It’s 2015 when you’re reading this, and the concept of where something is created probably matters less than at any time in human history. Especially if that something is as ephemeral as media that you’re consuming. If any US newspaper is still produced at a classic old urban building, trust me, the people in charge are just sitting on the property until its real estate value increases. Where’s your favorite football writer work? Your favorite hip-hop blogger? Your favorite video-game reviewer? Anywhere with WiFi is cool with you, right?
In a way, we at SLAM are about to put this theory of modern media production to a test. Because, in my opinion, SLAM has very much been a product of where it was produced: The back corner of the Harris Publications office space, on the 8th floor of 1115 Broadway, at the corner of 25th Street. The SLAM Dome, as we like to call it. The physical space itself is nothing special: After walking down a hall filled with the staffers of other magazines (as well as some SLAM folks), you reach the Dome, a carpeted, 15 x 15 space with two big windows, four workspaces and the largest collection of SLAM back issues (which sadly isn’t all that large) on Earth. There’s also SLAM tees when we have ’em, more random basketball books than any of us will ever read, and all types of hoop-related goodies we’ve picked up over the years: Michael Jordan posters, SHAQ shoes, autographed balls, bobbleheads, nesting dolls, etc. There’s also some classic, deadstock Nike Air Jordan 1s, left forever by our “EIC emeritus,” Russ Bengtson.
Which brings me to the second thing about this space: The people who have spent time here. Tony Gervino, Scoop Jackson, Tzvi Twersky and Lang Whitaker actually had desks just down the hall, but close enough. Russ and Ryan Jones worked right in here, as did Khalid Salaam. Past interns from Ben Collins to Spero Dedes to Adam Fleischer to Vanessa Satten to Bonsu Thompson sat here for meetings. Just look any of these people up in case you’re wondering about the type of talent SLAM has nourished. And then there’s the visitors. Kevin Love, LeBron James and Stephon Marbury, to name three SLAM favorites. Plus NBA role players, college ballers in town over break and entire NYC public high school teams.
At the end of this week, the Dome is moving a few blocks north and east. I’m bringing most of the crap, and the current staff is staying intact, but I think we’ll all miss this place.
All photos by Tom Medvedich