Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Cuba's Skateboard Scene Has Scrappy Charm  

In contrast to America's glitzy and over-marketed skateboarding scene, the young skaters in Cuba embrace a do-it-yourself, scrappy aesthetic. Kelly Crow reports from Havana, Cuba.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

La Sala Polivalente Ramon Fonst (skatepark), Cuba

Sergio Gonzalez, a friend photographer from Cuba, as part of Red Bull crew kindly send us this great pictures from the La Sala Polivalente Ramon Fonst (skatepark), in Cuba. This site-specific painting over the ramps was part of  Sofia's art project, "Skate My Patria".  

Mural by Sofia Maldonado. 

Saturday, April 04, 2009

SKATE MY PATRIA (back from the Havana Biennal)

In 15 day... we did various interviews, painted the Sala Polivalete Ramon Font (skate park) Centro Havana, give out donations to the winners of the contest and part to the INDER (Instituto Nacional de Deportes) the extreme sports division, who has their own way to distribute gear. Thanks to all the people that helped us to paint and make this project possible!

Sala Polivalete Ramon Font (skate park), painted by Sofia Maldonado, Cuba, 2009.

We will post more details of the Cuba trip and project after Sofia's tour around Orlando and Puerto Rico.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Thanks for the bearings!

Dustin & Adrian,

Gracias por los bearings! That's what family is for in this concrete jungle. Es tan hermoso ver cuando los boricuas se apoyamos por los nuyores, detalle que algunos no han aprendido... amigos son pocos en esta vida.

By the way, Mr. Destroyer is back in town.


This past Sunday, the morning after a happy Saturday nite, we met Jahmal at KCDC... Yo! Last night everybody was in party mode, Williamsburg was pack, the beer at KCDC's art show run out super fast, all the art fairs had after parties, the girls could finally wear mini-skits in high hills! We got to see a real ice from Alaska... what?!?... and all our good friends: Scotty, the KCDC crew, Amy, Rob Campbell, Alex Corporan, Rodney Torres, Luis Tolentino, Melisa, Keigo, and others.

Big props to our friend Jahmal, who donated: 2 snickers (Etnies + Nike sb), 4 hats, 6 Hopps t-shirts, 5 grip tapes (we needed this so badly!).

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Ernesto Pujol is a very precious friend of us, and New York-based conceptual artist with a multimedia and interdisciplinary art practice, has donated us a hand painted long board from his series of birds. We were not able to fit this huge board on the crate, so I will just carry it with me on the plain... I hope we make it to Cuba with this beautiful art piece!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

etnies: INVISIBLE WARRIOR SNEAKER release party




Monday 2, last day working on the crate.

Our deadline was March 1, but the Chelsea Visits Havana crew had some delivery delays so...

After organizing and documenting all the donations, we put hem in boxes in a way they fit inside the crate (this was the hard part!). We taped and closed each box, to make sure that if the crate gets open they don't do party with our stuff. I named all the boxes with a marker all around... eventually this changed cause we had to make more space inside the crate, until we puzzled it out. So we fit all in 5 boxes, the use skateboards are in the middle, some shoes and wheels are at the bottom, and the rest is inside the boxes.

Crate #31 (part of the Chelsea Visits Havana event) departs to the 10th Havana Biennial, Cuba.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The inventory (part 1)

Here we will like to share some pictures of our shipment to Cuba. This past weekend I have been working unstoppable organizing our inventory of donations and loading the boxes on the crate. I has been kinda difficult to fit all inside the crate, but today I finally figure it all out. What a puzzle! Know I even have an extra little space, maybe for some extra paints. Oh! Yeah! did I told you that I am gonna paint Red Bull's skate park down in Cuba? ... That's part of the plan as well... lot of fun and work.

The crate has 29 used boards (thanks to KCDC, Nocturnal, friends, Bainbridge Skate Shop, Sofia, Luis, etc); 11 new boards (5 decks from 5BORO; 3 from Bodega; 3 One Skateboards Co.); 12 trucks (from Philadelphia, and Blades, NY); a bunch of wheels (thanks to One Skateboards Co., KCDC, Nocturnal, Bainbridge Skate Shop)...

The rest are shoes from ETNIES & VANS, plus a diversity of clothing by KCDC, VANS & ETNIES. I will post the exact amount on the week at "The Inventory (part 2)".

VANS -early in the morning donation-

Good morning America... here is Vans donation! It rocks!

What a crazy morning! We just survived a snow storm this morning. Even Dustin got stuck in the snow with RockStar's van at Bleeker and Crosby St. We were on our way to the gallery. I took the train until Broadway-Lafayette, and met Dustin, who have been struggling with the snow for about 30 min. There were like a line of people who come and go, they'll stop help lush a bit and keep walking. At least we had some friendly nuyorkers that help us out!

But we are super super happy with this great and colorful donation from Vans who, gave us a little bit of everything, from t-shirts, pants, hats, sneakers, girl stuff, and belts.

Thanks Dustin Charlton, our truck driver, and project assistant in New York!
Also, thanks to his super cool girlfriend who kindly help us moved the crate with all the boxes of donations to the city, last Friday afternoon.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


So, yes is true! Andrew Shusterman (Marketing & Team Manager) is in conversation with us for a possible donation from Stereo Sound. The only problem is the deadline. Let see what can we manage for our friend of the West Side. Also, Stereo Sound would be the only West-Coast label, which would be great if they can get involve in the project!

HOPPS Skateboards

Yo! Hopps in tha house! Jahmal Williams is very interested in our project, I know we got him on short notice... so let see what we can do. If not, then for next time. Is so refreshing to how must American skateboarders have been so friendly to our project.

Yep! Times are changing... OBAMA IS HERE TO STAY! bye bye Guatanamo... keep it moving!

ZOO YORK (mega donation)

This last Friday was full of good news and events... One of this was a call I got from Catherine Nieves
(Intl Marketing Manager), telling me that ZOO YORK was willing to donate $1,000 in merchandise. We still organizing this shipment because it will probably have to be send directly to Cuba. Our crate us mad full, and more donations keep arriving.

Wao! I am surprise this project is just starting and the feedback have been amazing... I wish we can repeat this in the next few years with more budget so we can travel with some pros, do demos, plus donate equipment. That will be the perfect scenario, but for know we just do what I can.

Bodega Skateboards

Yeah! Bodega donate us 3 skateboards on Friday. They also gave me a ride after work, thanks for that! ...and to Oscar Wagenbuchler for helping us unload Rockstar Bearing's truck with all our donations at Magnan Projects gallery, NY.

nite in the AUTUM BOWL, Greenpoint (Brooklyn) they had a fun skate/punk-rock jam going on. I got some nice footage from the event... Got Scotty and Harley ripping it out. Gimme' some time to edit it and I will post it!

BLAST Magazine

We got you some good news from Blast Magazine (Latino America). Las week Olman Torres,
wrote to use about a possible donation 100 issues of Blast Mag. for the Cuban kids. Red Bull (Cuba) might help us on this as well 'cuz we are running low in budget.

We will to up-load soon more pictures from this past weekend adventure: moving the crate from Brooklyn to the city. There are so many donations that our crate does not close, we got to puzzle it out because tomorrow is our last day. The crate gets ship-out March 3.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ETNIES & KCDC (boxes with donations)

Hey! This morning I went to the YMCA, did my cardio and weight routine. In the afternoon, that's when the hard part started. Ride the subway from Nostrand St. to Canal St., walk to Greene St. to pick up a huge amount of boxes at ETNIES Showroom. Alex helped me to move the boxes from the basement... Yo! Thanks for that! Cuz' I know you had had a busy day.

I waited a couple of minutes for the car service. The driver was a strong Domican guy who help me to carry the boxes from the showroom's entrance to the car, and then help me to unload the boxes at BedStuy, Brooklyn. My brother, Gabo, help me to carry the boxes upstairs to my apartment. We placed all the shoes in our living room and took photos for the record: all the shoes are size 9 (men) and there are four size 7 (women).

Muchas, muchas, muchisimas gracias a ETNIES and to Alex!!!!

We hope the Cubans get to destroy all those kicks skating the street of Vedado!

Then at 7 PM I rushed with my groceries mini-cart to KCDC by subway. There I pick up a box with clothing and 9 used boards. Those boys at the shop are always so sweet and sicked with the project... I wish we had enough budget to get ya' all down to Cuba! Anyways, much thanks for your help loading the mini-cart, and, of course, the used boards.

Nice selection of clothing by Amy, from KCDC: Assorted T-Shirts (men), NIKE sweat shirt & pants, skirts, Volcom jeans and pants (girls), a polo and a hoody.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Donations from Philly... and "el carrito"

Melissa and I met at 8:30 AM in Colador Cafe, a Dominican owned coffee shop, in the corner of Bedford and Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn. There we had our cafe con leche con expreso, plus a nice breakfast to start our long trip to Philly.

It was our first time in a Chinatown bus, so we were kinda lost at first. While on tour we did our usual girl-talk, enjoy the view and sleep. Melissa called her twin sister Mariela who told us the good news of yesterday's boxing fight at Madison Square Garden. Mr. Cotto (our puertorrican amazing boxer) won last night against the other guy. Yeah! I bet half of Puerto Rico is celebrating this victory on the beach, mean while our Sunday back in Philly was a rainy and gray day.

Two hours later... the bus finally arrived to Philly's Chinatown. We walk to the mall grabbed a salad in the food court, then ask for directions where they told us to get the 57 bus. With the map in our hands we realized that we were not that far from South St. so we decided to walk. It was like a 15 min. walk... it was cold, windy and rainy, but we made it to a coffee shop in from of Nocturnal Skate shop.

Fresh Chai Tea served by the owner, a very social Palestinian man.

After a great cup of coffee, another of chai tea and baklava we were warm and full of energy to picked up a bunch of donations from Nocturnal and Bainbridge Skateshop. In Nocturnal, Braxton hands up a bag full of wheels, some trucks, like 8 used boards (one of it was from Luis a friend from Puerto Rico), and 3 new decks from One Skateboards Co. At Bainbridge Caezar gave us 3 used boards, and another bag full of wheels. Yeah! Melissa and I where hands full of equipment... cool! but how are we gonna get all this back to NYC?

This is when imagination come very handy... so we built "el carrito" from a skateboard and a recycle bin that we got for free at a gallery in Bainbridge St.

OMG! We were laughing all night long of our funny-weird invention. Hahahaha!!!!

Melissa making sure to tight the handles, and placed in the luggage compartment "el carrito" in the bus.

Sofia pulling "el carrito" from the bus station and ridding it around Brooklyn.

Thanks Melissa, for helping me transport the donations from Philly to NY!
And thanks to all you guys that donated equipment to make this project possible!