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This week’s Photographic Memory features a photo of Enrique Lorenzo switch nosesliding a hubba in Barcelona in 2002. The summer of 2002 was one of the best times you could have had the good fortune of finding yourself in Barcelona; the stories of endless marble plazas, relaxed public drinking laws and swarms of vacationing females from across Europe populating the topless beaches had spread far and wide through the winter and into the spring of 2002, so when summer arrived, the city was swarming with skateboarders from every corner of the globe sampling everything that made Barcelona so fantastic, the good vibes were infectious and it felt like skate paradise. As amazing as it was to see so many pros from America sessioning those beautiful spots, equally as amazing was the level of the Spanish skaters, there were so many that were ripping that summer–Sem Rubio, Dani LeBron, Javier Sarmiento, Raul Navarro, and Alex Castaneda, to name a few. To say that Enrique Lorenzo was on fire would be an understatement of the combustion he unleashed that summer, his twinkle-toed magic was laughably consistent and to top it off he was welcoming and friendly to any and all visiting skaters.
The majority of visitors were understandably content sticking with the main plazas in the center of town, but myself, and fresh off the lot teenagers Bryan Herman and Kevin Long, who were posted up for weeks filming for This Is Skateboarding, were lucky enough to pile into Catalan filmer Enrique Mayor's car everyday and check out a seemingly endless string of untouched perfect spots. For all the smooth marble perfection, the sidewalks of Barcelona are all paved with tiles that have a floral pattern set into them which makes skating on most of the sidewalks with anything other than cruiser wheels a torturous foot massage at best. There are so many more spots that you could skate in Barcelona that are rendered unpinnacle by these tiles. This spot was no different in run up terms but Enrique Lorenzo was savvy and had a wooden run up stashed that he'd borrowed from a nearby construction zone, local knowledge champions all. I was so stoked to skate with Enrique that summer and so bitterly disappointed when I saw him at MACBA the day that I moved to Barcelona to live in 2004 and he told me he was moving to Los Angeles that week; I'm sad to think of all the photos that we could have shot and good times that we could have had but at least we have a few photos on deck and who knows, maybe I'll make it back out there soon now that he lives in Spain again. Cheers Enrique Lorenzo and Enrique Mayor for your hospitality, check out his Classic Clips compilation of footage from that period, its choc full of hammers.
Words & photo / BARTON