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From the Hudson River shore to Lake Erie

Text by Bram De Cleen

Italy, France, Mongolia, Spain, Finland, Sweden, … The Carhartt skateboard department has done more than its fair share of traveling. Left, right, up and down. Across the pond as well – to Costa Rica. Japan even, not too long ago. But never in all these years has it paid visit to that one place. You know, Stars and Stripes, the birthplace of jeans, skateboarding, Carhartt, 5boro and a whole lot of other stuff. Last spring a bunch of Carhartt team riders packed their bags, said farewell to their respective countries and met up at JFK airport for two weeks of pushing around and eating fried food. Waiting for them at the airport was 5boro team manager Tombo, who would take them to meet the rest of his crew, which was the whole idea behind this trip. Personally, I had never been to the United States of America either. Actually “the United States” is not what it’s called in my brain. It’s called “Amerika”. Pronounced really harshly with every letter sounding like it sounds in the alphabet of my native Flemish tongue. It’s kind of hard explaining that in English writing. /a m  ri  ka/ America sounds like it’s very far away, I can tell you that, and it contains some type of disbelief. If a little kid says it his eyes open widely and he secretly wonders if the place even exists. Kids get told all kinds of bullshit stories, and America could perfectly be one of them. By the time I checked in my bag at the airport in Brussels I was pretty sure that I was going to an actual location but in a way it still felt as if I was going to fly into my grandmother’s television. “Jay F Kay”, “cowboys”, “Chicago”. This feeling only got confirmed once I landed. Everything looked and sounded just like it does in movies and TV shows. A police car drove by and I felt as if I could pick it up and crash it into the rest of my Duplo toys. An hour and a half traffic jam later we were in 5boro’s new office on Broadway where the

rest of the guys were waiting around. We shook hands, looked at skatemags and shared a New York pizza. When that was done we went outside for beer to seal the deal. So much for cultural differences. The next couple of days would be spent in New York City. We never made it to Staten Island but got a taste of the four other boroughs. 5boro obviously took the lead and knew where to go, but I’m sure the enthusiasm of the guys who had never been in NYC was part of the equation as well. Half of the crew had seen it all before and the other half looked at it with fresh eyes. After that we would go to Detroit, Michigan, where all of us would be equally lost. Fifteen hours of driving, each one longer than the one before, away from the liveliness of New York. All the way through Pennsylvania and Ohio, in a van that seemed to get smaller every passing second. We got our hands on the most elaborate spotbook ever, but Detroit was a hard place to get a grip on. I’ve been back home for a while now, and still don’t really know what to think about it. The same goes for NYC, actually. A week’s time seems barely enough to understand only the scale of it. Everyday I spent there made the city seem bigger than it already did. I skated, ate, and did the same things I do when I’m at home. NYC is NYC, Detroit is Detroit and home is home, but skating, eating and doing random stuff have the same essence wherever you go. Off course Broadway has a different vibe than the 8 Mile road or my hometown, but a no-comply is still a no-comply and pizza is still pizza. I’m sure you can imagine the differences by yourself. If this is not the case, I sure as hell am not the right person to explain them to you. That’s why, on the next pages, I’ll leave the word to people that have had more time to let it all sink in, and didn’t waste their time doing no-complys all day.


Photographs Bertrand Trichet Drawings Pontus Alv  Text Bram De Cleen  Conception Jad Hussein  Art Direction Mark Nardelli, Pontus Alv, Bertrand Trichet  Editor Edwin Faeh Work in Progress GmbH  Graphic Design Jad Hussein  Text editing Philip Evans  Printed by News Paper Club, UK

Work in Progress GmbH Hegenheimer Str. 16 79576 Weil am Rhein Germany 5boro Skateboards 648 Broadway #701 New York, NY 10012 USA © work in progress gmbh & 5boro skateboards 2011

Cover picture Pontus Alv, Manhattan, NYC Opposite page picture Detroit industrial suburb

Detroit industrial suburb Š Pontus Alv

By Gil-Scott Heron

By Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

It stands out on the highway Like a creature from another time It inspires the babies’ questions “What’s that?” For their mothers as they ride But no one stopped to think about the babies or How they would survive And we’ve almost lost Detroit This time How would we ever get over Losing our minds Just thirty miles from Detroit Stands a giant power station It ticks each night as the city sleeps Seconds from annihilation

The sheriff of Monroe County had Sure enough, disasters on his mind And what would Karen Silkwood say to you If she was still alive That when it comes to people’s safety Money wins out every time And we’ve almost lost Detroit This time, this time How would we ever get over, over Losing our minds You see, we’ve almost lost detroit that time Almost lost detroit that time

And how would we ever get over Cause odds are We’re gonna lose somewhere, one time Odds are We’re gonna lose somewhere, sometime And how would we ever get over losing our minds Didn’t they, didn’t they decide Almost lost Detroit that time Damn near totally destroyed One time. Didn’t all of the world know? Say didn’t you know? We almost lost Detroit Damn near totally destroyed From the album “Bridges” Released in 1977 by Arista Records

Manhattan, NYC © Pontus Alv

But no one stopped to think about the people

Or how they would survive And we’ve almost lost Detroit This time How would we ever get over Over losing our minds

[Ella] Autumn in New York Why does it seem so inviting? Autumn in New York It spells the thrill of first-nighting

[Louis] Autumn in New York The gleaming rooftops at sundown Oh, autumn in New York It lifts you up when you run down

[Ella] Autumn in New York That brings the promise of new love Autumn in New York Is often mingled with pain

Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds In canyons of steel They’re making me feel I’m home

Yes, jaded roues and gay divorcees Who lunch at the Ritz Will tell you that it’s divine

Dreamers with empty hands They sigh for exotic lands

It’s autumn in New York That brings the promise of new love Autumn in New York Is often mingled with pain

This autumn in New York Transforms the slums into Mayfair Oh, autumn in New York You’ll need no castles in Spain

Dreamers with empty hands They sigh for exotic lands

Yes, lovers that bless the dark On the benches in Central Park Greet autumn in New York It’s good to live it again

It’s autumn in New York It’s good to live it again

It’s autumn in New York It’s good to live it again From The Album “Ella and Louis Again” Released in 1957 by Verve

Carhartt and 5boro crew in front on the future carhartt store on Crosby Street, NYC 1

Carhartt riders present on this trip were Hjalte Halberg, Phil Zwijsen, Rob Smith, Pontus Alv and Bram De Cleen. The 5boro guys that joined us were Jimmy McDonald, Dan Pensyl, Willy Akers, Luidgi Gaydu, Mark Nardelli and Tombo Colabraro. Taking care of photos and video footage were Bertrand Trichet and Chris Mulhern, respectively.


1– 5boro and Carhartt crew at the Carhartt headquarters in Dearborn (Detroit suburb) 2 –  Crew playing a game of rocks & windows at an old Detroit factory 3 – Pontus Alv self shooting in Manhattan, NYC


Grand Central Station, Manhattan, NYC

Jimmy McDonald Ollie up to crooked grind, Detroit

Bram De Cleen Frontside boardslide pop out, Bronx, NYC

Michigan Central Station, Detroit

Hjalte Halberg Backside Smith, Manhattan, NYC

Pontus Alv Self portraiting, Detroit

Bram De Cleen Ollie, Detroit

Robert Smith Hippy Jump, Brooklyn, NYC

Theater stage, Belle Isle Detroit

Crew in The Bronx, NYC

Phil Zwijsen 360 flip, Detroit

Pontus Alv Self shooting, Manhattan, NYC

Willy Akers Frontside ollie, Detroit

The Shorecrest Motor Inn is definitely the place where you want to spend your nights if you ever go to Detroit. The WiFi connection isn’t top-notch but there’s 24 hour parking lot entertainment to make you forget all about the internet. On top of that the rooms aren’t too dirty, you can take a hot shower and their in-house restaurant The Clique has the friendliest waitresses, giant omelettes and really good blueberry pancakes.

Top choice motel

Located on 1316 East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, at skating or walking distance from The Renaissance Center, The GM Headquarter, the Downtown People Mover and the new Riverwalk Boardwalk along the Detroit River.

1– Phil Zwijsen, Shorecrest Motor Inn Detroit 2 –  Classic breakfast at the Shorecrest Motor Inn, Detroit




Opposite page picture Detroit cityscape

Pontus Alv Boardslide to fakie, downtown Detroit

Robert Smith Footplant to fakie, Brooklyn, NYC

Jimmy McDonald Sugarcane, Detroit

Bram De Cleen Rock to fakie, The Bronx, NYC

Dan Pensyl and Pontus Alv Brooklyn, NYC

Hjalte Halberg somewhere in Pennsylvania

Jimmy McDonald 180 switch five-o, Manhattan, NYC

Willy Akers Backside ollie, Brooklyn, NYC

Jimmy McDonald Detroit industrial area

Robert Smith Wallride, Detroit

with it. Utilizing the decayed spaces in any creative way possible. Artisits, musicians, and photographers see Detroit as a new medium in art. If you’ve never been to Detroit, the place looks kind of post-apocalyptic, and I guess in a way it really is. It’s a big, empty city – but I know there is new life taking use of all the vacant spaces. How is this new Detroit evolving? What is it turning into? I guess people are seeing it as a blank canvas. If you have an idea, you can really go crazy with it and actually make it happen. For the most part, everyone is pretty supportive of fresh ideas and individuals trying to do something here. The people that live down here want to be here, so there’s a sense of pride in everything that goes on. I’ve lived in other cities before, and nothing really compares to the energy here. As far as what the city will evolve into, I really have no idea, but I think that’s what makes Detroit so awesome.

Jim Tumey by Bram De Cleen


Jim Tumey is a Detroit-based skater and filmer. When we met up with him on our first day in Detroit he gave each of us a copy of what must be the most elaborate spotbook in skateboarding history. Maybe not the biggest one ever, but definitely the most detailed and precise. This means photos, pictograms (!), the preferable time to skate each spot, flatground description and tons of other information, including a color-coded map of the city. Reason enough to believe this guy has some things to say about Detroit, and reason enough to believe that those things make sense.


You seem to know Detroit inside and out, how long have you been skating and living there? I’ve been skating here for as long as I can remember, but I made the move downtown about two years ago.

For the uninformed reader, what the hell happened to Detroit? Visually, Detroit is so different than any other city. Right next door to some Mies van der Rohe towers, you’ll find a dozen rugged/decayed buildings. The decay is formed from years of neglect; nobody really cared down here, and everyone was moving out of the city to the suburbs, yet still commuting here daily for business/work. Detroit offers so much freedom, and it took a while for people to pick up on that freedom and really go crazy


1–  Jim Tumey, Detroit 2– Detroit skate guide

What’s the sketchiest thing that’s happened to you while you were out skating? Other than those occasional car break-ins, I’ve been more fortunate than others. I was once chased away from a spot by a guy with this huge sword. Not sure what his plan of attack was, but I wasn’t interested in sticking around.

Willy Akers Wallride grab out, Brooklyn, NYC

The Bronx, NYC

Phil Zwijsen Lipslide, Belle Isle Detroit

Willy Akers Ollie into the bank, Detroit

Robert Smith somewhere in Ohio

Jimmy McDonald Backside Smith 180 front out, Manhattan, NYC

Abandonned factory, Detroit

Hjalte Halberg Ollie, Detroit

Gas station in Pennsylvania

Jimmy McDonald 180 switch front crooked grind, Queens, NYC

Residencial area, Detroit

Dan Pensyl Ollie, Brooklyn, NYC

On the road to Dearborn, Detroit

5boro art director Mark Nardelli and Carhartt team member Pontus Alv redesigned this Carhartt coat. It’s made out of 100% Ripstop «Columbia» Cotton to keep you warm but still light and flexible enough to wear over other layers and not make you feel like a mummy. Inside you’ll find a screen print of some drawings that Pontus did in the van between Detroit and NYC. Square Carhartt label and 5boro special color label. Applicated pockets.

These wheels, designed by Mark Nardelli and manufactured in the USA, are made out of 101a high-quality urethane. At 53 mm they are the perfect in-between size for rough New York concrete or smooth Barcelona marble, wherever you may find it. Big enough for a fast ride but small enough to still have quick pop.

Carhartt loves skateboarding and so does 5boro. Sure enough, the Carhartt skateboarding department is primarily a European thing – and 5boro owns a big part of its existence to the New York City roots it so greatly takes pride in – but the truth is that this geographical and cultural difference is quite easily overshadowed by what both do have in common: A genuine love for skateboarding, and a certain way to go about it. Both Carhartt and 5boro embrace all aspects of skateboarding, with teams consisting of a wide variety of skaters, on the board and off. Most of the 5boro guys usually skate in NYC, but they all do it differently . In the same way, all the Carhartt guys wear stuff from the same catalogue but never look the same. When 5boro offered Carhartt team member Pontus Alv a guest board the ball started rolling and a while later flights were already being booked. Once everybody got in the van together it was only a matter of time for things to fall into place. By the time we left for Detroit both crews had pretty much blended together. After coming back to NYC Pontus and 5boro’s art director Mark Nardelli got together and sealed the deal on our newfound alliance by designing these Carhartt X 5boro items.

A simple, well-shaped cruiser board and two Pontus Alv Carhartt X 5boro guest boards, each one of them portraying a side of his, and Northern America’s bipolarity. Don’t take it that seriously, though. Just laugh (or cry) with his funny shoes and set it up. Manufactured in the USA out of Canadian maple. Designed by Pontus Alv and Mark Nardelli.

A classic pocket T-shirt out of the Carhartt collection, redesigned by Pontus Alv and Mark Nardelli, made out of 100% Cotton Single Jersey. Pontus Alv «Zoning Around» drawing backprint. Square Carhartt Label and 5boro special color label.


Products specifications

1 PONTUS ALV GUEST BOARD “NYC” 8.6 BOARD by 5boro and Carhartt Size 8.6 × 31,5 inch, long nose, flat concave

DIGGER COAT by 5boro and Carhartt Description A collaboration between Carhartt & 5boro NYC. Designed by Pontus Alv and Mark Nardelli. Material: 100% “Columbia” Ripstop Cotton, 6.5 oz. Pocket has applique Carhartt Square logo and 5boro NYC logo in special Carhartt colorway. Inside print contains artwork of Pontus Alv and official collaboration logo. Details Each jacket comes with a fanzine Size XS – XXL Color Black (stone washed)

2 PONTUS ALV GUEST BOARD “DETROIT” 8.125 BOARD by 5boro and Carhartt Size 8.125 × 31,5 inch, long nose, flat concave 3 PONTUS ALV GUEST BOARD “MINI TAXI” 7.5 BOARD by 5boro and Carhartt Size 7.5 × 30,5 inch, 5boro small cruiser shape  Description Designed by Pontus Alv and Mark Nardelli Material: Canadian maple, screen-printed, board manufactured in the USA Details Each board comes with a fanzine



Description Designed by Mark Nardelli Material: Urethane


Size 53 mm, 101a, high quality urethane

Description Designed by Pontus Alv and Mark Nardelli Material: 100% Cotton Single Jersey, 185 g/m2 Details Back print; Square label and 5boro special color label Size XS – XXL Color Black



NYC cityscape

Pontus Alv drawing at the Twilight Twist restaurant somewhere in Pennsylvania.

New York City To Detroit  
New York City To Detroit  

Italy, France, Mongolia, Spain, Finland, Sweden, …The Carhartt skateboard department has donemore than its fair share of traveling. Left, ri...