Theories In Chicago

Ever since a short work trip to Chicago back in 2009, I have always been a little obsessed with the forgotten metropolis. After years of watching New York City get ransacked by skate tourists from around the world and every brand shooting their new edits here, it was baffling to me how a city like Chicago had slipped under the radar for so long. Originally, I had planned on doing a Chicago feature in the Static IV project, but after it was obvious the video was going to be much too long already, it didn't really seem practical.

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Then a few years later we started sponsoring a new Theories shredder in the Chicago area named Brett Weinstein and every clip he sent our way reminded me of the city that had captured my imagination years before. And finally, after years of failed plans to make a trip happen, we launched a little trip with a two-tiered goal of filming for both the new Traffic 'Look Left' video and a new Theories in Chicago edit. The crew switched up during the trip with some dudes flying out and others flying in, so in total our crew was pretty massive and included Steve Brandi, Brendan Carroll, Kevin Coakley, John Baragwanath, Dustin Eggeling, Taylor Nawrocki, Joe Yates, Luke Malaney, Brett Weinstein and even guest skater Christian Maalouf.

Steve Brandi slappy front 50 up and across. Photo Gama

Steve Brandi slappy front 50 up and across. Photo Gama

The beauty of the city is undeniable. With an amazing network of old iron bridges spanning throughout, holding the city together like stitches wired across the Chicago river, it feels anchored to a time when everything was built with care and pride. The lavish architecture of the roaring 1920's peppered across the landscape and the unbelievable cleanliness of the streets gives the city an air of class that is rare for such a big metropolis. But the elevated subway trains that wind between the buildings and through the long alleyways give the city a bit of an east coast grittiness that creates a very nice balance. And provides an awesome backdrop for a skate video project, especially the look that I love to shoot for with Theories projects.

Josh Stewart 360 flips to fakie while Chicago watches. Photo by Gama

Josh Stewart 360 flips to fakie while Chicago watches. Photo by Gama

But the raddest part of the city is the underground skate scene holding it down in it's streets. Our hosts and guide was made up of the majority of the Deep Dish crew. A posse of shredders who really knows how to put skatespots to proper use. A crew of real street skaters with an awesome network of filmers and a photographer who all help contribute to their rad scene. A scene that never gets nearly the attention it deserves. But perhaps that has helped them keep one of the raddest cities in the USA as their own little best kept secret. 

Kevin Coakley nollie nose wheelies an amazing spot. Photo by Richard Hart

Kevin Coakley nollie nose wheelies an amazing spot. Photo by Richard Hart

Thank you to the Deep Dish guys, to Uprise Skate Shop and FA Skate shop for helping us out during our trip. And to Jenkem for helping host the edit to get it out to a larger audience. And now without further delay, are 7 minutes of Chicago through the eyes of the Theories crew. Enjoy.

-Josh Stewart