6th Avenue Skatin' Place
In June 2016, armed with my new full frame camera I decided to go on my first personal documentary style project. A few months before that I had discovered one of the most amazing places in San Francisco: 6th Avenue Skatin' Place.
As a former skater, to me this place was heaven. One of the things I noticed going to one of the famous Sunday shows -where all the skaters from the community get together to dance and play- is how inclusive this community seems. I saw people from all ages and colors getting together to skate.
So for the the next month or so I went to the skating rink everyday and took pictures. Sunday is the day it's full but during the week, you will see just a handful of people skating. Some regulars and others who prepare for the Sunday show or people who are still learning.
One of the regulars is Eugene. Before starting to take pictures I scouted the location for a few days and I noticed that one man is there everyday. I approached him and asked him if I can take pictures and he said yes.
I don't know much about Eugene. Only that he goes everyday to the rink - he doesn't like going on Sundays. He goes to the rink at about the same time, be brings his big portable speaker with him, hooks it to his phone to play music for him and others to dance to it.
Eugene's special move is the spin. He spins and spins and keeps spinning. It's his signature move, so much that the tourist bus that drives through the Golden Gate Park in SF, stops to give the people on board the chance to see Eugene spinning. I am guessing there is one bus driver who knows Eugene, or has seen him so many times. He comes, honks if Eugene is sitting down. Eugene goes and gets ready to spin with a long breath. He keeps spinning like a Dervish until you can hear the people from the bus clapping and cheering (see gallery).
Over the few hours he is there people come and go. He knows most of the regulars who come during the week to practice and or dance. Eugene introduced me to one of the most recognized skaters on Sundays, as he always skates with his dog holding to his arm, David and his dog Minnie. I also met Patty there, one of the regular skaters.
All the time I was going there, taking pictures and meeting more amazing people, I felt that this "project" will come together somehow, but it never did. I had fun taking pictures in the skating rink and I intend on taking more pictures, but for now I declare this "project" as unsuccessful. I have been trying to work on it for the past year on so but I felt it was missing a statement. I kept it on my list for so long and now it is time to move on, but I still wanted to share some of the pictures I took with you.
Learn more about this amazing community, the godfather of skating David Miles and their impressive history through the YouTube channel of David Miles himself.
One of my favorite documentaries about this community 'Totally Free'. Check it out!