Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Concrete and The Kids: Channel Street HDR

ChannelStHDR, originally uploaded by C. Valle.

Sometimes the dusty, seamy underbelly of the I-110 is the perfect place to catch the last light of the day and recharge your emotional batteries. the smell of diesel exhaust, pot, and urine hangs in the air as kids who look like they just climbed out of a time machine from the mid-80's powerslide across the tarmac. One ginger lad asks me "do you take pictures?" - as in "is photography your 'thing?'". I grin and answer. "Sick", he says, nodding approvingly." Another kid, in a very serious-looking 21st century rigid neck brace, ask asks about my camera. A similar exchange ensues. It takes me back. Not so much the skating or the location. Sadly enough, there really weren't many [any] skateparks in the nineties even close to this, when public/street skating was oppressed enough to provoke a sticker-driven "Skateboarding is not a crime" movement, any sort of ramp/pool construction, even on private property, was doomed by legal red tape and liability fears. (You could play football/baseball/basketball/street hockey or soccer in ANY public park, and break yourself into a thousand pieces, but no one cared/sued) Anyway, this was about how somebody could just walk up and look around, even me, being more than old enough to be all of these kids' dads, and be met with acceptance and a casual sense of community, based on skateboarding, photography, music...or whatever. Every underpass needs a skatepark in it. God knows we have the concrete and the kids.

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