Taji’s Mahal - Slappy Sundays with Alex Corporan

By Taji Ameen

Every Sunday, the legendary skaters of New York City gather around the Astor Place Cube to rip the living shit out of the curbs. This week I had the honor of chatting with Alex Corporan about why they do it.

VICE: Tell me about the history of Astor Place.
Alex Corporan:Astor Place has always been known for its curb but also for the cube that you can move around. This is where we started getting the feel of how to grind. We learned to slappy into a grind instead of ollieing, especially back in the day when ollies were a lot harder. The curbs used to be a couple inches higher. But because the street is constantly getting paved, they’re a bit lower now. Back then, you had to get up there. It was like a mini wall.

How long have you been coming here?
I have been coming to Astor Place for as long as I have been skating, almost 26 years. My fondest memory is watching the Shut guys rip the shit out of these curbs. Watching them was phenomenal. Bruno Musso would style with his hands and tear right through the curb. Barker Barrett, Dune, and the other Shut guys would just kill it.

Would those fun-wrecking cops give you guys a hard time?
The bust factor was pretty big back then. In the 80s no one knew what the hell we were doing, but in the 90s it became a bigger driving force for crime. There used to be a parking lot across the street where people would hang out, smoke weed, and drink beers. The city was raw and the cops were easily confused by what was going on. They were always trying to pick on us because we were that new energy in New York. It was a big, “What the fuck are these guys doing here?”

Why did you bring Slappy Sundays here?
We started it about four months ago. My friend Alyasha and his boys in San Diego have been doing Slappy Sundays for the past three years. It's easy out there because they are closed in, school is over, and they have a great curb. That inspired me to do Slappy Sundays here. I called up Ali and asked to use the same name and concept for a New York chapter. Aly and his boys gave their blessing and now we're here every Sunday slappying it up.

Photos by Taji Ameen and Justin Fly

@redalurk

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