Most Things Haven’t Changed

A Chicago retrospective, with Josh Kalis.


We teamed up with DC Shoes for a visit to Chicago, the often-overlooked midwestern megatropolis, home to Uprise Skateshop and some of the best urbanity in the world.

For a city of its size and scope, Chicago is unjustly passed over by many of skateboarding’s finest, but it was these urban spots that originally attracted Josh Kalis, a Grand Rapids, Michigan native, to the city with their expansive plazas, central location and relaxed scene. It’s a scene that has remained largely out of skateboarding’s spotlight—but that may be just how they want it. Right at its center is Uprise, which has been kicking for more than 20 years and has created a space for the community to congregate, converse, and thrive. Kalis recounts being enamored with the vibe of the shop and scene so much so that he moved into the loft above it, eventually garnering himself a part in their video Volume II: Chicago’s Finest, as fine a representation of Chicago as any, let alone a standout part for Kalis’ career. “I’ve always wanted to leave my Chicago footage with Chicago,” Kalis explains, which seems to be a refrain for many Chicagoans who don’t feel the pull to leave. Recollections from Uprise owner Dave Ruta and a chance to see photographer Mike Blabac and Kalis do their thing round out this ode to one of America’s best city-shop duos but the video begs one last question: when’s the next all-Chicago Kalis part coming out?

Last Friday, Uprise and DC celebrated the stores 20th anniversary with a photo show featuring images from Mike Blabac, Frank Verges, Sergio Roca, Kevin Kuczkowski and Justin Edwards.

Images: Sergio Roca

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