My youngest turns fifteen tomorrow, Sunday. But we celebrated today by taking a bunch of his friends and him to Manhattan to his favorite skateboarder style clothing store down below Houston on Lafayette in a neighborhood I remembered as boutique free back in the '70s.
Then on to a skateboard shop/pinball machine parlor on 11th Street off 1st Ave. followed by the L.E.S. (Lower East Side) Skateboard Park under The Manhattan Bridge where a mass of every variety of skateboarder/BMX bike rider/scooter pusher and rollerblader tried and sometimes accomplished tricks with their preferred mode of navigation that went from minimal to of such a complexity they're hard to believe humans capable of.
His aunt and soon to be uncle bicycled over from their nearby neighborhood (the park is in the part of Chinatown tourists don't go) with take out friend dumplings and kim chi or something similarly named and spicy for my son and his mother and my oldest son and grandson and their friends and me to keep us satisfied until later, when we caught a more proper meal at Wo Hop where Mott Street starts.
Meanwhile my youngest son's mother and him befriended one of his heroes, a charming young pro skateboarder (turning twenty-one on Monday) named Oscar from Southern California who all the boarders in the park were paying attention to, and impressed to have with them, while pretending not to notice him.
He was accompanied by his Southern California friend and videographer, Sergio, 23, and a skater too but injured so badly he was reduced to forgoing tricks for two years, which is when he took up camera work and now shoots a lot of videos my youngest and his nephew have been digging on the Internet.
They joined us for dinner, after which we all went up to the Courthouse for some street skating and then they all went on to Battery Park while me and my youngest's mother got our cars to drive the gaggle of teenage skateboarders—one female the rest male, of all skin shades and types—back to Jersey and a sleepover.
But before that happened, Oscar generously offered to give my youngest a new board back at the hotel where he and Sergio were being put up by the skateboard company that sponsored him and his board.
The day couldn't have been a better birthday for a fifteen year old skateboarder and fan of the art. May all your Saturdays be as full as this one was for him.