Thursday, March 3, 2011

Getting to Bitter Cold Showdown and Coney Island

Last weekend, I attended the largest competition in North America, Bitter Cold Showdown XI.

My flight was a red eye scheduled at 1:30 AM.  I was hoping to leave LAX, sleep, and arrive in Detroit in the morning, allowing me a lot of time to figure out a "for sure" ride to Modern Blade-park.  The earlier to the Blade-park the more time I'd have to catch up with folks and blade the park. 

My phone chimed around 10:00 PM Pacific Time.  An e-mail from Delta.  My flight was pushed back an hour.  It must be the snow.  I had more time to kill.  It didn't help that I had ate a muffin.  I was in a lounging mood.

I figured it'd be a good time to visit my neighbors, some of Carson's Original Gangsters.  After Chuck was okay with dropping me off at LAX we woke up Bino.  We shot the shit, talked about girls, and he talked about how pumped he was of my recent blade-life interview. Bino used to blade, but now, fishes with one of our childhood idols, Randy Spizer.  He's sponsored by Arlo's company, Gost.  Its awesome to hear how he talks about fishing.  We share the same passion, just a different outlet. 

Bino (Matt Florentino) being featured in a fishing magazine.

After several delays my flight was pushed to 5:30 AM.  I was thrilled to be flying.  

I made it to Michigan a little later than I had hoped.  Arrived at the airport with no ride and began to meander and walk around.  Boom, I ran into Cameron Card.  I met Cameron during the 2nd regime days, when he would be playing Halo at Roadhouse's.  Ranier would let me tag-a-long to come blade.  Since then, him and I, only kept in touch through internet edits.  No hate or animosity, just support for doing what we do best, being ourselves.  It was good to catch up, hear about his new wheel that he is getting from Denial, the photography work that he has been doing, and him getting married.  (congratulations Cameron!)  

Cameron was waiting around to meet up with Dave Lang.  The instructor for the Filming class at Wood Ward West's new High School program.  Wow, what an amazing job.  To get paid to do something you love and then have Woodward as your backyard.  Its not a surprise that Dave took first place at the AM competition. 

Lucky enough, I was able to jump onto their ride situation.  Kato and Tom Hyser came to pick them up.  Tom Hyser knew my last name!  It was an honor to be shaking hands with these guys. Of course the ride to Modern Skatepark was filled with blading politics.  I chose to take pictures instead.

After arriving at the skatepark, I was bombarded with familiar faces.  From New York to Long Beach, and everything in between, I ran into old friends and met a whole bunch of new ones.  First thing was first I went blading. 

I stuck around Rachard most of the time.  I think its cause he's the blood from northern L.A. and that I'm the Crip from southern L.A.

I have a clip here, doing what I do best, fastplant to fishy!  (i need to learn a new trick - haha).  But, this is the session that I bladed in.

Bitter Cold Showdown 2011: Friday Warm up Session Edit from Be-Mag on Vimeo.

I also opened up this edit/session with a 540.

Bitter Cold Showdown 2011: Friday Afternoon Practice Session from Be-Mag on Vimeo.

After the blade session it was time for dinner.  We went to the best spot in Royal Oak, MI, Coney Island. 

Ran into Gold Betty. 

Everything was reasonably priced.  Nothing was more than $10.00.  It's a chain that resembled a diner / cafe, with pink tables, pink benches, and midwest locals, that stamped us as tourists.  The menu was hot dogs to hamburgers and the usual salads, Mixed Greens or a Caesar. 

Coney Island is a must for anyone that visits.  There's the Strange Creatures

At the restaurant my "must have" was the chicken tender Gyro.  For under $5.00, I enjoyed every bite, soft and airy Pita bread, with tart tomatoes, refreshing lettuce, crispy deep fried chicken tenders, and mayo to add a little more moisture.   Not pictured here, the next night I had an original Gyro that had tzatziki sauce, that had bits of cucumbers in yogurt that had my toes curling.   

Here's team conference enjoying dinner after a long crazy day.