Brooklyn Banks and the “Gods”…

By Shaggy.

skateboarding has always being a California thing. Warm climate and surfing year round, thus making sense as to why skateboarding was birthed there. “real” careers had to be being a Cali’ local, and even then you still had to get your “foot” through the door. New York on the other hand, as a skater was different.

The Brooklyn Banks.

In the mid 90’s, skateboarding changed and New York became the Mecca for all things skateboarding related. Brooklyn Banks, Washington Square park, Midtown and Astor place became the go-to spots. New York skaters were different, complete bad asses around the city. They took no shit from outsiders and would rob “posers” for their boards. Also known for being scavengers,(all skaters were scavengers.) Any product that was “free” was taken and resold if not up to par. A favorite past-time hustle, was selling “cracked” boards. Many stories of skating and your board breaking in half after about a week.

The Brooklyn Banks was famous for boards disappearing into the sunset. A case scenario; “Posers” would come by to watch (with brand new nice boards,) “locals” skate and in which case, through admiration, the “posers” would then lend the “locals” boards to use, in turn said “local” skates off into the sunset, your board gone forever!!! The “locals” looked at every outsider as an easy target it was an “unwritten” code of hustle.

Harold Hunter. Photo: Snapkracker.

I remember when I ran into the late Harold Hunter at Washington Square Park, a familiar face to him, he did not think twice about hustling me!! See, I had bought some wheels from him ($10 for a set of wheels was an offer I could not refuse) thinking I’d just made the perfect deal, I noticed one of the wheels was actually smaller than the others by then it was too late, Harold had already disappeared. I never was mad for him hustling me, just thought he was witty besides, the hustling was just part of the “game.”

Howard Glover; Brooklyn Banks 98-99.

Shaggy is a contributing writer for by such and such and has written for Thrasher Mag, Big Brother, Interview Magazine, NY Press, Esquire, Magnet Magazine and Black book. He still skates…