Brooklyn Banks, New York
Saturday, July 12, 2003
We left the 5boro warehouse in the Village at 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning. After loading the van and taking a big yawn, I was thinking to myself that maybe we had scheduled the event too early (noon) and that no one was going to show-up to the banks that early to clean. I had checked-off all the items that we needed on my list: brooms, dustpans, gloves, bags, water and free product to give out.
We rolled-up to the banks at 11:30 and I didn't know what to expect. I had the same feeling I had as a youngster showing-up to the banks on the day of an event there--you just know you are going to witness (and be a part of) NYC skateboarding history. That is, if it doesn't get shut down by the NYPD. We unloaded the van and headed down to the big banks. At 11:30, there were about thirty kids there eager to help out. They all knew what was up and immediately asked me for brooms. I started to unpack the gloves, bags, water and dustpans, and, when I turned around, there were at least thirty more kids behind them asking for stuff to clean with. I immediately realized that we weren't going to have enough supplies, so I sent some of the kids to get more bags, water and dustpans.
By 12:30, I counted 130 kids, and they just kept coming. We were totally out of supplies, but, luckily, Sancho and the Defex crew showed up with reinforcements--more brooms and bags--and the Red Bull crew showed with more fuel for the fire. There were kids and parents working in every corner of the banks--from the group of older guys filling in the missing bricks at the bottom of the wall ride, to the kids scooping up the dirt with their hands, to Taji Ameen's mom pulling weeds from in between the bricks. It was crazy and there were still more kids coming. Some of the bags were filled with so much dirt and garbage that it took four guys to haul them to the street.
After the cleaning officially ended, we did a product toss. Etnies, Defex and 5boro gave out an unusually large amount of stuff. I know that at least 150 T-shirts were given out and there were so many kids it seemed like only one in three got something. After the toss, we took a group shot of most of the kids that helped out and the session began. Highlights included not slipping out in piles of dirt, Billy Rohan's frontside flip over the rail, followed by Anthony Shetler's nose grind on the rail, Dudum's (didn't get his last name) wall ride nollies out on the pillar, Ryan Wiebust's ollie oop wall rides on the pillar, Andy Bautista killing the bank with his bag of tricks and everyone just having a killer session.
Being that the Brooklyn Banks are my favorite place to skate, it was amazing to see everyone pitching in and helping out. Thanks to Defex and Etnies for teaming-up with 5boro to make this happen, the NYPD for not shutting us down, Red Bull for hooking-up the refreshments, Seamus Deegan at 411 and Mike Mazur at Resolve for covering the event, BKNYC for printing the shirts for free, Beautiful Decay for taking photos, Triple 8 for additional prizes, and most of all, everyone else that showed-up to support skateboarding in NYC.
All Pics by Eugene Parciasepe, Jr. 2003