I’ve lived most of my life in Kansas and in those years of living there I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over the world. I’ve got to see and experience the most amazing places, but there hasn’t been anything that compares to Kansas City. The skate scene, my friends, my family, the Done house, the Chiefs… all of it makes me proud to say that K.C. will always be my home.
City Back to Magazine
Philly is like the Wild West—there is a certain amount of lawlessness one feels when walking down the street and seeing a gang of young teenagers riding ATV’s and dirt bikes at top speed through red lights. It doesn’t matter what neighbourhood you’re in, if you live here, you’ve seen it. Abandoned buildings and vacant lots allow for creativity to move in and set up shop. Following those before me, I set up my photo studio in a warehouse in the neighborhood of Callowhill. Remember those apocalyptic scenes in Eraser Head? That’s Callowhill. Across the street is the abandoned Reading Viaduct that local artists and residents have petitioned to turn into a High Line park. At the end of the block the recently opened Trestle Inn is the newest staple in the neighbourhood offering whisky-a-go-go. Sitting at the bar, having a classic whisky sour and homemade beef jerky while a buxom dancer on the platform in the corner moves to alternating funk and French pop, I can’t help but feel equal parts nostalgia and anticipation for Philadelphia’s past and uncertain future.
Don’t ever come to Portland. It does nothing but rain, there isn’t any good food, no good bands, everyone is stuck up, no one rides bikes, it’s not as beautiful as people think, it’s really expensive to live here, there aren’t any creative people here. Just don’t come—we don’t want you to be let down.
Johannesburg is the engine room of South Africa’s economy. It’s a city of complete contrasts where immense wealth exists alongside abject poverty. Life is fast-paced and conditions are tough. Come the weekend, businesses in the downtown area close and this vast labyrinth becomes a playground for skateboarders, market-goers, music aficionados and art enthusiasts alike. When people embrace their differences anything can happen in this city.
This is a modern journey into the Twilght Zone. Zombietown is in Italy, but there’s nothing “ordinary” here… and that’s why I love/hate it. White light (summer and winter all day long) kills your eyes like a thousand laser rays. People are interested in buying a brand new TV set (just like the President says), eating, and thinking that the new immigrants will never get here. The natives are restless, don’t want to get shot, and the few interested in it are almost living in the THC world, so they don’t remember. It’s situated 20 kilometers north of one of the hippest, fashion-forward cities in Italy [Milan], but sadly, nobody gives a fuck about it… Perhaps that’s a good thing. It’s a goldfish world.
Coming off his recent groundbreaking solo show at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York, which featured, among other things, two handmade 24 foot wooden Viking ships being pulled down the street by an army of battle axe wielding Vikings, wolfbats, a giant decorated wave called Santa Muerte, die cut eagles and every kind of pagan image imaginable, Dennis McNett, Viking warrior and the subject of this issue’s CITY feature, takes us for a stroll in his Brooklyn. Luckily he didn’t perform a blood eagle on anybody (look it up…) Check out his website at wolfbat.com for more Viking-related mayhem.
Bregenz is a small, cosy city by the lake of Constance, which borders Switzerland and Germany. It’s surrounded by a lot of beautiful nature and is incredibly clean and quiet. Bregenz itself has a few skate spots to offer, which might not be mind-blowing, but there are definitely a couple of gems in the surrounding regions. Just drop by the Yama skate shop, where you will always find one of the locals, who will be keen to have a session in Hard (local town) or just to have a beer at the lake and welcome you to Yama country.
Chico Brenes may live in Los Angeles, but Minagua, Nucaragua, is his second home. He fled the country as a child but still has family there, and about six months ago he opened up Central, Nicaragua’s first skate shop. Chico’s regular visits help the thriving skate scene, and he is current lobbying for the city’s first public skatepark. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, bordering Honduras in the north and Costa Rica in the south. The currency is Cordobas and the exchange rate is about 21 Cordobas to one dollar. And Don’t believe everything you hear, Nicaragua is also one of the safest countries in Central America.
Take a break from the cold weather and head to a city with beautiful beaches, discos, and lots of places that start with ‘Ng’.
[ o ] DEBERT
wordsby benjamin debert
If a city is made of its people and what they do with their days and nights, Paris is a subway ride to some hidden gem. The public transport system makes it easy to explore the neighbourhoods and suburbs, and this is how people get their way around here. You might not find the best skate spot ever, but you’ll get back home with more good memories and maybe more friends… Bienvenue!
The lowdown on Color’s hometown, covering all the basics: where to eat, where to skate, where to drink, and where to pass out afterwards.
[ o ] DOUBT
photosby gordon nicholas
“Back in it’s heyday, downtown Vancouver was a skate mecca, drawing skaters and media like MACBA. Pro sightings both at skate and night spots were commonplace. Justin Lukyn, Colin McKay, Moses Itkonen, Tony Ferguson, Ben Chibber, Sam Devlin, were but a few that helped put the city on the skate map. Rick Howard has always been one of our favourite exports. We asked about his classic spots, and revisited them with some of the city’s current interesting folk…”
[ o ] OLSON
listby creighton barrett
Seattle is a really big, small city with some quality humans doing radical things. The air is clean, the girls are babes, and a good chunk of the music on your iPod is from there. The skate scene is tight, hosting some of the most talented shredders that have ever graced a skateboard, the art scene is bangin’ and everyone keeps it weird. Most of the photos you are looking at are from some very radical art shows and parties over the last few years. Local artist NKO and his Free Sheep Foundation organize these speakeasy-type art venues with bands, booze, beautiful girls and, of course, completely mind blowing art. Usually the events take place in buildings that have a set date for demolition, and when the element of destruction is in the mix, things can get completely out of control. To get you non-Seattleites hip we’ve enlisted Creighton Barret from Band of Horses to compile a list of the best things in the Emerald City. If you want the golden ticket to Seattle take note! Tear out this page and glue it to your forehead, because this list is so perfectly righteous!
[ o ] TAIT
wordsby kynan tait
To the gluttonous eye of a big-city skateboarder, there may not appear much to this antique city. And while the resident skate community may tend to agree, I believe its only out of frustration. It is apparent among most that, subconsciously, this city has done well by them. We’re blessed with one of the best skateparks in Canada (Vic West), and I’m sure anyone who has ever skated there will attest to that. Unfortunately, our offerings in the realm of street skateboarding leave much to be desired and due to the lack of established photographers in the area, the tangible rewards are few and far between. However, there remains a small group of dedicated kids without a shred of entitlement or expectation. It is this inherent quality that makes our exports so endearing: Brett Stobbart, Keegan Sauder, Trevor Ribeyre et al. With little possibility of outside sponsorships, the helping hand of our local skateshops is a welcome one. HtO, Coastline and Threesixty are all of the most charitable disposition, never allowing the worthy to want for much of anything. Whatever skate community we have, it is owed completely to these stores. No one could argue that we haven’t some formidable talent here, but it is in getting that talent recognized that lies the challenge. Because save for a character-building backdrop and a few helpful skateshops, there isn’t much else carrying our sleepy scene along. In a pinch, though, Vancouver is only a short ferry ride away. To the dedicated victor go the spoils!
[ o ] KOOP
THE SALTON SEA
wordsby dustin koop
In 2002 I had rented an amazing movie called The Salton Sea – you know, the one with Val Kilmer. This is how I learned of this post-apocalyptic ecological disaster of a community and all its craziness. In the summer, all 110 miles of this abandoned American dream smells of rotting fish, which may have something to do with the seven million dead fish that end up on the beach every summer, sometimes stacked three feet high, as far as one can see. This is the spot to go to if you want to live off the grid as a recluse and fraternize with the most interesting and inspiring characters of ours and your grandparents’ generation.
[ o ] DELONG
wordsby josh clark
Fredericton is a small city filled with nice people who seem to enjoy the mellow lifestyle. If you’re from a big city, you might feel like you’re walking around in a ghost town sometimes at night, unless you’re around the concentrated bar area. Fredericton is a place most enjoyed while visiting rather than as a permanent resident. However, if you are looking for a place where you can just keep to yourself and maybe have some fun once in a while, then it might be just right for you. It’s the type of town where everyone knows everybody.
wordsby giorgio zavos photosby gordon nicholas
Athens city is an amazing city to visit. You can find pretty much everything there. The best food, like Souvlaki for only two bucks, and really cheap beer and cigarettes. If you want to relax they have the warmest beaches and the nicest islands, complete with beautiful young Greek ladies. For skating, there are a lot of street spots and marble plazas all over the city, where you rarely get kicked out. And Athens doesn’t sleep — the night-life is out of control. At night it’s clubs and bars, with people partying all over the streets until the sun comes up.
photosby dan mathieu
“I once found an abandoned tent on the top of Mount Royal in the dead of winter, it was so nice and cozy inside.” —other
“One of the best things about Montreal is the summertime, lots of raw natural skate spots to enjoy for all styles of skaters willing to take the risk to skate and destroy! Vive la Montreal… the tarnished city.”
“If it was Wednesday I’d say free Museum night at the contemporary.” —mike giles, furni creations
“If you want to taste Quebec cuisine, check out Chez Claudette.” —bob le chef
“When walking into Off The Hook pay very close attention to the sign above the door that clearly indicates the mentality that the store was built upon, which reads “No Half Stepping Allowed!” —sterling downey
“[Go to] Blue Dog! We own the club, so the drinks are free for us.” —team canada djs
wordsby max schaaf photosby tadashi yamaoda
Oakland is a tough city for me to sum up. My first experience with Oakland that I remember is being about 12 years old and taking the train there with my older brother to see a punk rock show. In the 80s Oakland was a place where artists and musicians could find an old warehouse or thrashed house, pay little rent, make a lot of noise and not really get hassled by nosey neighbors or the cops. This is why my brother and I were headed to Oakland, a friend of my mom’s who was in one of the heavier hoods was a having a big punk show and he had built a ton of skateboard ramps inside his place as well. That guy saw Oaklands potential way before the masses…
FORREST KIRBY’S MIAMI, FLORIDA
wordsby forrest kirby spreadby sean cronan photosby kathy lo
Welcome to Miami, the most tropical place in America. I call it home, and others call it party central. It is one of those places that when you say: “hey, I am going to Miami,” or, “dude, I was in Miami…” it rings a certain bell in most peoples heads. Those who have experienced a vacation here definitely have a story from their visit. Whether or not the story will end in a positive note is unknown to all but the traveler…