Full Stop

The Solana Court alleyway runs north and south. It splits apart before ‘Ghetto Park’ and continues north afterward. There’s a clear view looking southward toward Anaheim Street of ever flowing traffic and pedestrians. The cars go by quickly like well-trained equestrians. The Long Beach Metro transit bus passes by in an instant from west to east. It’s difficult to time unless you’re shooting for the sublime love. Inside the suntrap there’s a moment given to a full stop, a chance to breath in the surroundings of the smoldering set. Juice, Mucc and a third person are taking a break from skateboarding. The ‘Trap House’, as local skateboarders refer it to, has been burned down. Homeless men who have once squatted there decided to take revenge into their own hands when they found it boarded up one day. The police knew drugs were being sold there.

The city of Long Beach slated the ‘Trap House’ to be demolished. I didn’t set the three subjects in place for the exposure, but rather moved in such a way so that I could frame the beautifully burned arrow points of the ‘Trap House’ and line of power lines as the working framework surrounding the brave skaters who skate “Ghetto Park” as an alternative to gang enticements. The practice and purpose created at the skate park has prevented the likelihood of faltering to the divisive flames of crime participation. The gang capital is redistributed to the capital of community. Passions rage during the fight forged by faith. Survival for sport; this is not the suburbs where it’s played safe. Master the tricks of the street skate, the flips give new words for the lips; landing all feet on deck. The concentrated disciplines used for life pursuits and accomplishments no one can dispute.

The importance of slowing down to a full stop allowed me to hold my position until the still-internal voice said, ‘now.’ The Long Beach transit bus was in full view and the cigarette was in full bloom; a drag race. These skateboarders rush their kick-push transportation along bus transit routes much quicker than paying the ride fare and sitting down. Destinations are reached by driving cardio-vascular momentum and it’s not pay as you go. Juice takes what seems to be a long-drag of a cigarette and looks out onto “Ghetto Park” and the surrounding war-torn neighborhood to see if there is anything that stands out as potential harm to himself or his fellow riders.