Owner of I Roll NY, Craig B., was lucky enough to be interviewed by the New York State Of Mind crew. Read the full interview at the NYSOM site to read Craig’s point of view on the current state of New York City skating and the future of I Roll NY. “This guy right here accomplished a lot for the NY Scene. His name is Craig & he is the founder of IRollNY. NYSOM recognizes & respects Craig for his hard work & numerous accomplishments as a Photographer/Videographer for the NY Rollerblading Scene. Over the past 8 years He witnessed the best and the worst as he took the lead in generating content for the NY Rollerblading scene. NYSOM is proud to present IRollNY!” – NYSOM. Full interview here.
Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category
New York State of Mind is a new media based website from NYC bladers James Perez and Terrence Henry. Check out their interviews with Ivan Narez and Austin Paz at the links below. “New York State of Mind is a concept We have been working on for an extensive period of time. However, I couldn’t Have made this idea into a reality without the help of my dear friend Terrence Henry.
“We are both born and raised in New York City, we also attended college together at Borough of Manhattan Community College. “N.Y.S.O.M” is a project Terrence and i created, in hopes of producing unique content to share with our viewers. “N.Y.S.O.M” works closely with some of the best rollerbladers in the rollerblading industry.
The content includes photographs, videos, articles that may vary, including interviews. New York State of Mind gives the person an opportunity to share their thoughts of the city, and their experiences in the state of New York. Hope you join us for the ride!” – James Perez.
OK, so let’s get the most important question out the way. Why should people buy this video?
Sean Grossman: Well we aren’t professionals or big names, but we all have a passion for blading and this video definitely portrays it. It’s the first video to come directly out of New York in years and I feel it really defines our scene today. BAB has a very old school skate video feel. I chose to focus less on filming b-roll and lifestyles, and more on the skating. The thing I like the most about the video is that each section is completely different than the next. Each skater has a completely different style and trick vocabulary to offer. This brings so much variation into the video, making it something that every rollerblader can enjoy.
What made you want to make a video in the first place?
I’ve been filming skating since I was around 16 years-old. I always went out to skate / film but never released anything until I taught myself how to edit. I originally wanted to make a skate video entitled Peep Game, which featured Trevor Johnson, me, Chris Murphy, and some others. For some reason the video became a few online edits that went on rollernews for a day and then people probably forgot about it. After Peep Game I bought a new camera for a steal and began going out and filming again. I wanted to make another online deal but realized after all these years I’d rather make a DVD so I can have something physical to look back on when I get older. Online edits are cool, but I didn’t want to see my work get lost in cyberspace again. Big Apple Blade is pretty much what Peep Game was supposed to be, but something far beyond my original intent.
Who are your favorite rollerblading filmers and editors?
Definitely Amir Amadi, Brandon Negrete (RIP), Carl Sturgess, Sean Kelso, and Ivan Narez. I’d have to admit these dudes influence my work a lot.
With people straying away from DVD’s, including some of the guys you mentioned, releasing free online videos and pay per view / download videos what made you want to release a DVD?
Owning a physical DVD is much more exciting than a digital file. I love to have a case with cover artwork, and a disc that I can play anytime. I have a huge collection of skate videos and I always watch them. They allow you to reminisce on the excitement you had when you first put them in your DVD player and hit play. Clicking a file and watching it on my computer doesn’t do justice. That’s why I decided on doing a DVD.
Revolution skate shop posted up an interview with Staten Island’s own Austin Paz. Check out the interview here. Check out Austin’s trip to Arizona below.
Adonis Taylor: Yo what’s up man? How you been?
Ramelle Knight: Been good, just working on healing this knee.
Yeah I see. I’m hearing all about this knee but I’ve got no idea what happened
. Fill us in…
Yea man… Here’s what happened… Mid August a 95 year-old (Yes 95 years-old, lol) lady T-Boned into my girlfriends car hitting the passenger side in which my knee became sore. I went to a knee specialist and had some MRIs done of my knee finding out that I tore my meniscus. Right after finding that out my doctor did surgery to repair my meniscus as well as some other cartilage tearing.
Yikes. I forget that we have misfortunes outside of blading but I’m kind of happy to hear it wasn’t through blading.
Didn’t you have a previous knee injury from blading circa the Know Difference / |B| Unique days?
Well I’ve had a couple bangs and bruises at that time but nothing that needed any surgery.
Okay, How soon can we expect to see you back on a pair of blades? And what have you been doing in the downtime?
Right now I’m working with a great physical therapist to get me back to 100%. In another 4 weeks I should have full range of motion so I’ll say in about 8 weeks or so I should be fully back up and running again. 8 more weeks on Therapy and 4 after that of me just working out and building muscle back.
Oh that sounds like a quick recovery process. I guess I’m not too familiar with the meniscus. For those of us that don’t know, what exactly does the meniscus do
The meniscus is basically a cartilage disk that acts as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet in a joint.
Okay I can visualize that better now which actually sounds like it won’t be the same after tearing it. Once your range of motion is back do you anticipate losing any tricks or being partially limited on a certain side?
I hope that I’m not partially limited. My doctor says once fully healed and strengthened properly I should be able to do whatever I was able to before the surgery. I know with my own mental fears I will be limited at the beginning but as time goes on I think I’ll be back to normal.
I’m relieved to hear that this injury is not as severe as assumed and I hope you can make a full re-introduction.
I hope so too bruh.
Before I go any further… I’d like to personally thank you for this opportunity and for giving us all a chance to get to know what’s going on in your life.
You’re quite welcome Adonis and thank you as well for taking the time out to chop it up with me.
Interview: Adonis Taylor. Photo: Ryan Loewy.
Ryan Loewy has been a great contributor to I Roll NY and throughout the years has expanded his photography coverage to most of rollerblading’s most popular websites. Not one to shy away from openly addressing controversial topics, I not only wanted to give a look into Ryan’s photography work, but also take a look into his thoughts on the current status of rollerblading and the way it is portrayed within the rollerblading media. View the mobile version here.
Brian Shima – Fishbrain stall. Photo: Drew Amato
“The Brooklyn Banks in New York is one of the most famous spots in the world of extreme sports. Already in the mid 90’s the first generation jumped the stairs and worked on their first grinds. Over the years the spot, which is in front of a huge police station, became a legal street spot and some of the biggest real street events in blading, skateboarding and BMX took place at the banks.
But today the spot is un-skatable since its giving construction crews a staging area for trucks and equipment until 2014 during a four-year renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge. We spoke to some of the NY locals to find out how they feel about the situation…” – Blading.info.” Full articles at Blading.info.
Austin Paz about the Brooklyn Banks What does this spot mean to you?
This is one of the few spots I’ve seen people skating since before i started in the mid-90s. Every time I see or think of the banks, I see history. The Brooklyn Banks is the Madison Square Garden of skating. If you go to MSG, all over the place you can see huge pictures, portraits, and plaques of historical moments in sports that have happened in that arena throughout its existence, I always felt you could do the same thing at the banks.
Here’s Angelo Ferrer (The Art of Rolling) about the Brooklyn Banks. Best memories from the Banks?
One of my personal favorite moments at the Brooklyn Banks occurred when I was young and there was a huge NISS skate competition at south street seaport. I was very young at the time and was lucky to be unsupervised by my parent and joined the mob of skaters that flocked the Brooklyn Banks.
I remember at the time there being skaters from all over the world there. It was my grommet period in skating and I adored how all the pros I looked up to happen to be in one spot at the same time. For whatever reason the Brooklyn banks session stood out more to me than the competition that took place shortly before because everyone was putting in so much energy. It was great to see what normally I would only see on television take place right before my eyes.
Brooklyn Banks Present day. Photo: Ryan Loewy
Would you say it had an influence on your development as a rollerblader? (Franco Cammayo)
I think so. Provided the rugged layout, dirty unforgiving floors and raw obstacles in a place where it was easy to meet bladers from all over the five boroughs I think it embodied NY blading in a nutshell and it shaped my blading in terms of working with what the spot has, making old things into something new, creativity etc.
Would you say it had an influence on your development as a rollerblader? (I Roll NY)
The Brooklyn Banks definitely had an influence on my development as a rollerblader and I think it influenced almost everyone that was lucky enough to skate it. The Banks was one of the premiere spots in New York City to try out new tricks and perfect the ones you already had in your vocabulary. Not to mention it was the spot where all of the big tricks went down during most of NYC’s biggest competitions. The down rail was the perfect setup to get people juiced to try new tricks and when the bigger stair rails were put in, it was time to step it up and see what you could really do. The Brooklyn Banks was about 4-5 different spots all in one location and I think it helped a lot of bladers with their tricks and influenced them to try new ones.
Read the full interview on ShutUpAndSk8. “Craig Benabu’s 5W’s is a great read and I hope that it lights a fire under NYC’s collective asses. I sent over my questions and he provided me with thorough answers making this my favorite 5W’s thus far. Thank you Craig for being honest and telling it like it is” – SUAS.
With all of the new amazing talent that is brewing in every borough WHO do you see as the young leaders of the future of NYC blading?
No doubt there is a ton of talent in NYC, but as for leaders? Unfortunately, I really don’t see anyone stepping up to the plate and trying to do something more for our scene than just trying to make a name for themselves and the small group of friends they skate with. A leader to me is someone who is trying to expose our local scene and talent as a whole. A leader is someone who shows love to everyone, not just a select few. Our scene lacks unity. There was a short period of time where most, if not all, of the rollerblading media heads were working together or at least working under the same umbrella, and honestly that was when NYC was blowing up again within the blade media. I’d say this was around 2009 up until late 2010, where most decided that they would be better off on their own focusing on stamping their name on everything and only working within their own website or crew.
Now look where NYC is at. There’s no coverage on our scene on any non local blade media site, or in any magazines or videos, and the people that branched out are barely putting out any new media. We’re back to being one of the biggest but least exposed scenes within this small community and honestly it’s our fault. Everyone’s too concerned with just building their name up instead of building up NYC as a whole.
After all these years HOW do you keep up with providing new content daily to I ROLL NY?
Well this year I’ve made some changes. I stopped mindlessly posting content and media from anyone and everyone. After about five years of showing love to just about anyone, I started to ask myself who were the people that were showing love back? Who were the people that I helped come up in this industry that still continue to help the site out? And unfortunately the list was and still is very small. With mostly everyone only looking out for themselves these days, I decided that it’s not fair to our scene as a whole to share content from people who’s only focus was to build their name up. As I said before, I recently updated my equipment so now I have the chance to create content that brings the site’s focus back on the NYC scene as a whole myself. Full Interview.
Photo: Jeremy Stephenson.
“New York City has been a hub for street skating since the birth of the sport and early videos like The Hoax showed the strong scene that existed there from the very beginning. Jon Ortiz knows about the city’s proud blading history more than most people. Alongside the first generation of street skaters that included Rawlinson Rivera, Ryan Jacklone, Joe Dedentro and the Dave Ortega, Ortiz helped establish the city’s legacy and paved the way for future icons of the spots like Mike “Murda” Johnson and Billy O’Neill.
During the rapid rise in rollerblading’s popularity in the early nineties, Ortiz competed regularly at the NISS and ASA events that received a lot of television coverage at the time and he could be seen in the majority of skate videos that were being released with rapid succession. He was also one of the first skaters to receive a pro wheel from the Medium, the notorious wheel company owned by Shane Coburn before he went on to found Mindgame.
Despite the fact that Ortiz has been rollerblading for over two decades, he is still skating hard and can be seen in many of Denial’s recent edits. He is one of the few professionals from that era that remain involved in the industry and he has managed to carve a career for himself out of the sport by organising rollerblading lessons in his home city and judging major blading events including The Bittercold Showdown and WRS Finals. There are only a handful of personalities that have witnessed the birth of street skating and stuck around to see it develop into its current state, so we decided to gain a little wisdom from one of the original New York icons” – WheelScene. Full Interview on WheelScene.
“Malik Ashby is a progressive blader. I say that because every time you skate with him he laces something new each time. He starts off each session shaking hands and smiling but shortly after once the iPod play button is pressed he quietly goes through the motions of his expanding and stylish trick vocabulary. Malik spreads the word about USD everywhere he goes as well which is necessary while representing one of the biggest companies in rollerblading. Even though it seems he is constantly being criticized he keeps a level head and keeps on blading as part of the future of the growing NYC scene” – SUAS. Read the full interview on ShutUpAndSkate.
SUAS: You just dropped a fresh new edit right in time for the holiday season and you have clips in pretty much every edit coming out of NYC. What are you building towards with all the work that you are putting in with the blades?
MA: I started roll’n for fun and I’m still just doing this to have fun basically.
SUAS: How do you feel about the current resurgence of the NYC blading scene?
MA: I just love that there is mad f#^&ing new bladers because every park you roll in NYC there’s always someone to teach or learn from.
SUAS: Where do you see rollerblading 10 years from now?
MA: With all the advance technology Powerslide is creating, I see rollerbooting becoming more of an everyday lifestyle for people who don’t even roll now.