More great things about suburban West Chester:
My brother-in-law Matt has been rebuilding the wall extensions on local underground skating hangout “The Dust Bowl.” This is a place right near King of Prussia that I was nowhere near cool enough to know about as a kid (but Matt was.) It’s a concrete-lined ditch with angled walls, and local skaters had poured concrete wall extensions, added pool copings, and otherwise done Awesome Secret Skateboarder Stuff there. I think Bam Margera is at the Dust Bowl at about 0:20 here.
When route 202 was widened, the homemade extensions were jackhammered out. Trees were removed between the Dust Bowl and the hotel behind it, so you couldn’t skate there without a hotel manager calling the cops. I can’t count the number of times that a hotel manager has called the cops on me. Actually, yes I can, and that number is zero.
Anyhow, the trees have been replanted, and so Matt built a wall extension and installed it there, and posted some pictures to the straight edge hardcore forum where the skaters hang out, and they’re all a really courteous and genial lot (“Mind if I add some pool coping, friend?” “Why not at all, my good man! Please be my guest!”)
I’m posting this because I’m absolutely certain that my blog readership does not contain anyone that’s likely to go blow up Matt’s secret skating spot by parking stickered cars in the hotel parking lot and generally acting like jerks. DO NOT PROVE ME WRONG, MOM. Thank you.
Anyhow, that’s Awesome Local Thing number one. The other Awesome Local Thing is the tack shop right around the corner from my office. I went in and talked to Joe, and told him that I’m looking to sew plastic to leather, and can he…? YES OF COURSE it turns out he has these giant sewing machines that sew bridle leather together and he makes tack right there in the store:
He got down a patent-leather hide (actual leather! actually shiny!) and we started looking at different materials, and HOLY DAMN there’s nothing cooler than custom-made tack. Especially if it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything useful. More on that later. Here’s Joe, busy taking notes on all the bits of leather we’re sewing together:
West Chester is awesome. New York friends, I urge you to move out of NYC before the recession really solidifies. Come down here (housing is a buyer’s market, although real estate prices here remain strong!) and start a vegetable garden. We’ll weather the Coming Global Depression in style.