Phil Bartlett - Newf In La-la Land

From one end of North America to the other

26 Aug 2015

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19 stairs and tall at the end, "SLO Torro" as it's been nicknamed by skateboarders is no joke. Phil hung onto a crook by the tip of his peg.

Words and Photos by Devin Feil

Newfoundland and Los Angeles sit at opposite ends of North America, but they might as well be on different planets, entirely. One is an island off the Eastern coast of Canada and the other is the capital of California nestled between desert and the Pacific. The entire Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is populated by roughly half a million, whereas Los Angeles is approaching eight times that within city limits. In January Phil Bartlett made the trip to La-la Land from his home in Newfoundland seeking respite from the long harsh winter. To get the true LA experience Phil and a few friends rented an apartment in DTLA and rode the city for a few days before venturing up out of the smog to the Central Coast. Was it best kind though?

Describe Newfoundland in 5 words:

Fishing, drinking, jigs, snow, island

The heat seemed to get to you while you visited California in January, was it as hot then as summer in Newfoundland?

Literally melted during the month of january in cali. Our summer is about as warm but it's a lot more windy and damp considering it's an island.

Could you compare and contrast spots in Newfoundland versus California?

Spots in Newfoundland and California are hard to compare, because during the winter the salt trucks dump salt all over the roads, so most spots I grew up riding as a kid are eroded away by now haha! Only similarity is handrails are low in Cali and also low in Newf.

I heard you guys joking about the poor run ups back home all trip. What's a typical Newfie run up like?

Typical run up is a curb in front, usually big bumps and holes in the way from years of salt haha!

With winters so bad what do you think has kept the scene in Newfoundland going?

Winter makes everyone that more stoked when the springtime hits, good motivation. But for the last 7 years or so the BMX scene was kept alive in the winter thanks to Rob Yetman from Turndown BMX Inc. Shout out to rob for making everyone's winters a lot better.

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No worries about the run up here. Phil feebles his way top to bottom in a city where the only salt on the roads might be from the mist coming off the Pacific.

Why with all the great rails to be had why'd you want to rogue mission that 6 stair inside the school in Pasadena?

Haha Pasadena 6 stair rail looked a lot better from a distance, but I was there at the time and couldn't help but put pegs on it anyway.

School had just let out weren't there high school kids watching you ride? What was that scene like? Does that sort of thing mess with you?

There were kids watching me jumping down the rail and falling all over the place laughing. Decided to pump some Andre Nickatina on my iPod and forget about the children haha!

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What sort of differences in food did you notice during your visit?

Main difference in food I noticed is the amount of Mexican and taco joints is about the same as fish and chip restaurants here. We have no Mexican food in Newfoundland, not even Taco Bell.

How about the way people are in public?

People are not as friendly in The States, Newf is old fashioned like the type to hold a door for someone, help thy neighbor.

Anything jump out to you as odd about Los Angeles?

One thing I've never seen anywhere other than Skid Row is people just squatting down and taking a scat right on the sidewalk in broad daylight haha! It literally made me puke one day out riding.

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Phil's first time firing a gun. Shooting clay pigeons atop a hill with a view of the ocean is a quite an introduction to the hobby.

What was it like firing a gun for the first time? How did the location at to the experience?

Firing a gun was super fun and it capped off an amazing day of riding with amazing people. Shout out to Andrew (VanCura) for letting all of us crazy Newfs fire his shotgun and also Connor (Caron) for bringing us up to the mountain to wyle out.

What would you tell someone from Los Angeles to expect when visiting Newf?

They would expect to have a wild time on the rock and prepare to be screeched in with Newfie rum which also includes kissing a fresh cod fish.

Give us a taste of Newfie slang to finish things off. What's you favorite local saying and what it means?

"How's she gettin on by?" As in how are you doing. Hard to think of a Newfie saying since I was born into it, so adapted to it by now I've been molded by it haha!

Speaking of which, is LA best kind?

Haha yeah LA is so best kind I wish I could visit more often!

Any thanks?

Shout out to you (Devin Feil) for doing this article and all the hospitality during both of my stays in Cali. Thanks Paul Pike for everything and Orlando at The Make for keeping it real.

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"They would expect to have a wild time on the rock and prepare to be screeched in with Newfie rum which also includes kissing a fresh cod fish." - Phil Bartlett

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