New York City thrives on the balance of opposites. A blazingly hot and sticky summer is balanced with a bone-chilling WTF-and-windy winter. At a hot dog cart, a middle-aged TriBeCan business-man converses with a painfully hip twenty-something from Green Point. In the evenings, the Lower East Side laundromats and leather shops swap spots with the storm doored store fronts to reveal that loud bar known for bacon-flavored pickle-backs and Biggie Smalls mashups. Once the sun drops, the less-than-skateable spot you found on your lunch break is free of pedestrians and the street light above happens to shine just right for that animation you’ve been thinking about for the last couple weeks. Now all you gotta do is round up the troops and grab some coffee and/or a grown-up drink in a tall paper bag.
The City never sleeps. Is that what makes it special? No. Not really. Cities, in general, don’t sleep. They can’t. People sleep. Cities, like this one in particular, are either open for business or not. It’s up to the people of the city to take a shift. NYC has enough people to keep the city moving at all hours. Brooklyn-to-the-bone skateboarder, Ed “Shredward” Nieves, finds time to skate the city when he’s not working the late-late shift at
the bank parking garage museum the place he works. Before one of his late-late shifts, we got together to skate the less-than-skateable and he offered his views:
When you skate during the day in New York, you always have a steady audience of onlookers. At night everyone’s already gone home and there’s less pressure to ‘perform’, which is why it’s so rad.
Nighttime activities are not a foreign concept to the world of skateboarding, nor is the after hour fun restricted to New York City itself. All large metropolitan areas have something to offer. In San Diego I used to meet up with a rad crew of lengthyboarders on weeknights for the parking garage sessions. (Elevator to the top? Skate eight floors down? Repeat? Yes, please.) In the slightly-more-populated parts of California one could even get away with some flood lights and a generator for a solid night session, provided the government officials have better things to do. All that requires a car of sorts, though, adding a level of involvement that’s virtually unnecessary in NYC. That said, NYC comes home with the night session gold — Lights everywhere for excellent night footage, iconic spots galore, the tastiest food is cooked between the hours of 2-4am, and (for the finale) the Subway can take you home 24/7 (How you like them apples, BART?!).
I highly recommend a night-romp the next time you’re in New York City, provided you’re not going to blow it. Watch out for manholes, the yellow ones that don’t stop, and if you have a choice between a lit or an unlit street, go with the former. Lastly, if you’re a Tumblrlrlr, check in on some other things I’m doing.