s ever played Grand Theft Auto knows that once your car lights on fire, it’s time to catch a new ride, since that shit’s about to do its best impression of an explosion. Clearly, these fire fighters never played the game.

gta2 wasted This is what happens when you wont drive to Brooklyn

Pretty much every cabbie I’ve interacted with since I moved back to New York has been serious scum of the earth material, so I’m having some trouble being a compassionate human being about this. But I do feel bad for the driver only because he’s going to wake up outside the hospital 10% poorer and will have to start the mission over again, and that’s just super annoying.

01.28.2011

Tonight I'm crawling out from in it

After last week’s eyeball tour de force, I’m going to try to put up a design on Fridays more often. Don’t hold me to that, but I like the idea of added variety and I imagine you like the idea of added content. Plus, there’s nothing I love so much as more work! So really, we’re all winners here. Except for me though, because all I do is sit at home and work on my website, so technically, I think that makes me a loser.

doomsayers seal Tonight Im crawling out from in it

And yeah, I know that the Grim Reaper doesn’t typically throw bombs at you when your time’s up, but it’s not like he cuts you down with a scythe right where you stand, either. …Right?

That’s it for now — I partook in the weekly tradition of Thirsty Thursday and woke up this morning in Groggyville, USA. So now I’m on a train now to Hangover City, and should be arriving sometime this afternoon. Seriously though, I feel like I spent an hour in town with the cast of Wet Hot American Summer.

janine spits drink Tonight Im crawling out from in it

My life is a celebration of dehydration.

01.27.2011

The season premiere of Russia's Mad Men adaptation

This is fucking crazy. Or, I guess more specifically, this man is crazy. It’s a long video, but for the most part it’s consistently interesting. It’s like a really slow train wreck. There may be times when you find yourself wishing it would get on with things already, but as soon as you do, some stray piece of scrap metal gets churned up and tears somebody in half. Metaphorically speaking. You’ll see what I mean when he starts jumping on the cars.

Oh, shit — *~*~SPOILERS~*~*

My bad, guys.

Even though there isn’t any sound, the story pretty much tells itself. I think it’s safe to assume substances were involved here.

rick james cocaine The season premiere of Russias <em>Mad Men</em> adaptation

In reality, PCP probably had more to do with it, but that was just too easy.

And in true Charlie Murphy fashion, that apartment building’s brutish residents recognized the deranged nudist’s need for help and served him up some the best way they know how — with their fists. Maybe it’s not exactly how our misunderstood hero saw this whole debacle turning out, and it is rather unfair in the end, but he really is insane if he didn’t see that coming.

01.27.2011

All is well with the cosmos

Can you get arrested for drawing under the influence? I think maybe.

There’s probably a warrant out for me by now, I’m a major offender.

crying skull All is well with the cosmos

Also, I didn’t realize this until I finished the drawing, but I’m pretty sure this qualifies as a double rainbow. Whoa icon eek All is well with the cosmos

01.26.2011

Welcome to Hell, Hubba Hideout

If there is such a thing as a milestone in sadness, then this bit of news definitely qualifies. The legendary San Francisco ledge spot, Hubba Hideout, is getting a serious makeover by the city (read: they’re destroying it), thereby removing one of the very last classic SF street spots and putting an end to the hubba that gave all future hubbas their name in one fell swoop of a backhoe. Indeed, if not for Hubba Hideout, who knows what we would be calling tall ledges next to stairs today? Maybe just “tall ledges next to stairs,” and that, I think we can all agree, would be kind of lame.

hubba hideout closed Welcome to Hell, Hubba Hideout

Hubba Hideout, photo by Tadashi via ESPN.com

I suppose it’s the skate-stopping effort that finally broke the camel’s back. Unfortunately, it seems the spot named after Bay-area slang for crack was finally cracked itself after numerous attempts to render the ledges unskateable. Something tells me San Francisco’s significant crack-smoking population will be able to find another secretive place to hit the pipe, but the skateboarding community is going to be mourning its loss for quite some time.

mike carroll crooked grind hubba Welcome to Hell, Hubba Hideout

Classic cover and you really can’t beat that inimitable Carroll style, but the shot doesn’t do the ledge justice. Although a bunch of bulldozers turning it into concrete dust probably doesn’t either.

To think, without Hubba Hideout, Brian Anderson may have never been sponsored — as the story goes, when Ed Templeton and Jamie Thomas saw him bluntslide the ledge they pretty much unanimously agreed to put him on Toy Machine. But, let’s give the dude a little more credit than that — eventually, he would have gotten noticed for his slow-mo Jolly Green Giant style. At least, his part in Welcome To Hell probably wouldn’t have been quite as memorable.

Maybe it seems odd to eulogize a pile of concrete to those of you who don’t skate, but the impact this place had on skateboarding was… how do I put this… X-TREME. Rest in pieces, as they say.

01.26.2011

Snowflake Action

Oh jeez, this again.

manhattan skyline snowstorm Snowflake Action

Wresting every ounce of motivation I could find buried within my bones, and subsequently forgetting to wear gloves, I hurried over to the river this morning in the hopes that the Manhattan skyline could offer some nice photo ops. Needless to say, visibility was rather low.

williamsburg bridge snowstorm Snowflake Action

lightposts graffiti covered door Snowflake Action

truck in warehouse Snowflake Action

Running around in the middle of a snowstorm only 10 minutes after waking up usually isn’t high on my list of favorite things, but when creativity knocks you’ve got to make an exception. Plus, it still beats working.

01.25.2011

Run and tell that

Head’s up everybody. The weather over the past couple days has been bad enough, but tonight’s forecast is looking downright scary.

chances of rape Run and tell that

antoine dodson Run and tell that

Seriously though, Winter, enough is enough. Another couple months of this and they’ll be able to make an episode of SVU about me.

01.25.2011

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes

No pain, no gain, as the saying goes. But after suffering through a week of constant, searing pain in my shoulder I’m beginning to think a more appropriate version of the phrase might be “no pain, stay sane.” That flip more or less disregards any parallelism with the original idiom, but that’s okay. It’s just proof of how this relentless aching is wearing down my mental faculties.

pain I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes

A bit of bad advice from the morning grumposaurus: don’t pick up skateboarding, kiddies. Sure, it’s incredibly fun and you’ll be at least 5 times cooler for doing it, but the trade off is that you’ll become intimately familiar with the full spectrum of potential bruise coloration, complete with the morning stiffness of an 80-year-old arthritic retiree. Of course, having something that convenient to complain about to all your loved ones almost makes it worth it…