Over the weekend a Los Angeles skate icon popped up in Williamsburg. A mini-replica of one of skateboarding’s sketchiest ‘90s skate spots was recreated in the space, behind the Commodore by Converse Cons, complete with a memorial plaque.
A bank with a bench bolted on top doesn’t seem like much, but the homage to LA’s Lockwood Elementary School is a slice of skateboarding lore. The spot was made famous in the mid-‘90s by the Menace crew in World Industries’ “20 Shot Sequence” video, birthing a skate mecca. So when KCDC’s Instagram account showed a picture of the spot, saying it would only exist for two weeks, people freaked, because there’s really nowhere on the East Coast with a set up like this.
Also, you probably won’t get shot there as you might at the original spot, which was located in an area known for gang activity. Menace pro Fabian Alomar’s uncle was an OG of the La Mirada Gang that controlled the territory which led to some getting a pass, but that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be any drive-bys or jackings. Once Lockwood gained popularity as many as a hundred kids would crowd the gated schoolyard on a weekend day, not knowing they were in a hot zone. Skater turned police officer Chuck Wampler was shot five times there after his friend’s camera was stolen.
The most dangerous thing I witnessed when I stopped by the Williamsburg spot, aside from the actual skating, was a child in a baby carriage repeatedly yelling “almost!”, distracting everyone trying to grind or slide the bench. Despite being noticeably steeper than its inspiration, it seemed that everyone was quick to adapt and several tricks went down in the short time I was there — if you’ve ever witnessed a skate session, that’s pretty rare, actually. There were several filmers, some hoisting Go Pros on sticks, and more than a few people wearing Chuck Taylors in the small tar-covered lot. Other than a few mysterious Instagram posts (including one from former pro skater Spencer Fujimoto, who now designs jewelry that pays homage to Lockwood) there isn’t much info out there about the pop-up park, so get down there now, because you only have two weeks to skate like it’s 1995 before it’s gone.
This lot is only open until 5pm (you know, while you’re at work) and I keep walking by and noticing the woman from the building next door freaking out on skateboarders that have hopped the fence to skate this. Just a heads up.
“there’s really nowhere on the East Coast with a set up like this”