Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rome No Correct Way Premiere Boston 9/14

Rome premiered their new film, No Correct Way, Sunday in Boston at McGreevy's on Boylston St. It was a phenomenal night with good friends, good drinks and NCW didn't disappoint with crazy riding, nice aesthetic and a good soundtrack. I wish I had some photos, but I don't, so check these out from Back East Designs: http://www.backeastdesigns.com/id26.html

And a mini-interview with Rome's head filmer, John Cavan, on Corduroy Magazine: http://corduroymagazine.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Darkside Killington's End of Summer Kick Off

I've definitely entered a new epoch in my life. Maybe that's too strong a word, but either way, things have changed. A few years ago, at the mention of a spoonful of snow on a patch of grass with a janky, homemade box I was pulling on snowpants; I followed early season jib parties like a New England liberal arts college student follows Phish reunion concerts. And it was awesome. I got bruisey, muddy, and tired and had a great time. But now, I've entered into my mid-twenties and I've found a much more exciting way to enjoy early-season sessions: spectating. Watching gives you the chance to witness the carnage of too little snow, sticky boxes and muddy landings first hand, while eating some snacks, hanging out, and acting like you're too cool to actually snowboard before there's actual snow on the ground. It's ideal, really. Getting older is awesome.

So it is with that in mind that I hung out at Darkside Killington's end of summer sale/rail jam. It was a beautiful day out, the grill was cooking dogs and I even snagged a warm beer from a friend to wash it all down with. Kids had come from all over Vermont to get an early taste of winter and while they jibbed their young brains out, everyone else, myself included, had a great time hanging out. It's always nice to get a little snowboard in your summer day, and it was great Darkside brought the shred that day. They always throw a good party. Thanks so much to everyone at Darkside Killington for hosting the rail jam and bbq.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Metal work in Morrisville

Friday, August 29, River Arts Center in Morrisville, VT held an opening for John Rubino's "Anatomy of a Calamity", a sculpture project featuring not only Rubino's pieces but also the work of five high schoolers who interned on the project. Hans Mindnich, one of the Red Bull am team riders, displayed his series of iron figures that depicted the five stages of a person going through a traumatic event, smaller versions inspired from Rubino's concept of how people are able to become stronger despite hardship. The turn out was good, the teens had insightful things to say about their experience which they explained to the crowd, and there was tons of hors d'oeurves. Not bad.

Rubino presents the sculptures.

Hans' version of metal. Insert Iron Maiden metal reference here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hampton Beach and Hardcore

When people think about the coast of New England, they generally picture sandy beaches speckled in rocky outcroppings, waves rolling in with families playing in the whitewater, seagulls circling overhead trying to find sandwiches, and maybe some lobster boats off in the distance. Souvenir shops, bar-filled boardwalks and beaches so busy they have to be raked at night sounds more New Jersey than New England. Welcome to Hampton Beach--a little bit of NJ right in NH.

I journeyed to Hampton Beach last Wednesday night to attend a concert on the sand, to benefit military families who have lost someone overseas. Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent and noble cause and I hope that it was a successful evening for the organization throwing the event, but this doesn't take away from Hampton Beach being a very weird place, and the music that evening only enhanced said weirdness.

Living in Burlington, Vermont, I am surrounded by a large number of bands that would classify themselves within the "jam band" genre. This is not exactly my favorite kind of music, so I appreciated the local hardcore bands that were playing the benefit in Hampton. However, my appreciation does not cause me to miss the inherent strangeness of hardcore bands playing a night show on a sandy beach. This is weird because: one, seeing people mosh in sand is the only thing more embarrassing than seeing them mosh in not sand, and two, hardcore kids don't ever go outside, let along to the beach--those kids are perpetually pale--and the situation they were forced into in order to see their favorite bands caused the black-shirted, converse-wearing crowd to intermingle with the bright-bikini, ripped-jeans group. Awkward at best.

Ever seen a hardcore show at a beach? Me neither.

It's so annoying when sand gets in your sambas.

This girl undressed and gave the horns, but wouldn't participate in the planned bikini contest.

Regardless of how much I want to overanalyze the situation, everyone enjoyed themselves and the evening was a success. The bands were musically sound and it's awesome they came out and donated their time for a good cause. It's not their fault they had to play on the beach.

Red Bull Manny Mania NYC August 17th

LES crowd.

LES Skatepark at the bottom of Allen St. in Manhattan was the setting for Red Bull Manny Mania August 17th. Manny Mania draws tons of pro skaters, many who don't compete generally. The contest format, legit judging (Steve Berra and Eric Koston were two of the judges), and mellow vibe make it a competition with a unique feel. This year the list of pros was ridiculous: Joey Brezenski, Eli Reed, Kelly Hart, Brandon Biebel, Kenny Anderson, Jason Dill, Chico Brenes, Jereme Rogers, Rob Welsh, Stefan Janoski, Dan Murphy, as well as a ton of other pros who were ready to skate all day in the NYC heat.

Lounging in the VIP area pre-comp.

Manny pad session.

From the very beginning of the extended practice the skating was nuts. Eli Reed started early, charging harder than almost everyone else, and skating with such good style. Koston was sessioning the up down before he had to start judging and Joey Brezinksi was nailing his typical tech combos.



Red Bull and Red Bull Cola was flowing, there was complimentary italian ice and free chili dogs--compared to Back to the Banks where it was mayhem trying to see the skating, Manny Mania was like a good house party with lots of seating. Jefferson Pang and Dave Ortiz were announcing everything they saw, but unfortunately if you were too close to them all you could hear was something that sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown. It was ok, though, because the visual on the manny pads was enough to keep anyone's attention.

Joey Brezinski, product shot.

Memorable moments:
Dave Berra commenting how it's so exciting to see someone skating on your deck, and how stoked he was when he saw one of his in the crowd, and then realized it wasn't getting skated, it belonged to a girl taking pictures.

Rob Welsh, after skating for at least six hours straight, to another skater, "you're in finals? I would kill myself if I had to skate in finals right now."

Eli Reed slayed it all day. I think this was his only fall.

1. Joey Brezinski
2. Brandon Biebel
3. Chico Brenes
4. Eli Reed

check http://redbullskateboarding.com/events/manny_mania_08/ and http://www.skatetheory.com/news/red-bull-manny-mania-nyc-2008/5159#more-5159 for more photos and coverage.


Lose a bet, wear a captain's costume.

Forest during practice.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

NYC Day Two: 5Boro's Back to the Banks 8/16

Snake City's a great place to visit. Line up to hit the bank to wall.

5Boro's Back to the Banks, that took place August 16th, is exactly what a great skate contest should be. It's open to everyone, it's free, and it's a fucking mess that somehow moves forward over the course of an entire day, ending with a winner and some runners-up, and everyone is stoked.

Pre start of the comp and my favorite section--gap up the stair set.

Back to the Banks only reinforced to me how much cooler skating is than snowboarding. The bank to wall was snake city, with everyone trying to get hits in. Everyone was stutterstepping to get their turn to rush the bank in order to have enough speed to hit the wall. One guy was dropping off the top of the wall to the transition below, which seemed fairly gnarly until another guy dropped off the front of the wall onto the flat, switch. Verdict: Gnarlier.

Bank to wall.

Second was the bank to ledge, and after that was the jersey barrier spine. They finished with the stair set, where the skaters who still had energy were gaping the stairs, breaking their boards, and generally pulling off tricks that were making the crowd go nuts.

Forest was easy to spot thanks to his tie dyed tank top.

Local skater ripping up the barrier.

Final Section.

Chad Fernandez.

Dustin Charlton was impressing the crowd all day.

Check out http://www.skatetheory.com/news/bank-to-the-banks-2008-results/5172#more-5172 for Skate Theory's coverage.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

High Times in the Lower East Side

This past weekend I was lucky enough to head down to NYC to check out 5Boro's Back to the Banks and Red Bull Manny Mania. I went down with Forest Bailey, one of the Red Bull snow am team members, and Dillon Buss, winner of Manny Mania Manchester last June. I was supposed to show them around New York, but I don't know anything about the city so we were at the mercy of whatever random person gave us directions at any given time...which I guess explains why our first attempt to find the Banks led us on a 45 minute skate on the trash-filled streets down by the East River and ended at LES skatepark (we then found out that LES is a seven minute skate directly down Allen St. from our hotel. oops.).

We were staying in a hotel in the hear of the Lower East Side which meant two things: first, we were a short skate away from both the LES skatepark and Brooklyn Banks, which was great because we were to spend all our time at those places over the course of the weekend and second, we were staying in a hotel that was way nicer than any place any of us had ever been allowed inside before. We were definitely the biggest dirtbags there, but I think the hotel employees found it novel that we carried skateboards everywhere we went and that we always looked a little sweaty. The Plan B team was staying there as well, so I think the staff figured we, too, were important professional skateboarders. This of course, is far from the truth. Luckily, they were paid to be nice to us (plus I think we may be the nicest people who have ever stayed there, one staff person told Dillon that we didn't need to say thank you so much) and the concierge gave us tons of help by drawing directions on postcard-sized maps of the Lower East Side.

Friday's highlights include:

Skating around the streets of the Lower East Side.

LES skatepark under the Manhattan Bridge. It was pouring and
t-storming around us, but we were dry. It's a cool spot because
every few minutes trains pass overhead and drown out any sound
other than the clacking on tracks--so city.

Dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse. Yeah you've probably been to one
that had tons of meat on swords, but have you been to one that had
never-ending mashed potatoes? Amazing.

Dillon was very excited about dinner.

Yes, that is a beaded curtain separating the lounge area (not pictured)
from the sleeping area. The flat screen tv swung around so you could
watch it from either area, so don't worry about that.