Blader Digest: Why You’re Going to NYC

Only a fucking moron would write about New York City on Sept. 11, especially if he’s never been there.


That’s me.

I’m sure everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds are blowing up with fair-weather patriots who recite the same rhetoric every year. They recite slogans like, “Never forget the cost of freedom,” which makes no sense whatsoever if you’re a rational thinking being.

The yearly flag wavers the equate the day four planes fucked up our country as a day of solidarity when clearly it is a reflection of the polarity of how we live. When those planes crashed, they dropped many of our freedoms with it and none of them had to do with any terrorist group.

Since then, we get exposed to radiation so a barely-equipped human can see that your father was born a woman just to get on a plane. Our government can obtain any information from us without a warrant under the ruse of national security. It expanded police forces across the nation to have unchecked power to completely outgun the population and take extreme violence against any citizen who flashes any kind of opposition to their authority.

New York was the harbor where many, many of our ancestors entered this country. They were welcomed by the Statue of Liberty as a sign that prosperous times were ahead. And that what’s what they did.

They created steel mills to crank out the beams to build into the sky. They went further out to farm and feed the hungry Lady Liberty asked you bring to this country. They built schools to educate the young, homes for the old, and hospitals to heal anyone.

Now, we’ve closed the gates and made it nearly impossible for anyone to enter under legitimate means, our crops are patent-protected by corporations, and the only way to be healthy is to never get sick.

But, hey, that’s the cost of freedom, right?

No matter what the fuck anyone throws at New York City, it will always survive. Always. From plague to blackout to terrorist attack, New York City will always stand.

Detroit aired these ads during the Super Bowl about how it was a city undefeated. That may be true, but as hard of a place as Detroit is—especially in the depressive depths of winter—New York is the place. It’s a giant that will swallow you whole if you’re no one that thinks he’s someone. The worst part is that your death will go unnoticed with all the others that day.

That sounds like the dopest place to blade, party, and play. And that’s why I’m going to the NYC Street Invitational.

Have I ever been to New York City? No.

How is that possible? I’m still not sure.

Is the 2nd Annual NYC Street Invitational the best reason to change that?

You’re goddam, red-white-and-blue right it is.

From my earliest memories as a rollerblader, I wanted nothing more than to skate New York.

It was FR, Ryan Jacklone, Dave Ortega, Rawlinson Rivera, and a slew of other old school cats that took zero shit from anyone who got in their way of doing what they love. They were the embodiment of the youthful, fuck-you attitude of blading at the time, as well as an overall specimen of kids raised on New York Streets.

And they left that legacy behind them for the next generation of skaters.

“Hanging out with The Riggler is like hanging out with Tony Stark himself. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with Ryan Jacklone, you’ve met Iron Man,” according to Franco Cammayo.

Which totally makes sense because New York has got its share of some superheroes.

New York City is the Brooklyn Banks and every skate park they’ve built with the intention of being skated. It’s the streets. It’s the five boroughs. It’s the personality of each block and how quickly you can end up on the wrong one if you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t keep your head on your shoulders.

It’s organized chaos the best that America could manufacture and there’s going to be another huge skate competition in the middle of it.

What the fuck is your excuse for not being there?

Billy O’Neil is a great blader and an amazing dude. It’s appropriate he’s behind all of this. While living in Oakland for the time being, if you speak to him for more than 30 seconds, you’ll quickly figure out where he’s from. Finding out what he’s all about, well, that takes some time.

He recently fielded questions from Be-Mag about this year’s comp. This was the most important part:

Q: Some people are probably still doubting about whether or not to travel to NYC. Give them three good reasons to start packing.
1. Best city ever.
2. Biggest scene.
3. Gonna be a great event, just like last year!

Cammayo gave his own reasons why bladers should descend on New York like those giant alien things in the Avengers:

“There’s so much dynamic energy to feel and experience. From the drunken hobo on the street corner to the Wall Street guy to the hottest girls you’ve ever seen from every country from around the world to clubs that don’t close to after parties to pool parties to parties that never end,” Cammayo said. “You grow up living here and you end up learning how to speak 17 languages just from talking to people.”

To come up through New York is no fucking joke.

You have to be insanely stylish, incredibly technical, and do it all slapped fucking sideways with style. The likes of Jacklone, Ortega, Fish, Cammayo, Austin Paz, and others are living, videotaped proof of that.

But the big names skaters you already know don’t define New York skating though. Yes, they’re a part of it, but New York skating is all about the kids you don’t know. It’s about the kids collectively getting better everyday and sessioning the shit out of spots 50 people deep. You may not know their names right now, but you might be riding their pro skate some day.

Again, this year New York-based Create Originals and San Francisco-based Bernal Heights Collective are putting up the money to make this comp work. If you ever visit Bernal, you’ll probably sue Disney afterwards for false advertising because it, not Disneyland, is the happiest place on Earth.

As New York is the most densely populated city in the U.S., which basically means they have to stack fuckers 900 high, I’m sure they won’t even notice a few extra hundred rollerbladers for the weekend.

I think I’m some kind of big shit because I skate the traffic of San Francisco daily and without a care. I’m sure New York is going to quickly show how big of a liberal, California pussy I really am. I can’t wait for the opportunity to attempt to prove it wrong or die trying.

I’m sure it’s going to prove to be another insane time with the homies.

Next up, we’re getting hella fucking Westside for the Blader Cup on Oct. 6.

I’ll see you in New York, do a lot of poor living for a little bit to save some money up, and I’ll see you again in Santa Ana.

Blade or Die,

— Brian Krans

P.S. — Buy books.

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