Words and Photos by Ray Llanos
We’ve had a very cold and wet winter in New York City and seeking refuge from the elements is more than just the instinctual thing to do, it has become a necessity. However, in the city there aren’t too many indoor spots for skateboarders to go to. This, of course, is the curse of any pusher living in the northeastern region of the United States during the winter months.
One of the winter havens in the Big Apple that has saved us has been the KCDC Skateshop Skate Night. With the help of their sponsors, they’ve rented a space down in the Lower East Side (even though the shop is in Brooklyn), constructed a great miniramp in it, and have hosted a number of evenings of shred and fun. And to top it off, there’s even a DJ blasting all kinds of tunes from classic skate rock to today’s hip hop. There’s also a bar dishing out free Pabst Blue Ribbon beers all night.
Lurkers, lovers and party-goers
I got a chance to talk to Amy Gunther of KCDC and asked her a bit about how this all came about. She explained that this has been the 4th winter in which the KCDC Skate Night has been around. It started at their original shop location in Williamsburg where they had a ramp in-house. A few guys had asked her if they could come by after the shop closed to session into the evening. KCDC decided to open up the opportunity to others and started advertising an official skate night. Displaying art also became a part of the equation. And the popularity grew.
Jose pops and catches a melon grab to fakie
After changing the shops location and moving into a more residential part of Williamsburg, KCDC’s customer base became more family-oriented, which meant younger customers and kids needing a place to learn and enhance their skateboarding skills. However, the new location couldn’t accommodate a mini ramp, so last season they hosted the skate nights at a different venue which meant having to take down the ramp and rebuild it every week – too labor intensive for a one night skate session ever week.
Leo takes a frontside air over Alex in an impromptu doubles run
This winter, thanks to the help of lead sponsors like Green Label Exclusives, Zoo York and Asphalt Yacht Club (along with many others) KCDC has been able to host Skate Nights on Thursdays to an always-packed house of skateboarders, lurkers and partygoers. Tonight is the final KCDC Skate Night being hosted by Levi’s with the inclusion of the exceptional skate photography of Jonathan Mehring.
Duncan floats a sweet backside ollie
Henry plants one on the wall, six feet above the lip
“It’s important in the winter to have a place to skate. And I’m very happy to be able to use this space and keep the ramp here. It gave us the opportunity to also use it on Friday nights for Friends and Family Night, as well as for skate clinics for kids on Saturdays. We’ve even been able to work with the kids from our community including some of the kids from the Harold Hunter foundation.” Amy says.
Amy Gunther and Shira smiling at another successful skate night
So if you’re in New York City and can get through the snow and ice that may very well still be falling, head over to 99 Attorney Street, New York City (8pm – 11pm, 21+ only). And make sure you check out www.kcdcskateshop.com for more KCDC. Support your local Skateshop!
Ray Llanos is a skater/photographer with roots from Washington, DC. You can catch more of his work and photos at skatechronicles.com