Cross Country with 5050 Skate Park.
There’s nothing much more liberating than just dropping everything, getting in a van and deciding to drive across the United States, stopping along the way to soak in some of the country’s beautiful (and not-so-beautiful) landmarks and cities. That’s exactly what Ed Pollio, owner of 5050 Skate Park in Staten Island recently decided to do.
“My buddy Brian from Los Angeles called me and asked if I could grab a gas grill out of the back of a van in Edison, New Jersey for him. I agreed even though I wasn’t really sure why there was a gas grill in the back of a van, or why he needed me to get it. Then he said he’d been doing some promo work on the east coast and wanted me to get it out of the van so it could be put on a trailer to get it back to Cali.
“When I got to the van and saw it I said damn this van is sick! So I called Brian back and asked him if I could drive the van back to Cali for him, I had to drop some stuff I built for Red Bull off in Minnesota and Denver anyhow so it was a win-win for everyone. He said sure, so it was on.
“My friend Rodney Rocha decided to come with me as he’d never been to Cali before, and Brian even paid for our return flights back home after.”
Every trip has a highlight, I asked Ed what his was from this trip.
“Going to Death Valley was my favorite place. It’s the lowest, driest, and hottest area in North America. Badwater Basin is the point of the lowest elevation in North America, at 282 feet below sea level. That was crazy to me. We went at 5 am and watched the sunrise which was one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. When we were leaving we almost ran out of gas and were almost 2 hours from the nearest gas station. There were tons of abandoned houses everywhere. It was like Detroit but in the desert.”
As you’ll see in the video posted below, they also hit up The Badlands, Sioux Falls and Denver. I asked Ed to say something about each of those three places on the trip…
“Well, The Badlands are pretty much run by the animals that live there. It was really nice, you forget all about the city and realize ‘Hey, this animal can kill me if it wants.'” (lol)
“Sioux Falls – Really calm and peaceful although I saw a lot of confederate flags around and Rodney is Mexican and we saw a lot of people eyeing us up kind of weird.”
“Denver – I couldn’t believe how many homeless people live there. I was there 3 years ago and it seems to have gotten really bad since.”
A road sign featured in the video quotes, “Life is a journey not a destination,” great words to live by, do you travel like this often?
Ed replied, “Whenever opportunity knocks you have to answer or you will miss it. Less talk more action.”
You can catch Ed and his crew at 5050 Skate Park in Staten Island. New York City’s only indoor skatepark. Located only one mile from the Staten Island Ferry and around the corner from the Stapleton train station. The custom built 8,000 square foot recreation center is open year-round to all alternative sports.
5050 Skate Park
354 Front Street
Staten Island NY, 10304
Interview by Rachel Varla.