Vincent Dalessio

It’s Time to Make Skating Legal in Downtown Jacksonville

One of the best parts of being a skateboarder is the never ending hunt for the perfect spot, but the hunt here in Jacksonville is often thwarted by police, “No Skateboarding” signs and fines.  To some skateboarders, the Urban Core is forbidden fruit. Still, skaters rip through Downtown spots under the cover of darkness, forced to dip out at the first sign of authorities. To the majority of the skate community, Downtown remains mostly untouchable. Legendary skate spots like Friendship Fountain, James Weldon Johnson Park (formerly known as Hemming Park) and the Main Street ledges have been canceled by city …

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It’s All About the Climb

Rock climbers in Florida are a unique bunch. Without natural rock formations to practice their craft locally, climbers travel hours to get to real rock—or a few minutes to a man-made version. Indoor climbing gyms are the main gateway for introduction of new Florida climbers, as well as being the centerpiece for the Florida community as a whole. Rock climbing’s introduction into the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has created unparalleled interest in the sport, and gyms are experiencing a boom in new climbers in stark contrast to the lull that plagued gyms during COVID lockdowns. If gyms are the heart of …

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Pop Up Punk

SCUM shows operate without a venue, policed by mutual respect and a sense of community. Of everything I heard while moshing at the last Bridge Show in Riverside, this one still rings in my ears. Kids were saying it, adults were saying it and I even found myself saying it: “This place is f*cking wonderland!” The I-95 amphitheater acoustics swallow fans in music and what better to be swallowed by than numbing bass, fast-paced riffs and screaming vocals; the presence under the bridge feels heavy.  These pop-up punk shows have been a hub for Jacksonville’s hardcore scene for over three …

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DuVal vs. DUUUVAL

As racist relics of the South were torn down last summer, conversation mostly steered clear of  Jacksonville and Duval County namesakes, Southerners with a past of slavery and ethnic cleansing. How has Duval changed over time, and is it appropriate to chant it?  It’s 2021 and everything is under question, and for good cause. Fueled by the civil unrest of 2020, cancel culture has become a vital vehicle facilitating progress in our city and has ousted inherently racist bricks from our foundation like the idolization of confederates in school names and statues. But recently, our war cry has been under …

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QUINNTESSENTIAL

Quinn Enriquez came out to the skate community, now he hopes there’s space for others to do the same. Skateboarding. You either get it or you don’t, and because of this, skateboarding attracts the right kind of people: free thinkers, adrenaline junkies, people who are lost, people who feel found and everything in between. Sometimes, skateboarding can be looked at as a microcosm for the outside world with many things happening in the skate industry reflecting what’s happening in the rest of society, but I’m glad to say that recently it hasn’t been one of those times. Florida has celebrated …

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Vert Skating Never Stopped in North Florida

Backyard pioneer Brennan Gagnon is keeping the dream alive.  Vert skating is not for the faint of heart. High-flying aerials, inverted hand plants and lip tricks are burly enough to scare even the most experienced skaters.  Short for “vertical,” vert skating is exactly what it sounds like. Skaters ride on ramps, usually over 10-feet-tall, with transitions that end up at straight 90 degrees. Like riding a pendulum, they drop in one wall and fly down the transition toward an identical wall with enough speed to rocket into the sky. Consequences are high, but so are the rewards. A niche community within …

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The People’s Mayor

Malcolm Jackson takes on culture and consolidation with his photos on view at The Cummer.  Malcolm Jackson is proud to have his work on display at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens for the first time. “Across the Bridge” is a collection of his photographs captured between 2016 and 2021 that speaks about social determinants of health and the misperceptions of Jacksonville’s Northside and Eastside, which he refers to as “cultural hubs.” According to Jackson, the Northside and Eastside don’t get the credit they deserve for helping to shape and elevate the city. “The only thing Jacksonville’s mainstream media …

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The Anti-Aestheticist: Casey VanDyke

Never in my life have I had an interviewee ask for the camera during a video shoot, but halfway through filming with Casey VanDyke I found myself in front of the camera rather than behind it.  VanDyke is a visual artist living in Jacksonville Beach. His art transcends period movements as much as it does medium. Focusing on self-identity and introspection, his most recent series, “A Thought In My Head,” combines photographic self-portraits with paint and words from his journal to portray different aspects of his mental space. The series is about to go on view at the Atlantic Center …

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The Trailblazing Women of JFRD

“They’re not asking me to do anything other than what she’s done. So I can do it too.” Since Mayor Lenny Curry appointed Keith Powers to be the permanent Director/Fire Chief in 2019, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) has taken on a different face.  Powers believes it’s vital for the make-up of department personnel to mirror the community in which it serves. With this prioritization, new community members have stepped up to join forces against one of the most destructive forces on Earth.  Historically, firefighting is a male-dominated industry, but women are becoming a keystone of firefighting, especially …

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Build It and They Will Come

Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. The crew building the Flossie DIY Skatepark in Springfield shows us why.  When The Block Skate Shop first discovered the empty space, they knew just the guy for the job. They dropped a pin for Cam McEachin, and he threw a few obstacles in to test the water. Since then, it’s blossomed into something truly beautiful. What was a dilapidated tennis court has now been turned into a skate plaza that is already churning out the skaters of tomorrow. Starting in the dog days of 2020 when pandemic anxiety was …

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