The sun shined on Emeryville on Saturday as the city held its ribbon cutting ceremony for the long-anticipated Joseph Emery Skate Spot. The park opened to rave reviews by the local skate community and provided closure for local skaters Alex Fatemi, Tony Miorana and Ian Schafer. The three local skaters were architects of “the spot” DIY skatepark under the MacArthur Maze that saw their dream of a hangout for local skaters demolished by CalTrans almost five years ago. The event provided the impetus for the city to pursue its own sanctioned skate spot and perhaps a bit of redemption for local government. An initiative led by Councilmembers Nora Davis and Ruth Atkin and Public Works Director Maurice Kaufmann who were all on hand.
The city also celebrated the opening of the “Portland Loo” public restroom and the latest Art in Public Places pieces by artist Michael Greenwald. A feature of the park will posthumously be dedicated to skater & artist Antonio Ramos at a future date. Ramos lived nearby and had his life tragically taken from him while painting a community mural under the I-580 overpass.
Emeryville Community Services Director Pedro Jimenez and Program Coordinator Stacy Thomas pulled together a well orchestrated event. Representatives from Bay Street, Zumiez, and yours truly were on hand to raffle off generous donations from Bell Helmets, Thrasher Magazine, Arizmendi Bakery and 510 Skateboarding.