Sensei Gallery Bar - 135 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002
My trip back to NYC was a long time coming. 21 years ago seemed only like yesterday, once I had touched down at Newark airport. It was not long before the memories came flooding back. The days of meeting mates at Astor place - which for those that don’t know it’s the big metal cube in the middle of the street. Running from Broadway in the west, just below East 8th Street; through Lafayette Street, past Cooper Square and Fourth Avenue; it ends at Third Avenue, continuing as St. Mark's Place.
From here it was down town, maybe a quick stop at Supreme or X-Large to see who was about, then back to skating the streets until we would get down to the Brooklyn Banks. The city in general has always had so much to offer in the way of spots - most of you that stumble across this post who skate will know what I’m talking about.
Anyway I was back this time for Liberty Fairs (Fashion Show) at the Javits Centre, and more importantly to meet up with some very old friends - I call family.
I had finished working for the day and I was siting at the ferry crossing in Hoboken NJ, and as I looked across at the Manhattan skyline I could feel a massive smile on my face. I knew it would not be long before I was down on the lower East Side, which was my home for many years. Awaiting me would be all the friends and faces that I had missed for so long, faces I could not wait to see
I hit the NYC highline and started the trek down town, I reckon it took me a good 1.5 hours. The first stop was to see the man himself, Alex Corporan at his new place, Sensei Gallery Bar - this spot is so cool.
The down stairs is set up as a gallery space for a variety of exhibitions - the upstairs is exactly what I expected. A down to earth bar for everyone, full of real, cool, New Yorkers. All from the lower east side, they all have a story to tell. These are the faces that make NYC what it is today, a collective of Artists, Skaters, Photographers, and Stylists, who together combine the culture of what’s what.
To give you a little info about Alex and his part in the history of NYC Skateboarding have a read of the link below.
Highsnobiety: Written by Ross Wilson
Hanging out and catching up with Alex was so amazing to say the least. It started with a man hug and big smiles, then straight into drinks, general chitchat and celebration time. It was getting late and we were shooting the next day so we headed out for food and drinks on the lower East Side about a couple blocks from the Bar. Now it was time for a good catch up, we laughed so much about what things were really like back when he was part of the KIDS (Movie) era - and how much the scene had changed.
Supreme in its infancy and the stories behind how it really became what it is today - which is just crazy if you really new. Its funny to think the kids of today really do not know how so many of these brands started, and who has been behind the success of them. Simply, it comes back to one thing Skateboarding!
True friendship is not about being with the same people day in and day out, for me its about the people that remain the same just as though time had stood still from when you met last. The care, interest and the ability to feel the way you always have, knowing that you have each others back - even if you are on the other side of the world!
I must say I cannot wait to go back and hang out, which I’m hoping will not be to far away. If you are ever on the lower East Side go visit the Sensei Gallery Bar, say hi to Alex you will recognise him as he will be the guy with the big friendly smile - he is a gentlemen to say the least.
If you have never been to NYC to skateboard and are on your way to hit the streets then go visit http://nyskateboarding.com and see what’s what. Go drink and Sensei Gallery bar and Also Pop into Maxx Fish for some drinks too as once again you get the heart of NYC hanging out there.
Until next time.