Street Memo - Piety Wharf
“I’ll meet you there...” You grab your board and make your way to the spot. Before you even get there the level of excitement to jump on that first initial 50-50 or noseslide could compare to the anxiety of the first day at school, but as opposed to school, you actually want to do this.
You finally make it to the spot and there it is in all its glory, a waxed piece of street furniture. The homies are there, a quick obligatory “dap”, and you’re off. Jumping on that self anticipated warm-up 50-50 grind.
Spots like these make street skateboarding what it is. New York has Brooklyn Banks, San Francisco has Pier 7, Third and Army, Embarcadero, Philadelphia has Love Park, Muni, Barcelona has Macba and the list could go on and on. If the spot still exists (or skateable) you can almost guarantee that some kind of skateboarding is happening right now.
New Orleans has Crescent Park. A unique concrete “Wharf” in a newer expansion of a park adjacent to the Mississippi River. With a vast array of concrete benches and a stage with small stairs and banked walls this area technically called “Piety Wharf” is an amazing place for skateboarding.
Memories can be foggy, but below is a brief summary of some of skateboarding’s greats and New Orleans locals definitive moments at Crescent Park:
Nic Matchett - 360 Flip over the block, Nollie Flip Tailslide fakie
Locally when we saw this we were mindblown, a standalone 360 flip over the block is incredible, but in a line like this… Unheard of.
The Boys - Board Wallie Train
Kaue Cossa - Switch Backside Heelflip over, Pop Shuv-it Backside Nosegrind 180
The Switch Back Heel was perfect, right into a ledge trick that’s basically impossible.
Charles Johnson - Backside Noseblunt
The style and technique in which Charles does these Backside Nosebluntslides is powerful and unique, in the best way possible.
T-Funk - Ollie from bench to stage
Another spot game-changer, and the lil frontside Wallie after is some pure ripping type shit.
Rob Wooten? - Wallie over the stage
The same day as the T-Funk ollie, homie said “fuck it” and did this huge Wallie. Also worth mentioning that dude did a whole bunch of other stuff that day as well.
Phillip Santosuosso - Kickflip over, Ollie over Trashcan to 50-50
In the same way Stevie was to Love Park, Philly is to Crescent Park. The spot is his. Out of the million things he’s done here, this one exemplifies it all, the effortless kickflip right into a powerful move.
Sebo Walker - Switch Tailslide Nosemanual Nollieflip
In the small amount of time Sebo Walker has spent at this spot, he managed to do a lot, I’m pretty sure that happens everywhere he goes.
This combo is so good.
Nic Matchett - Five O
This photo is amazing, also, the fall into the pit of death factor is high on this one.
Quinn Del Corral - Switch Backside Noseblunt
This is the best possible position you could get into on this bench. Great photo by Fred Simonson and perfect trick selection by Quinn.
Since these events have taken place Piety Wharf has seen some damages. First, a Mississippi river barge collided with the structure of the wharf creating a massive hole and rendering the place unvisitable by “normal” patrons. Shortly after, a storm with high winds caused the back wall to collapse even further rendering the wharf unstable, the future of the spot as of right now is unknown.
Words by: Stephen Serrano @stephenserrano
Photos: Todd Taylor @hollarrr , Fred Simonson @toastninja
Video Clips Courtesy: Jonas Deffes, Converse, Alex Elder