Asphalt NYC

Director René Sascha Johannsen dips into the lives of the real-deal New Yorkers, who make the Big Apple such a vibrant place.

6 episodes
Asphalt: Kids are doing parkour in a Gaza Strip cemetery

On the short list of places where you would not expect people to be doing parkour, the Gaza Strip is up there. But Asphalt creator René Sascha Johannsen travelled to the Middle East and found a group of kids who go to great risks to practice free running. For these kids, parkour represents a way for them to express themselves. But not everyone is happy about that. Members of the group have been beaten by the police for doing parkour, and they practice in a cemetery because it's the one place they can go unnoticed (and thereby unhasseled). So the next time you complain that a curb isn't waxed or a wave is closing out, just remember how far these kids are going to practice parkour.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PK GAZA KIDS? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

Asphalt NYC: The couple behind DL Skateboards handcraft decks and sell them out of a truck

Derek Mabra and his girlfriend Lauren Andino are the couple behind a unique DIY skateboard brand, DL Skateboards. Mabra carves all the surf-inspired retro skateboards out of wood by hand and Andino finishes and paints them. In this episode of Asphalt NYC we find out a little more about DL (the D is for Derek, and the L is for Lauren), including how the couple sell their boards out of a truck, and how Mabra got back into skating because he didn't want his girlfriend to be better than him. Although DL Skateboards started in Brooklyn, Mabra and Andino have decided to move to Southern California to keep the brand growing.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DL SKATEBOARDS? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

Asphalt NYC: Homeless breakdancer Slex has amazing outlook on life

Having recently been thrown out of his mom's house, breakdancer Manuel "Slex" Echevarria bounces around from one friend's house to another. But he mostly sleeps on the trains, the same trains he breakdances on. Being a B-Boy is definitely not an easy life. There's little money in it and bills keep coming in. But Echevarria has such a passion for what he does that none of that affects his positive outlook on life.

Asphalt NYC: BMX rider Desmond Rhodes isn't afraid to ride on a police car

Being a street BMX rider takes creativity and ingenuity. Most of the time, spots are not laid out for you on a platter for you to choose from. You have to come up with your own lines and make your own tricks. On the second episode of Asphalt NYC director René Sascha Johannsen links up with New York City BMX rider Desmond Rhodes to find out what it takes to make it as a BMX pro in NYC. (Hint: You can't be afraid to ride on a NYPD police cruiser.)

Asphalt NYC: Skater Quim Cardona is the real Telly from the movie "Kids"

Director René Sascha Johannsen is producing a new series for Network A called Asphalt NYC in which he will look at influential street and skate personalities throughout New York City. In the first episode we follow around skater and artist Quim Cardona around New York to talk about NYC skateboarding, growing up in the city, and his being the inspiration for the character Telly in Larry Clark's classic film Kids. As Cardona tells us, he was Clark's first choice for Telly but his mother did not want him and his brother getting involved in the drug and sex-fueled fiction world that was Kids.

Network A Originals