San Pedro is an industrial city and a beach city. There are surfers and there are oil workers. There are port authority workers and there are vagrants. There are police and there are skateboarders. So you have a diverse city that knows how to make things happen, people in that city that know how to build things.
Channel Street Skateboard Park is located under the Channel street exit ramp bridge and began its life when an industrious skateboarder slapped a bag of concrete between the junction of a bridge pillar and the asphalt parking lot in which it is anchored. I am not sure how long ago that was, but it has been at least 10 years since that unauthorized awesome act. Since then skateboarders have been rolling to that spot under the bridge and shredding, slowing adding more and more. A curb here, a quarterpipe there, a bowled corner over there. Some how, local authorities allowed it to grow and continue.
Today Channel Street Skate Park is much more than patchwork of mixed concrete, it is a compact area of unique curves and transitions connected by a spine section. Long and narrow, the park is all transition with a network of bowls with metal coping and pool coping. It is definitely a challenge to skate. Some of the transitions and bowel corners offer nice little surprises for a new rider. This park is one of a small group of DIY (do it yourself) skateparks that have been built in this country with little or no help from community government.
Channel Street Skatepark is an excellent example of skateboarders taking matters into their own hands and fulfilling a need – besides its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. But take a trip there yourself and you see that no one is saying 'sorry'. Nope, its more like a proud 'Look what we did' to a local government that neglected to act. As an industrial city, San Pedro has a hardened side, so this is not a place for a soccer mom to take her 5 year old with a Penny Board. As a beach city, San Pedro has a relaxed and easy going side, so the locals at Channel Street are pretty friendly and not too worried about competition.
One more thing that I like about the park is that it is a work of art. There are tile mosaics on the walls next to murals and other found objects embedded into the walls. A side from the deliberate art, the curves and corners of this park are unique works of skate-able art. Its a gathering place for all types of people. Maybe now that this skatepark has been constructed, it will draw the port authority workers, oil workers, vagrants and police over to watch the skateboarders. This skater built park may also have an unintended result of building something else – relationships.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.