The Seven-Day War

Welcome to the Seven-Day War. Here’s the deal: Sean Cronan thinks he’s the shit, and I, Ted Newsome, think I’m the shit. So we battled each other for one week to see who could get the best photos of the best skaters. We both reside in NYC, but no rules applied: go anywhere and shoot anybody you can find. We both went all out, pulled strings, called in favors, and maxed out our credit cards to one-up each other. You, the reader, are judge and jury. Your vote will decide who actually is “the shit” and who is just plain shit. Go to www.skateboarding.com to cast your vote for the better photographer. Winner takes the title, loser moves out of New York … ah, you wish, Reda!

Day One:

Newsome I’m awakened by a ringing in my ears so loud it hurts. I pry my crusty eyes open and the ringing stops. Flashbacks of Purple Hooters at the Red Dragon and … oh my god! I was hanging from the ceiling? The ringing starts again, and I realize it’s my cell phone. The sun peering through the windows is blinding. Focus. Focus. I find my pants, pull out my phone, and press talk. “The War starts today!” a vaguely familiar voice declares into my ear.

“Cronan, is that you?”

“That’s right buddy, and we’re at war!”

I release a moan that sounds vaguely similar to “No.”

“Good luck in Minnesota!” The sarcasm is thick, and he lets out a hideously evil cackle and hangs up the phone.

Scramble time¿the War is on, and I’m in Minneapolis with no brain fluid. I never should’ve agreed to go to war with CroMag. That’s all right though¿I could crush the prick using half a brain cell. Did I even bring my camera?

I track down Seth McCallum through Fobia skateshop, and he’s psyched and ready to rumble. He and Clint Petersen meet me downtown, and I put them to work like a slave driver. Ollie this, backside 180 that … damn, Clint does a big-ass backside 180¿first photo in the bag, a little sketchy on the photo-skills tip, but it’ll work. Nap time? No such luck¿Seth has fourteen spots and a new kid in town from Brazil. Seth: switch heel down a double-set. New guy: feeble grind down a sketchy ten-stair. Someday I’ll call Seth and get his last name.

Wake the wife, beg for food. She replies with the normal, “I’ve got spinal meningitis, get it yourself.” Thanks honey, I want half.

Phone call¿it’s Pat Smith. “Hey Ted, Cronan is taking me to Paris tomorrow. If you want to win this war, you’d better shift into high gear.” Thanks, Positive Pat.

“Melissa, wake up! We’re going to Paris tonight!” Airport food, standby, first class. Welcome to heaven, only a few miles above Earth’s surface. A taste of the dog that bit me, seven or eight hours of bliss, and day one is hiss.

Cronan I started the day off by meeting my friends Bobby Puleo and Kris Markovich in Manhattan. We skated around for a bit ’til Bobby took us to one of his spots. Bobby is known for his hoard of unusual and interesting spots, and this one was no exception. A little cement turtle sat smack in the middle of a schoolyard. Immediately, Kris saw the possibilities and set off lipsliding the turtle’s shell. He landed a few, and we were out with quickness.

After taking some portraits, I had to split and drive upstate to meet Dusty Ditch at a secret rail. The drive was long, but I didn’t mind ’cause my new BMW is smooth as buttah. By the time I got there, it was dark. I was mad at myself for missing the golden hour and had to settle for shooting Dusty in the dark. I didn’t have to shoot for long, though, ’cause Dusty did the rail first try! It was a long and smooth drive back to Brooklyn for an after-party and a little champagne.

Day Two:

Newsome Fade from dreamland to hear foreign mumblings. Looking around, I find myself in a wheelchair at the baggage claim, Melissa pushing from behind. That’s why I married this woman¿she’s always looking out for me. She didn’t even wake me to leave the plane, she just loaded me into a wheelchair.ow that’s a wife, kids.

Cab ride, language barrier, French menu crapshoot, and a barrage of phone calls. Stephane Larance, my secret French weapon, is hurt. Scramble, scramble, replacement: Gregory from Street Machine. Oh man, I’m worried. Quick stop, Eiffel Tower, snapshot with the wife, then off to Le Dome, the marble splendor. Locals tell us we just missed Pat and Sean, and that Pat five-0ed the hubba and tre-flipped the double. I ask Gregory to tre-flip the double-set as well, and he agrees. Three tries later, it’s done. A few more and a hardflip, too. Insert bike rack: kickflip. Maybe Gregory was my secret weapon after all.

Too many Mohitos land me on the hood of a new Mercedes taxi, then I’m in handcuffs and off to the slammer. A sleepless night with no shoelaces, and El Bandito who’s in the cell with me won’t shut up.

Cronan Today started before the sun came up with a short drive to the airport and a slightly longer plane ride over the lake to Paris, where I was going to meet my good friend Pat Smith. First class to Europe is the only way to go. The seats fold down into beds, so I caught up on the sleep I missed the night before due to a movie-premiere after-party I attended at an undisclosed club in N.Y.C. I figured Paris would be a good strategic attack on Ted and might possibly put me in the lead.

After making my way through Paris’ smoky Charles de Gaulle airport, I hired a driver and made him race me through the city to meet Pat at a rather large ledge down thirteen stairs. Pat was already warming up when I arrived, and after a few more tries, he backside 50-50ed the ledge and rode away clean. Pat and I cruised around the city for a bit until our chauffeur took us to a Chinese restaurant that served tofu! I decided to catch a first-class flight back to the Rotten Apple that night and left Pat in the City of Light.

Day Three:

Newsome Out of the big house and into the dog house¿in Dutch with the wife. “Screw your war, we’re going to see Kevin in Sweden.” Yes, honey. Airplane, zombie, crackhead. Göttenburg, Sweden. Upon arrival, I learn that Kevin is sympathetic to the cause and knows soldiers. Yes! Locals! Introductions, then spot, spot, spot, while Melissa shops ’til she drops. Two sprained ankles, a few more spots, and I beg to crash and burn. Request denied: dance club ’til dawn.

Cronan Gone drinkin’.

Day Four:

Newsome Running on fumes. Airport. Back of the bus. Head back, mouth open, total crust. Ahhh, Los Angeles, sunshine! No dice¿the day is gone. Only left with night. Call Kris. Come through, buddy, I know you’ve got spots. Late-night sessions produce gems: a backside nosegrind (snatched up by Adio), then a Japan for fun. Boredom sets in. A new mohawk sets the mood. Melissa and I meet Ashley and Kiefer for drinks, and chaos wins. Blurred images of food, clubs, limos, and a private jet?

Cronan After the previous day’s worth of drunken nonsense with my cohort Gary Smith, a.k.a. lil’ Nugs, the world was looking particularly bright and very loud. Today was a slow day due to yesterday’s firewater, but it was worth it to see lil’ Nugs smashing champagne bottles on the ground and eating camera lenses. Toward the end of the afternoon, lil’ Nugs and I went to Manhattan and found a nice ledge for him to do a sweet crooked grind on. Along the way, we ran into Toebee Parkhurst and Adam Clarke, and I shot some photos of them standing around acting tough. Later that evening lil’ Nugs went back to Baltimore, and I went to sleep.

Day Five:

Newsome Awake in a strange room. Afternoon. Go outside¿whoa, I’m at Woodward. Jesse Fritsch informs me I was dropped off by a black car a few hours ago and that I should go and grab my camera. An inverted 540 and a stalefish to fakie later, and I’m stuffed back into a car, then another private jet. Man, I’m livin’ the life! Cronan, eat my dust and thank me for the opportunity to eat my dust. All this traveling is great and all, but I really don’t have any spectacular photos for the War. A quick phone call from the jet and I make plans with Pat Smith and Tony Cox to shred late at night. We get stuck on the tarmac ’cause Bill Clinton is in town. Get out of the way, Willy, there’s a war going on. Taxi-ride downtown. Sargeant Smith, makeshift jump ramp, kickflip, long exposure¿now we’re talkin’. About to call it a night when T-Cox stacks another can on the pile. I lock my camera on a tripod and frame it up. Another long exposure of a seven-foot-high ollie, and I have the best photo of my life. Unfair to even use in the War ’cause it’s made of gold. I think I’ll save it for a cover (hint, hint). It’s 2:00 a.m.¿time to celebrate.

Cronan Today started with a two-hour drive north to Hartford, Connecticut in my gold-plated Lexus. I met Jim Gagne at the fire-station ledge downtown. Jim proceeded to sing me lyrics from a Scorpions CD he had bought the previous day and then commented that the CD was “wicked good.” Then he started to crooked grind the ledge. After a few tries, he grinded the whole thing (which is pretty impressive because the ledge is twenty feet long and the end is over head-high).

When Jim was done skating, we drove across town listening to the Scorpions and waited for Donny Barley to show up. Not long after, Donny arrived, and we went back across town to Trinity University, where Donny ollied over a rail into a twelve-stair bank¿as Jim would say, “Right out of the gate.” Toebee Parkhurst showed up, and we all went back downtown to skate around and find things to shoot photos on. A few hours later, it was looking pretty grim. At midnight we decided to call it quits. We were heading back to the cars when Donny spotted plywood and a road barrier. A ghetto-looking jump was constructed, and after a bunch of tries, some barriers were set up, also. Toebee frontside 180 melon grabbed them with ease. I chalked up day five as a victory, but I knew the master procrastinator had something up his sleeve¿I needed to find out what it was.

Day Six:

Newsome It’s amazing what two hours of celebrating can do to a guy. I finally drag my love handles out of bed and make some calls. Cronan is nowhere to be found. Nobody wants to skate ’til later, so I coerce my wife into a sexy outfit and shoot photos of her in the stairwell. I hit the streets. German Nieves hopped a plug in Midtown¿shitty photo but bangin’ ollie. Hop the train to find Rodney Torres playin’ around downtown. A nice, long crooked grind, and here we go again. Travel uptown to Chinatown and meet Mike Wright. Piss Hubba, gas mask, switch five-0. Hell yeah, Mike, that was sick. Three photos today, and Melissa’s ready to party tonight!

Dinner with Leo brings smiles, then we hit a club called Eugene for the Cheap Date party. Keith Richards, Kate Moss, Vincent Gallo, Liv Tyler, Terry Richardson, and Jason Dill¿all in effect. I had on my baby-blue sports coat and kept hassling Vincent to put me in his next film. I think he likes me, or maybe he hates my guts, it’s hard to tell. Pass out with my wife and a bag of cheesy poofs. Ahhh, the good life.

Cronan I started the day with a barrage of phone calls to find out what Ted was up to. With the help of some well-planted spies, I was told that Ted had taken the initiative and gone off to sunny Southern California. Not one to be outdone, I called my people and had them book me on a flight to San Diego the following morning¿first class, of course. After all the phone calls, I drove across town to Bobby Puleo’s place, where I met up with him, Aaron, and Nick. We drove around Brooklyn for a while looking for spots and enjoying the B’mer until we decided to go to this one spot Bobby knew of. The spot was two steep banks with a seven- or eight-foot gap. It was incredibly hard to skate but super fun. Bobby set off to kickflip it, and after a few tries, he nailed it.

Day Seven:

Newsome I decide to sleep most of the day toon’t have any spectacular photos for the War. A quick phone call from the jet and I make plans with Pat Smith and Tony Cox to shred late at night. We get stuck on the tarmac ’cause Bill Clinton is in town. Get out of the way, Willy, there’s a war going on. Taxi-ride downtown. Sargeant Smith, makeshift jump ramp, kickflip, long exposure¿now we’re talkin’. About to call it a night when T-Cox stacks another can on the pile. I lock my camera on a tripod and frame it up. Another long exposure of a seven-foot-high ollie, and I have the best photo of my life. Unfair to even use in the War ’cause it’s made of gold. I think I’ll save it for a cover (hint, hint). It’s 2:00 a.m.¿time to celebrate.

Cronan Today started with a two-hour drive north to Hartford, Connecticut in my gold-plated Lexus. I met Jim Gagne at the fire-station ledge downtown. Jim proceeded to sing me lyrics from a Scorpions CD he had bought the previous day and then commented that the CD was “wicked good.” Then he started to crooked grind the ledge. After a few tries, he grinded the whole thing (which is pretty impressive because the ledge is twenty feet long and the end is over head-high).

When Jim was done skating, we drove across town listening to the Scorpions and waited for Donny Barley to show up. Not long after, Donny arrived, and we went back across town to Trinity University, where Donny ollied over a rail into a twelve-stair bank¿as Jim would say, “Right out of the gate.” Toebee Parkhurst showed up, and we all went back downtown to skate around and find things to shoot photos on. A few hours later, it was looking pretty grim. At midnight we decided to call it quits. We were heading back to the cars when Donny spotted plywood and a road barrier. A ghetto-looking jump was constructed, and after a bunch of tries, some barriers were set up, also. Toebee frontside 180 melon grabbed them with ease. I chalked up day five as a victory, but I knew the master procrastinator had something up his sleeve¿I needed to find out what it was.

Day Six:

Newsome It’s amazing what two hours of celebrating can do to a guy. I finally drag my love handles out of bed and make some calls. Cronan is nowhere to be found. Nobody wants to skate ’til later, so I coerce my wife into a sexy outfit and shoot photos of her in the stairwell. I hit the streets. German Nieves hopped a plug in Midtown¿shitty photo but bangin’ ollie. Hop the train to find Rodney Torres playin’ around downtown. A nice, long crooked grind, and here we go again. Travel uptown to Chinatown and meet Mike Wright. Piss Hubba, gas mask, switch five-0. Hell yeah, Mike, that was sick. Three photos today, and Melissa’s ready to party tonight!

Dinner with Leo brings smiles, then we hit a club called Eugene for the Cheap Date party. Keith Richards, Kate Moss, Vincent Gallo, Liv Tyler, Terry Richardson, and Jason Dill¿all in effect. I had on my baby-blue sports coat and kept hassling Vincent to put me in his next film. I think he likes me, or maybe he hates my guts, it’s hard to tell. Pass out with my wife and a bag of cheesy poofs. Ahhh, the good life.

Cronan I started the day with a barrage of phone calls to find out what Ted was up to. With the help of some well-planted spies, I was told that Ted had taken the initiative and gone off to sunny Southern California. Not one to be outdone, I called my people and had them book me on a flight to San Diego the following morning¿first class, of course. After all the phone calls, I drove across town to Bobby Puleo’s place, where I met up with him, Aaron, and Nick. We drove around Brooklyn for a while looking for spots and enjoying the B’mer until we decided to go to this one spot Bobby knew of. The spot was two steep banks with a seven- or eight-foot gap. It was incredibly hard to skate but super fun. Bobby set off to kickflip it, and after a few tries, he nailed it.

Day Seven:

Newsome I decide to sleep most of the day to give my body, and Cronan, a break. Evening session with T-Cox at a makeshift skatepark in Brooklyn. Big ol’ melons on the volcano, and I’ve got another gem. I grab photos of Will Harmon and Dan Pensyl, who are also wrecking shop, but I’ll save those for later¿I want a spread out of this session. We grab burritos with Patrick O’Dell and then get shot through underground tubes back to Manhattan.

A session is brewing at O’Meally’s spot, and O’Meally’s not there, so I set up and shoot Will, Tony, and Aaron Suski. I prop up my camera and do long exposures of Will’s frontside crooked grind, Tony’s tailslide, and Suski’s backside lip. I run into Cronan on the street and thank him for the battle. It’s done wonders for my photography. I ask how his week has been, and he says: “You should be limping right now, ’cause I got some good shots in.” Well in that case, Cronan, lay down, ’cause you’re dead, my friend.

Cronan The final day started with an 8:00 a.m. flight to San Diego that put me in around 12:30 in the afternoon. Charlie Thomas (Foundation team manager and all-around nice guy) and Justin Roy picked me up at the airport. We went to this eleven-stair rail that Justin wanted to kickflip backside lipslide. When we got there, Justin just started going for it. The kickflip backside lip wasn’t really a problem for Justin. The problem was the landing¿it was super rough and had a crack that his wheels always seemed to land in.

After a bunch of slams, a big hipper, and a twisted ankle, Justin called it quits. The sun was starting to set, so Charlie took us to the harbor, where he backside 180 flipped this gap off a bunch of bike lockers. The most impressive part was that after a few tries, Charlie snapped his board but simply turned it around and made it on a broken board! My time in S.D. was over, so Charlie took me to the airport to make the one-hour flight north to San Francisco. When I got to S.F., Dave Duren was waiting for me. We jumped in his car and drove right to a school where he kickflipped through a circular hole in a wall. I was glad that Dave had found such a cool spot. After skating, we went downtown and had a good dinner, champagne and all¿glad the War was over.

y to give my body, and Cronan, a break. Evening session with T-Cox at a makeshift skatepark in Brooklyn. Big ol’ melons on the volcano, and I’ve got another gem. I grab photos of Will Harmon and Dan Pensyl, who are also wrecking shop, but I’ll save those for later¿I want a spread out of this session. We grab burritos with Patrick O’Dell and then get shot through underground tubes back to Manhattan.

A session is brewing at O’Meally’s spot, and O’Meally’s not there, so I set up and shoot Will, Tony, and Aaron Suski. I prop up my camera and do long exposures of Will’s frontside crooked grind, Tony’s tailslide, and Suski’s backside lip. I run into Cronan on the street and thank him for the battle. It’s done wonders for my photography. I ask how his week has been, and he says: “You should be limping right now, ’cause I got some good shots in.” Well in that case, Cronan, lay down, ’cause you’re dead, my friend.

Cronan The final day started with an 8:00 a.m. flight to San Diego that put me in around 12:30 in the afternoon. Charlie Thomas (Foundation team manager and all-around nice guy) and Justin Roy picked me up at the airport. We went to this eleven-stair rail that Justin wanted to kickflip backside lipslide. When we got there, Justin just started going for it. The kickflip backside lip wasn’t really a problem for Justin. The problem was the landing¿it was super rough and had a crack that his wheels always seemed to land in.

After a bunch of slams, a big hipper, and a twisted ankle, Justin called it quits. The sun was starting to set, so Charlie took us to the harbor, where he backside 180 flipped this gap off a bunch of bike lockers. The most impressive part was that after a few tries, Charlie snapped his board but simply turned it around and made it on a broken board! My time in S.D. was over, so Charlie took me to the airport to make the one-hour flight north to San Francisco. When I goot to S.F., Dave Duren was waiting for me. We jumped in his car and drove right to a school where he kickflipped through a circular hole in a wall. I was glad that Dave had found such a cool spot. After skating, we went downtown and had a good dinner, champagne and all¿glad the War was over.