Motor Town Classic: Abandoned Buildings and Summertime in the D
It was pouring rain when I biked over to Chris McCormick's apartment with my skates and a yoga mat attached to a full backpack at 1am last Thursday. I barely noticed the rain because I was only focused on the weekend ahead. We were going to Detroit to skate and party and attend the Motor Town Classic. The Motor Town Classic started last year as a complement to the now defunct Bitter Cold Showdown to give us midwesterners something to look forward to during the frigid months of winter. Things have progressed and this year the date landed a little later in the year and during the warmer months of the season.
So after about 3 hours of sleep Chris and I dipped to the Megabus to catch our ride to Detroit. We arrived at about 1pm and the homie Sean Quinn picked us up and we were on our way. We had no exact plans for the day, or for the entire weekend for that matter, but with Sean I knew we were in good hands. We pulled up to his spot and walked in to see Montre, Ivan, Reyna, Soichiro and his friend from Japan, Eiji. We posted up at the spot for a bit figuring shit out, and made our way to Southwestern High School to skate. It was raining and Southwestern had a sick covered spot. The spot was the gymnasium at an abandoned high school. Two things I learned about Detroit this weekend was that there are plenty of abandoned buildings and there are also plenty of DIY skate spots. Sean and I briefly discussed the gentrification process Detroit is currently going through and I remembered his response to it. He said, 'It sucks if you want to live in a post-apocalyptic rock n roll wasteland', those words resonated with me for whatever reason. Anyway, we skated and explored the decaying high school a bit and then two cops showed up. They gave us a hassle for trespassing, but eventually let us on our way. Afterwards we hit up Green Dot Stables for some dope post-sesh sliders and beers. Next on the list was Modern Skatepark for the qualifier competition and video premier. The highlight on Friday was the miniramp competition. There were things done on that mini that I did not think were possible. It was a showdown between the two locals, Brett Urbas and Luke Naylor with Luke taking the W. That was the best coping skating I have ever seen. After taking care of everything at Modern we dipped to get wings and crash at Sean's.
I woke up the next morning to see some new friends had also crashed at Sean's. Apparently the Southern Scum dudes had made there way there as well. After taking a moment to wake up, we had a cup of coffee and headed out to the competition in the Southern Scum van. The competition was a completely different vibe than the year before, being that it was in the summer. A lot of people were out side drinking and smoking in the parking lot and chilling. At some points it felt like more of a barbecue than a skate competition. That may have been partially because there was a food truck serving up some delicious ribs and barbecue throughout the day as well. One was quickly reminded they were at a skate competition upon walking into the skatepark. Everyone skated amazingly as you can see in the edit shot and edited by Vince Zywczak below, but there was no denying that first place belonged to Alex Broskow.
The competition was lit, but as usual with these things, the after party is obligatory. After the competition wrapped up we head out to a bar called The Bronx. The Bronx was lit as well. So lit in fact, I do not really remember much. I do remember attempting to non-vocally communicate with Soichiro's non-English speaking friend, Eiji. I remember I got a ride back from the bar in a multi-colored psychedelic painted van with some Canadian guys. I also remember that I had a blast kicking it with everybody. I crashed at Al Dolega's place that night. We gathered the troops the next day to try to get a session in before it rained. We were unsuccessful regarding the rain, so we went back to the coverage of the abandoned high school. Unfortunately it was raining too hard even to skate that spot. Although it was covered, the roof was leaky and the gym floor was slippery. We tried to find higher lands and turned what looked like an old science lab into a make shift skate spot. With lab tables laid on their side for ledges and wall rides I ended up having a super fun session with some people I have never skated with before.
The whole weekend was dope. Detroit is a really interesting city with an extremely interesting story and skate scene. This competition is young, and it is not the Bitter Cold Showdown. It is its own competition, and I am looking forward to watching this competition grow and create its own tradition and legacy.
See ya next year Detroit!