I love Los Angeles. My expansive urban jungle of concrete, freeways, and asphalt. And these days, you’d be hard pressed to find me interested to want to live anywhere else. I’m rather certain at this youthful age of mine, that I will one day die here. And I say that with a smile on my face and spring in my step. However, once, all was not so. My Los Angeleno’s love runs deep, but there was once a time when a life in a faraway city seemed like the more appealing option. A time when my restless soul had been wooed by the throws of an interaction with the unknown. And so, the love affair with my mysterious city of fog and street cars began. Or, well, so I thought. Unfortunately my San Francisco exodus only lasted a little more then a year, so realistically maybe my love affair could be classified as more of a fling, or an extended holiday romance… Whatever the case, San Francisco has always held an aura of nostalgia about it for me. Every instance upon which I visit, I’m greeted with my memories of all the places I went, all the things I experienced, all the moments and instances accrued during my brief year and some change reprieve from my city of Angels.
This last time was no exception. A week before my planned departure for the fabled broadway bomb, and I found myself unexpectedly road tripping North with Trevor Baird, Adam Stokowski, and Adam Colton, bound for the bay area (Teammate Nic Escamilla’s part was filmed at a later date). We arrived in the evening sometime around 11:30pm or so to an empty Travel Lodge motel. With a planned early wake up, and Ethan Cochard arriving via plane in the morning, the trip was already shaping up to be quite the little collection of concrete crushers.
If you’ve never been to the bay area, you need to understand that San Francisco is basically a large metropolitan area constructed out of the side of a series of large hills. The city scape almost appears to have just been stretched over the terrain. A tangled web of electrically powered buses, low key suburban neighborhoods, towering high rises, and hair raising inclines. San Francisco and the surrounding bay area definitely add a new dimension to the term freeriding.
After procuring Ethan from the airport, we wasted no time hitting the hills. Doing our best to escape the inner city sprawl and dig into the sleepy suburbs, making the most of our morning light. Ethan and Trevor, following suit with the pressure for production, came out the gates swinging so to speak. Watching them step out of the car and onto the hill, you really do get a sense for their natural ability to manipulate whatever it is that they place under their feet. Almost bending the environment around them to suit what it is that they want to do. Smearing out huge slides like butter being spread across toast. Even as a fellow teammate and freerider, it really is something incredible to behold.
San Francisco has a certain character to it that I’m finding trouble translating into words. Apart from the fact that it has a plethora of poetic descents, there is a certain culture, a certain vibe, intricately woven into it’s streets. Like the poems of San Francisco’s Beat Generation, the place has a certain soothing lyrical quality to it. Like a calm and composed friend who always gives good advice, San Francisco and the hills of the Bay all have a story to tell. And I think it’s this reason why it has all of us constantly coming back to borrow from its infinite pool of influence. While we all may live elsewhere, time and time again, San Francisco ends up chiding us back. Serenading the soul and challenging us to see a world without limitations.
This most recent trip North was a special one for us. In spite of our need for speed sense of production on this shoot, San Francisco always leaves us feeling like different people then when we first arrived. Apart from the experiences shared, the hills, the hotel, the dinners, and the drive, San Fran simply has a way of calming the restless soul. Slowing you down (in a good way), despite all of life’s efforts to speed you up.
Thanks for reading!
If you haven’t seen the Kanthaka video, go forth ye mollusk and view it. If you have seen the video… motivate, and go skate!