The streets of Atlantic and Whittier are known for having stores scattered throughout. On the intersection of these streets, there is this small store called The Garage Board Shop, a family owned store that is eye-catching and booming with energy. The Garage Board Shop is a small building compared to the neighboring buildings, but exotic in its own way. The walls are filled to the brink with artwork. A blank spot is hard to find. Inside the shop, the aesthetic continues with graffiti-splattered walls, and furniture made of used skateboards. This store just gushes out the culture of East L.A., from the Chicano heritage to the artwork that is popular in the area. I cannot think of any other place that smashes so many different concepts together. It completely baffles me how this store came to be.
I am just one of the many who have a close relationship to The Garage Board Shop. This store introduced us to the pastime of skateboarding. It also influenced us to take up the sport and develop a passion instead of a temporary fling that we would give up after a few embarrassing falls. Skaters aren’t the only ones who have a place in their hearts for this shop. Artists also have love for The Garage. The Garage takes the time to host free art shows where locals can submit their work for display. The Garage is way more than just a store. Jerry and the other owners do their fair share of community service. These caring human beings go above and beyond for the residents of East L.A. The owners of this small shop aren’t like others who only care about making some cash. These guys create opportunities for others. Whether it is for artists or skateboarders, helping those in the community is one of their goals.
There are so many programs offered at The Garage. Academic success is also a goal they have for the couple of hundred kids who go there. If they struggle with their work, the skate shop offers tutors and tutoring sessions. Report cards are checked every five weeks, and there is even a reward system. Kids with passing grades are rewarded for it with merchandise or tickets to events. I cannot stress enough the fact that I don’t know anywhere else that goes above and beyond for the community, even though it is a business. The Garage Board Shop fits all criteria to be considered a landmark. The physical building itself can already be considered a landmark; the rest of the story makes it more than qualified to be considered one.