I found myself at a crossroads tonight. Should I stay or should I go?
The road looked like Rainbow Road from Mario Kart on the way to Milwaukee. It’s been raining for days, making visibility a little bit… trippy on the lit up highway. Eventually we found our exit after traversing on fine lines and under antique street lights stood a warehouse, ancient yet still standing, and from the outside you wouldn’t think anything was inside of it at all. There were twelve paned windows neatly built into the crumbling brick, some of the panes had cracks in them from old age. Milwaukee is a ghost town right now because of Covid, making the scene very eerie and misty.
“Bang on the side door when you get here,” we were instructed by a friend, and we did indeed. The door swung open and music blared over the sounds of power tools echoed inside the open warehouse. This place was at least three stories high, but open to the ceiling, old industrial lights hanging from the ceiling. Grime coated the walls, not because the place was ill kept, rather… it was old. Based on its location and looks, I’d say this place was around 100 years old, and was probably a factory at some point. From the inside, lavenders and yellows blended through the window panes from the street lights outside, creating a calming, nostalgic feeling when you looked at them. Graffiti was painted on any finished surface inside the park, unique art that is a medium of its own. This place was incredible. Can you guess where we were?
The sounds of wheels running around on ramps quickly filled the open space of the warehouse. The only places that were skate-able were a huge bowl (shaped like a peanut pool) and a mini ramp next to it. The entire skatepark was being remade because it was closed, hence the power tools, and sawdust everywhere, and rouge nails and screws. I climbed up a ramp and was given a chair to sit on while the dudes skated around for the next couple hours. I brought my sketchbook with to work on some ideas, and was inspired by those twelve paned, lavender windows. (That’ll show up somewhere on Adventures Across soon here ;)
Places like this, old, dilapidated, antique, crumbling places really call to me. Skateboarding life calls to me too (though, I don’t skate in parks much anymore). Memories from a few years ago came back to me, this crazy film release party I went to with Austin that was pretty much a Project X party. I never talked about it, but holy shit. There’s something about going to parties and observing the story breaking out all around you that is just so interesting. And rebellious. And fulfilling in some ways. I’ve never “partied hard,” but find it fun to go to them to watch what’s going on. That night I passed blunts with a group of like 12 people, passed out in my tent all afternoon; witnessed a guy jump off the top of a box truck into a mini-ramp and land safely while doing some absurd trick; watched dozens of people ride in and out of a skateboard ramp built inside of the living room in the house; Austin getting a gang of people together to try to break a huge branch off the tree in the middle of the yard; and a group of dudes riding like the wind with all the doors open in an old GMC cargo van screaming shit as they went off a ramp in the distance. How very glorious!
I find myself hanging out at skateparks a lot. There’s this feeling of badassery being in the culture, even though my form of skating is, errr, pretty mellow and laid back. I don’t skate as much as I used to, and I don’t smoke as much as I used to, but I’m glad I can still have this part of me active in my life in some forms. Though it might seem odd, I have this side of me that needs to be fulfilled - the rebellious, masculine side that restored cars with her dad growing up, and went to flea markets and swap meets, that girl who loves to be out under the darkness of night doing something edgy, that tough girl part of me that needs to be expressed.
As much as I was resisting going tonight, I’m glad I did. I rediscovered a part of myself that needed to be expressed. If there’s one thing I wish to share with you tonight, it is that… allow yourself to express yourself. All of yourself. Whatever you need in the moment, allow yourself to do it. We are all parents to ourselves now, we don’t need to be the strict parent ;)
Sending you love,