East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Belvedere Skate Park: The park that represents the California skateboarding culture

In May 19, 2007 Belvedere Skate Park was built. Belvedere Skate Park is located in East Los Angeles, right by the Civic Center train stop and the famous “Love Bridge.”

Sometimes what draws me to this place is friendship. Back in the day, when I was a freshman, I would ditch school with my friends and go skate there. Also, we would go every Friday after school to skate at Belvedere but that was so long ago. Now that I’m a senior things have changed.

I think I’m drawn to this place a lot because I remember all those memories I had when I was younger and all the times I felt like a kid. There’s a saying I once heard that says, “once they’re gone, all we left is with memories.” There’s days where I just think about the old times, skating at Belvedere with all my friends skating up.

I don’t really know who runs the park. The whole time that I’ve skated there, I’ve never seen anyone in charge. All I would see is people skating and parents watching their kids learn how to skate.

I think the people who run it are the people who skate there every day. Those people are called the “locals,” the people who are there every day, day or night. You’ll always see them there skating around with their friends. And that’s the whole point of skating there, having the time to enjoy yourself and making memorable memories with the ones that you love.

The people who use it are all kinds of people from young to old, from ugly to lovely. There’s people from all different parts of the world who come to use it. So you can’t say that people who live in that community are the only people who use it.

People come from all times of the day and during the night. People even come while it’s raining and don’t care if they get wet, they’re use to it.

People that skate at the park are the meaning of “ride or die.”

Many people like going to this park because when you’re skating there, it’s like suffering a wave. I always see people skate the pools and skate around the park. The skate park is meant to be like riding waves. That is called vert skating, where people skate pools and then transfer to another pool.

The park is surrounded by a gate that goes around the whole skate park. Before entering the park you come face-to-face with the sign of the park. The smell of the park is “California love.”

In the night, you could smell the hot dog lady making hot dogs and the churro guy coming through with his cart filled with warm churros. And if you’re lucky, the churro guy will hook it up with some free churros for a roach.

I guess Belvedere Skate Park expresses not only the East L.A. culture but the whole California skateboarding culture.