(Queens, New York)Whether you are from New York or not, Flushing Meadow Park is a key figure in the culture of New York City and is recognizable for many reasons. From Queens rapper Action Bronson’s notorious bar from It’s Me: “In Flushing Meadow Park drinking Hennessy with my mom,” to the famous World’s Fair Globe, it is obvious that the park is a New York City landmark. Located just 5 measly minutes from Citi Field, Flushing Meadow park is the home of a New York skater’s dream: Flushing Skate Plaza a.k.a Maloof.
Maloof is a skaters heaven; With a nine stair accompanied by banks and different rails, a skater can spend a whole day at the park. The park was built in 2010 by the Maloof Brothers, famous for owning the Sacramento Kings, and was donated to the city after the inaugural Maloof Money Cup. Ever since then, kids from all over have come to skate in the professionally recognized park.
One of the many skaters to check out Maloof is Josh (@Classiclarry), a twenty-four year old mustached man from Washington (Yes, the state.). Watching him cleanly landing tricks and skating with such “old school” aggression made it a necessity to talk to him about skating, the culture and some places to grub after a session.
Moving all the way from the Pacific Northwest to Queens, Josh has been skating for an insane 15 years but has only been skating Maloof for three years. As interesting as his story was, his style was just as interesting. Watching him reminded me of watching old videos of Jay Adams skate when I was a youngin’. This aggressive skating style ran parallel to his taste in music. Punk rock has the same attitude that Josh skates with, and just happens to be the same music he listens to while skating. Bands like The Vandals, Black Flag and The Thermals fuels Josh during his sessions. With this punk rock attitude, it intriuged me to see how he felt about the current state of skate culture and the newly found exposure many skate brands have found due to the rise of “street wear” fashion.
As I suspected, he was not too happy with all of the new found exposure.
“I fucking hated it when Nike SB came out,”Josh said. The invasion by big brands like Nike and Adidas aggrivates him because it takes away from the diversity and creativity that is found in the skate community. Without a sense of invidiuality, there would be no such thing as “culture” in the skate community. According to Josh, these big [sneaker] companies are are “ruining” the situation for other skaters and little skate companies because they have way too much money to spend, therefore giving them immense control. Simply put Josh said, “I fucking hate it,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Now to the important stuff; After we talked skating, music and culture, I needed to know the best food spot for Josh to hit up after he skates. Now Flushing, Queens is literately the mosty diverse place in all of the United States, with people from Asia, South America and Europe making up the extremly unique population. With all of these diverse options, Josh told me his go to place is a diner (Pop’s Diner on Kissena Blvd.) and I couldn’t have been happier because I have a special place in my heart for diner food. After talking about different diners and empanada spots in the area, my interview with Josh came to an end. It is safe to say that Josh, @Classiclarry on Instagram, was one of the most intersting people I have talked to.
Written by Robert Bowe
Photography by James Palmer