But the Williamsburg bridge Buckley and I skated best. Ride red and blue: steel mesh caging smears uptown Manhattan. Until the river is directly below you skate uphill, a drag worth it for the ride down. The grade steepens, you close in to the shore and shadows play catch up, running over each other. On a skateboard you must carve a path back and forth so the board doesn’t speed wobble and throw you off. Should that happen you reflexively use your palms for protection, even though they will gash and bleed and raspberries form on knees and elbows after rolling facefirst– no, instead dig heels into and toes over the board-edge to allow you more lateral mobility. Boardsporters know this. The original phrase ‘hang ten’ comes from ten toes off the surfboard to shred the wave. You gain speed, while weaving to slow down, though eventually you see the end of the path and a solid cement wall three hundred meters down the 8% grade, and you feel imminent wobble. A flying board is dangerous and each second you feel less invincible. Reason kicks in and you jump off to send the board careening off bridge-walls until it falls supine, wheels violently a-spin in stasis. Adrenaline pumps, chest heaves, lactic acid builds in quads and calves. You are glad you bailed because another second or two you’d be bloodied.
Williamsburg has more grafitti and fewer people. They can’t afford Manhattan luxury or weren’t lucky enough to be passed down a rent-controlled apartment, and instead commute or are artists who enjoy the quiet and cheap lofts, or have parents who immigrated here last generation and haven’t moved because it’s home, are the kinds who live in Williamsburg.