New York Trip - Day 1 - Jersey - Shortys DIY

A huge portion of the people I’ve met throughout my travel experiences had visited New York - I mean it is the 5th most visited city in the world (Forbes). For someone who consistently travels it felt odd that it took 21 years for myself to visit the Big Apple; it’s even more bizarre that my first time was skateboarding oriented! However, I can’t complain because this trip really formulated a deep love for New York City that would not have happened if this trip was done differently. Essentially if I had gone to New York on a different occasion for my first time, I personally think that I’d hate it. With that being said though I got the experience of a life time with the people I was with and places I stood. All in all I have been working so hard and New York was the way to celebrate it!
     It started with a long-ass bus ride from Toronto to the Grey Hound station late on September 28 where I’d meet up with the gang the next morning. Fast forward to getting into New York within the first hour we experience the negative factors of New York on multiple occasions; the most noticeable was awful customer service. There were many genuine workers encountered during the trip, but majority really conformed to the negatively portrayed stereotypical American. This was in various customer based services that we had to use while in New York. Once we got out of the station it was smooth sailing!
     The first night we had accomadations for Jersey where the next day we would make our way to Brooklyn. Getting to the dang motel was a huge pain in the ass due to being located on the freeway - you could only get there by vehicle. However, that won’t stop a group of skaters because we eventually made it to the motel. Also if you’re wondering why we picked a horrible location, long story short, it’s because it was last minute. But before we got to the motel it turns out that Jersey, located only west of New York, is perfect for hill bombs! Check the photos out to see for yourself! 

     The only complaint I can give about this trip was the weather! Rain and complete crap, but we did make the best of it. Anyways we spent a bit of time at the hill bomb spot and finally checked into the motel where we unwinded. Once feeling settled in and ready to move on with the day we had a battle against mother nature. We took an Uber to the closest skatepark to the motel despite the spitting rain. Honestly, what the hell Canada? Why is Uber so much more expensive here than in the States?
     We ended up going to Castle Point Skatepark where we only got a good 30 minute skate in due to the rain. One amazing thing about skateboarding is that the community is universal & it is so easy to make friends. While at the park we met these two gnarly dudes, Jamie & Xavier who showed us Jersey properly. From the raining park they took us to Shortys DIY Skatepark, which was a skatepark completely built by skaters for skaters in Newark - it’s still in the building process. While going to Newark the Uber drive was following Jamie’s car and told us that Newark is the poorest division of the area! All I gotta say is that where I live in Toronto is a joke after this trip, but holy cow did it add to the experience. 

     For what we were able to skate, Shortys was actually really cool! It was too dark when we got there and since the park did not have any lighting equipment we weren’t able to skate. We made our way to Jamie’s division where we chilled & skated. Everything seemed to be built for skaters because there were so many gnarly spots & it makes sense why Tony Hawk’s Underground began in New Jersey. I stopped taking photos are Shortys because I did not feel safe with a DSLR out in the open. We had a wild night, but one thing was obvious the streets are nothing like Toronto and we stood out. Always best to avoid stupid altercations, but I’ll be saving up for a smaller camera so I can shoot in more situations.
     We basically end here and I’ll continue next week with the first day in Brooklyn! Thank you all for your time.

- Dominik Magdziak (:

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