There’s two specific things that are usually going to pique my interest in an independent skate video. A look into a local scene I don’t see represented in most other skate media is the first solid starting point. Secondly, I like that scene to be built around some generally centralized urban location. Metropolitan areas are just what my brain is wired for. As a result, growing up in New Jersey, I always had an affinity and interest in the trail of industrial rust-belt cities snaking off inland into the mystical midwest. It’s a trail I always associated as starting with Newark – the farthest east wing of the midwestern manufacturing arm that, aided by the railroad system, was able to house factories once former coastal port towns became too expensive for businesses.
When I began visiting midwestern cities in high school, I started with the biggest – Chicago. Satisfied with the size and breadth of this true American city – as intricate an inland amalgamation of immigrants and layered politics as any other in the country – I began branching out. Over time, I saw a few more places; Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Madison, Indianapolis, Bloomington. Their scopes and architecture reminded me of Newark, as did the breadth of their spots. The skating in these Midwestern Cities was raw and spontaneous in the way I was used to.
GRAINS is a local video in that tradition of hard-working skateboarding. It’s a Chicago-based video that has sections focused on the spots and cities around it. Many of the sections are available online, including some focused on specific localities; Gary, Indiana; Peoria, Illinois; the midwest’s cellar doors. I was introduced to it this weekend and watched all the parts I could find from it for free. Then I ordered a $5 DVD. I think you should do the same. It was made by Kevin Delgrosso and is a real cool look at a real cool scene.