A Day in the Life of a New York City Skater


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A Day in the Life of a New York City Skater

Leo Gutman took these disposable-camera shots while "riding the Milky Way of tar."

On this week's edition of First-Person Shooter we gave a disposable camera to Leo Gutman, a Staten Island native and New York City street skateboarder. Leo's been skating for 15 years and is in a skate crew that makes some trippy skate vids. Skating in NYC in the summer is like "riding the Milky Way of tar" he says.

On the day he was photographing for us, he got up early and headed to the Chelsea skatepark, then met up with his girlfriend to go on a booze cruise where he crashed a quinceañera on the upper deck. (Unfortunately no skateboards were allowed on the boat.) He told us more about his day below.


VICE: What'd you get up to during your day?
Leo Gutman: First I got up and got some breakfast and coffee with my girlfriend before she went to work. I did some work on my laptop and then went down to the Chelsea skatepark and skated with some locals. After that my girlfriend had some relatives in town so we went on a three-hour boat cruise that went all around the Hudson. There was a quinceanera on the upper level of the boat, which consisted of the birthday girl getting dirty lap dances from all the party members, males and females. One guy was riding on top of her with his chest to her face while holding on to the back of her chair—and then he just suddenly drops her down to the floor while grinding and keeps giving her a lap dance while she's got her back to the floor and her dress fluttering in the air. After the party we headed home.

Who are your skating heroes?
Mike Carroll, John Cardiel, Josh Kalis, Marc Johnson, Dan Drehobl, and a grip of other people… How much time do we have?

Is skating in New York very different than skating other places?
Definitely. All the skate spots are really accessible but there's a lot of rough, hard-to-skate terrain. The rough terrain makes you think outside of the box, use makeshift obstacles and skate in the streets a lot. Pushing through the hot open pavement in the summer time is like being in another galaxy.

Are skaters "bad" kids?
I think most of us can be. If you can defy physics it can be pretty empowering. It's like when all the first astronauts who landed on the moon got back from space, the entitlement sweeps over you… You're on a plane of existence that others can't fathom, and this can make you act out as a bad kid.


However, skateboarders can be some of the best people I've ever met as well… Everyone is very respectful, it's all one big family.

You can buy Leo's video here.