Although Cory prefers to roam modern urban cities by foot and self-propelled transport, I sometimes feel he should be trekking on horse-back or running in moccasins amongst plains, bison and grassland, migrating between the Southeast and the Great Basin, Pre-Columbian era. His soul seems that old, as if he had ran with black jaguars and sat in on shamanic rituals. He seems to ride the wind, randomly appearing and disappearing, or perhaps allowing people to see him only when he wants to be seen? When meandering, can he be heard? Maybe he’s a skin-walker, here in a contemporary form, viewing the present from the past.
Greetings Coco! Geographically, where are you right now, how does it look and feel outside, and how are you enjoying your city of residence?
Hello Adam….right now I am 40.7 degrees North/ 73.8 degrees, west. Queens, New York. Currently it is about 25 and partly cloudy. NYC is one of my favorite places, and I am lucky to be able to live here. My neighborhood is super quiet and very mellow. Its winter up here, so right now taking a slower pace is just my style. Spring, Summer, and Fall. I’m pretty much outside nonstop.
In the past you’ve braved some major storms in Florida, but what was Hurricane Sandy like in an area that isn’t accustomed to tropical cyclones?
I don’t think anyone up here was prepared for what ensued. It was bad anywhere near water…. Greenpoint, Far Rockaway, South Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan got hit super hard by Sandy. There was major Flooding and days with no power.
The subway is still not running out to Far Rockaway. The station you transfer at to get to the shuttle train out to the beach, Broad Channel, got annihilated. It is a harsh reality that could potentially happen to anyone that lives on a coast. The lines for gasoline were the worst I have ever seen.
I didn’t really experience anything but super strong winds and heavy rain.
Luck was on my side.
What was it like growing up in Atlanta, and how did the ATL influence and mold you as a youth? Also, how did your interests grow outside of all things Georgia?
Up until the age of 16, I lived north of the perimeter of Atlanta. Inside the cities perimeter is multi-cultural, but travel outside it in any direction and it gets pretty weird. We are talking about the Deep South here. Good ol’ boys and country people.
The ATL much like any other big city in the early 90’s was very loose in terms of what could go down at the drop of a hat. Atlanta was pretty wild in my youth….Freaknik, vinyl digging at various spots, skate jams at Piedmont Park, skating at North Ave. Marta station and Bell with 20+ others, Little 5 points. Yeah, Atlanta influenced me a lot…I love that city. Glad I got to experience it in looser times. You could basically move about the city as you pleased on a skateboard. It was still “new” on the streets. It has changed a lot since then. I wouldn’t necessarily say my interests grew outside of all things Georgia as I still enjoy all things outdoors. But as for the city life, by age 20 I was ready for something new.
I am fairly certain that you moved out West and discovered gold when San Francisco was ripening as a skateboarding mecca. Why and how did you get there, what impression did that era leave on you, what made you call The Bay Area home for so many years, and in what ways did you see The City grow or change?
I got a one-way ticket to San Francisco in September of 1993. My stay lasted about 3.5 months. I got on the plane with $111 in my pocket. I dropped my stuff off at the USF dorm room where I would be staying and immediately went skating. SF was the place to be if you rode a skateboard. Rolling down to EMB every morning and sitting there on the steps, by late afternoon all the top pros were there ripping. It was a trip man. I had also never spent time in such a raw city. Between the pimps, the gangsters, the hookers, the addicts and everyone in between…it was the first time in my life I felt that it was as real as it was going to get, no blanket and unadulterated. The center of the universe style. When I got on the plane back to Atlanta in December, I knew that I wanted to make SF my permanent residence. From what I was used to back in Georgia, my mind was blown. I was hooked!
I called the Bay Area my home for 10 years. When I moved back, I immediately noticed how much cleaner the city felt. It definitely didn’t have as much of a sketchy vibe it had 6 years earlier. I lived mostly near the panhandle area, middle Haight. I spent some time in Oakland. It’s just amazing in the Bay Area, that’s all I can say. Bombing hills made me 1000 times the skater I already was….it’s like no other. It heightened all of my senses, making me a more complete skateboarder. Straight bombing Dolores Street towards Cesar Chavez, no power-sliding so you make all the lights…whoa! It was the first city I had lived in with just my skateboard as my means of getting around. My legs got beast within the first 2 years of pushing and bombing.
I was in awe at a huge skateable city, with moderate weather most of the year; the Pacific Ocean is right there, and all of the incredible nature. The Northern California coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Backside grab, Alameda, CA. Photo by David Massey
I feel like most modern people prefer powered means of transportation to walking; cars, cabs, and trains, depending on how metropolitan a city may be. Automobiles do provide private and intimate spaces for drivers and passengers that can reinforce personal bubbles, and as a passenger it’s easy to tune out. You have owned cars here and there, and of course you take advantage of public transit, but you always seem inclined to walk despite conditions of the journey. Why do you like to walk so much?
For me is just a relaxed way to approach things. I try to walk at least 2-3 miles a day, just taking in all of the neighborhoods and vibin’ out.
It’s not uncommon on a warm day for me to walk from Manhattan to my house in Queens. I’ll take the train into the city, walk around for a bit…then walk back over the Williamsburg Bridge and out to my apt. It takes a good couple of hours. I’m a thinker, and being outside with no restrictions provides me a clearer thought. Driving a car is something I can do with no problems, I just prefer not to unless absolutely necessary. The cost of gas, repairs, crummy drivers, bad roads, safety and many other reasons make me prefer walking or bicycling. Obviously that’s why I live in a city where I do not need a car.
People get out of shape fast when they spend so much time in a car. I can ingest all of my surroundings as I am experiencing them, walking. Staying fit and remaining healthy is at the forefront of my life.
You are very resourceful, creatively hands-on, and your hobbies are plentiful; custom hand painting shoes, illustrations reminiscent of textile design and mandalas, sewing, hand dyeing fabrics, playing the drums and guitar. As of late, what sort of projects have you working on, are there any that you have phased out of and moved on from, and do you have your eye set on a new undertaking?
For all of the people out there actually doing something creative, I commend you. Some people have “it,” while others must work to attain it. I am one of the ones that have to put in the work to get there. The inspiration and motivation is not always there. Nothing I do has ever come easy, and it’s the hard work and discipline that presents the rewards of the final outcome.
Finishing a piece of art or the last stitch made on an article of clothing or whatever, is just super satisfying. Hand painting sneakers I stopped doing around 2007. It was fun but also very time consuming. I’d rather paint on canvas or wood. I’m thankful for that time period though. My art, and the creative things that I do come in spurts. Last winter, I did about 10 new pieces with ink and pencil. I came up on some leather for free, and have made some wallets, camera cases, and top bar pads for bicycles.
I’m actually working on an ink mandala design right now on a wood panel to finish a set of 2. And have a bunch of smaller drawings Im starting to compile. My mom used to sew a lot, so I learned from her. I’ve always been in to modifying articles of clothing, beanies, shirts, pants, hats, and shoes. I still do that, but for myself or friends…never made it to a wide scale operation, probably should…Hahaha. Musically…Hahah, it has been a while…The last time I really jammed out on instruments was, 3-4 years ago with Matthew and Andrew Selego. Those guys hold it down and are super fun to jam with. I have an acoustic guitar at my apartment though that gets strummed from time to time.
Backside Crailslide. Photo by Jason Morrell
Older film format cameras are still used to capture a nostalgic picture, one that isn’t perfect and detail oriented. This film format fits you quite well. Between 2001 and 2003, you filmed many of your friends skating in the SF Bay Area and Atlanta with a super 8 camera, and the compilation of footage that you edited and uploaded online isn’t even close to half the footage you shot. Would you comment on filming as a hobby and the film ‘Super 8 Homie?’
Movie film is very expensive, but in my opinion it has way more soul than a filter you can use on your iPhone. I’m not knocking it that hard, Hahaha, instant gratification does have its rewards.
Film is also unpredictable, which I like. The camera I shot most of ‘Super 8 Homie’ on was a Bell and Howell T20. It definitely wasn’t a Braun Nizo, but it was light and worked. I always liked the way the film looked watching my parent’s old home movies, just old and super grainy.
(John) Newport, (Tony) Manfre, Danny (Renaud) and I were hanging/skating a lot from 2001-2003. I always brought the camera along. Most of Danny’s clips came while he was filming for Habitat’s Mosaic. I had some stuff that just didn’t work out, which sucked. The nollie-heel over the 19th Ave school rail, my film ran out one try before he landed it. Such is life!
All of Sean Stockton’s stuff came towards the end of me filming in 2003 when I lived in Oakland. He was on some next level skating back then…but kept it strictly to the East Bay in the shadows. The gap to back 5-0 in Alameda and the kinked 50/50 at Georgia Tech University is just super, super gnarly. I met Patrick Rizzo at the Berkeley skatepark through some friends, he was shredding around so loosely. He reminded me of a young Mark Gonzales. Anyways, I talked with him and he said he was actually a downhilll skater….he took me to the top of Claremont Ave at Grizzly peak in the Oakland hills, put on his Vader helmet, and started bombing this winding curving all downhill road. We followed behind in the car. He hit top speed between 55-60mph. Easily one of the most incredible things I’ve seen. I later found out he was ranked 3rd fastest downhiller in the world!
All in all, I wish I could have continued with ‘S8H’, but film got more expensive as Castro photo closed, my 2 camera’s shutters blew out…and I was running out of money. But it was a good time with great memories to accompany.
We filmed some of the tapes off the wall with no screen…Hahaha. I then uploaded the footage with you (Adam Burgess), and edited it all together 5 years later with the Donald Byrd song in one take. It was awesome. The song, the skating, the timing…it all fit perfectly. Super cutty style, the exact opposite of professional…Ahahahah. I still have all of the original tapes, maybe one day I’ll get it transferred professionally with all of the stuff that I left out.
I feel that a proper friendship exists when people are close enough to exchange opinions, inquiries, and even vibes without compromising their relationship. One thing I enjoy about our friendship is our constant reasoning; sometimes it’s intuitive and other times it’s just making conversation. We’ve discussed some broad topics and theories. At the moment I’ve been reading about folklore, ancient war strategy, and dry gardens. What topics of inquiry have you been researching?
Yeah for sure, when you have a relationship where you are “Tuned In” to the other person, there is no need to speak in certain situations. That is such an incredible experience to have.
I’m always down for some good reading on Agartha, anything about UFO’s, different types of aliens, mysticism, shamanism, astrology, spiritual stuff. I’ve been into the weather a lot as of recent, just weather patterns and predictions. I like cartography a lot as well.
This interview has, in a way, made a full circle of our SF skate crew; you as the interviewee, John as the Behold blogger, and myself as the interviewer. We all came together in San Francisco in 2008, we’ve all gone separate ways, and now we’re connected again. Do you miss us?
No doubt I miss skating/ hanging in the Bay Area with you and John and all my friends still there. The times we had cruising around the bay area were some of my fondest. It was pure with no agenda, just how we likes it! As we all get older and forge our way in this world the one thing that retains our youth and keeps us connected, is the one thing that initially brought us all together….skateboarding. I have the deepest love for it and will continue to ride out, until I physically cannot.
*Behold! An exclusive Cory Hainline edit by Josh Stewart.
Filmed by Josh Stewart and Ryan Garshell