We asked Sabotage co-creator and technical footwear enthusiast Brian Panebianco a few questions about what’s to come in the post-Love Park era of Philadelphia skateboarding.
Has skating in Philadelphia changed since Love Park was demolished?
Yes. It’s like we had to restart. Now all we have is Muni (Philadelphia Municipal Plaza).
Is the scene at Muni much different from what it was like at Love? Why?
It’s more of a free for all at Muni. There’s no regulation. Probably because there’s no personal connection, or at least as much as love. Love gave you this feeling, and I can’t explain it. Muni does not. At least for me it doesn’t.
The city likely spent a lot of money constructing Paines Park. Do you guys ever skate it?
Never. I’m not even against it. I want a decent skatepark near by that I can go to and break a sweat and maybe learn something. Once or twice a year I give Paines a try.
As you guys traveled around Europe, have you noticed any similarities between the cultures surrounding the plazas you’ve visited (locals, lurkers, pedestrians, etc.)?
I (went to) Madrid and Lyon, France. Both scenes in these cities are very comparable to Philly. I guess Love was more gnarly, with bums and lurkers. You weren’t allowed to skate there, so that makes it different. But the crews at these spots love and protect their plazas. It goes deeper than skateboard tricks to the locals.
Where do you see skating in Philly going in the future?
Well, I’m sure Muni is next on the chopping block. With Love reopening, I bet they crack down harder at Muni. After that It’s either going to get super gritty, like underground street shit, or it’s gonna get kinda soft, like Berrics high-five type shit.