Once Upon a Time.

May 11 2017

It’s 2008.

I’m in New York still. This is going to be my last summer. All of my friends in the city are on heroin or moving on. No one parties anymore-they just sit in different apartments and nod out. It’s been almost 10 years. I’m not happy with anything I do. I’m not into building other people’s dreams. I’m not into throwing parties for boring yuppie people. I want to make cartoons but everything I do is so heavy. I listen to “dreadlock can’t live in a tenement yard” over and over again. People want me to do art work for them for free. I need cash. I’m not a messenger. I don’t find joy or release in anything. I’m burnt out. So much drugs and alcohol and so much to destroy myself. So many days I slept through to stay up all night. I feel like I ran out of options.

Except for bikes.

Before: I used to get a kick out of being stronger or faster than people that took care of themselves and trained. It was like a personal challenge to be such a wreck and still be able to turn over the pedals in the big ring. Smoke cigarettes. Drink so much. Take or do whatever was there and then sit on a saddle and embarrass some clean living dude in full kit on a road bike.

Part of this is a reaction to being straight edge for so long. I was always into absolutes. One direction or the other. When I was straight edge I was so straight edge. When I stopped that I was out of control. I had so much anger and rage issues left over from being a kid. All the rejection and hatred and violence from regular society– school, family, young friends. It was all there and I never dealt with it. I just acted out with my own rage and violence. First at hardcore shows and in high school hallways. Later-on the streets. I felt like society didn’t want me and I didn’t want society.

Being a bike messenger was a gift to me. I was 19. I could be outside. I didn’t have to deal with a lot of normal work bullshit. I had my only little world to hang in. Anytime I got mad or bored of conversation I could just break the fuck out. It saved me then. it gave me an outlet. Everything was an outlet for me. Graffiti, art, music, shows and riding bikes.

Back to 2008.

NY Friends are dying. None of my things make me happy anymore except bikes. I leave New York a lot to come down to Philly and stay with Gary Knight and ride. He takes me down Lincoln Drive and Forbidden Drive and into Mt. Airy hills on a too small 1950’s track bike and it saves me.

My Central Park laps weren’t comparing to what I was experiencing in these Northwest Philly hills and valleys. I stay at Danlord’s and chill with Lew Blum. My wife and I begin discussing getting the fuck out of New York.

I don’t know where a lot of my friends are… Lots of petty arguments over trivial stuff. Lots of egos including me. None of it seems important now. Tokyo, rehab, jail, LA, somewhere not downtown chilling. My wife and I go to Barcelona for the summer on an apartment swap and we make plans to bounce. We have a house we can cop in Gtown for about half of our rent on Broome Street.

Emily is pregnant. We buy the house. The stock market crashes. We split the difference of 08-09 between manhattan/then long island/then germantown. Serge gets a house there too. All Landlords skate or at least go to the skatepark and chill. Happy Hollow Skate Team. Dan and I make the Landlords book and start the blog. I spend time with my daughter and wife. I work on my house, I ride my bike and I think I might be happy for the first time in forever.


As time goes on the blog loses it’s meaning to me and Dan. I’m not even sure who we’re doing it for. It feels like I’m throwing words and pictures into a void. There’s this dumb vintage road bike balloon swelling up, about to pop and I feel like we’re stuck right in the middle of it and that’s never what we wanted Landlords to be. I always wanted to be the needle that pops the balloon–not in the balloon. Dan suggests we quit and I happily agree. (I wrote about this part of it before. But new audience needs some background.)

To be continued.