Every Wednesday night at an unassuming community center in Bed Stuy, people gather to see old friends, listen to the sounds of whatever DJ is behind the decks, and roller skate. This is the Crazy Legs Skate Club, founded in 2008 after the closure of venues like The Roxy and Empire Roller Skating Rink left a dearth of options for skaters in New York City.
Photographer Horatio Baltz has been going to Crazy Legs (named for a popular skating trick) nearly every week for months now, documenting what he calls the “potpourri of skaters young and not-so-young” who frequent the club.
“There’s an interesting mix of younger kids and the old guard, and there’s a sense of tradition being passed down,” Baltz tells ANIMAL. “I’ve heard stories of kids who aren’t really doing anything, maybe getting into trouble on the street, who the older guys take in. They’ll say, ‘Hey, why don’t you work here for an hour,’ then let the kids skate for free.”
“When i went for the first time, the i was struck by how tight the community was,” he adds.
Does Baltz ever strap on a pair and skate himself?
“I did it for a little while growing up,” he says. “I can roll, but I wouldn’t say i’m any good.”