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Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Embarcadero Skate Stoppers

Grind to a Halt, one of the numerous friendly skate company...
The Embarcadero Skate Stoppers

In the late '80s through the '90s the Embarcadero at San Francisco was a skateboarding Mecca where Skaters gathered from all over the world to be part of the movement.
Embarcadero Center's Justin Herman Plaza, known among skateboarders as "EMB," was the most famous skate spot in the world for a number of years. On any given weekend in the early to mid '90s, you could find upward of 200 individuals skating the plaza, which served almost as a proving ground for newcomers trying to make a name in skateboarding.

The movement at EMB was so strong that skaters landed at the Embarcadero from all over the world to check out the numerous tricks and styles that were originated there.
Embarcadero Center businesses, particularly those at Justin Herman Plaza, were known to telephone police multiple times a day to complain about the skateboarders disrupting business.
When the cops arrived, the first skater to spot them would yell "Five-O!" and everyone would scatter. The police would cite and sometimes even arrest the unlucky skateboarders they caught, and then leave. An hour or two later, most of the skaters would return and start skating again.

An ugly skate stopper
This game of cat and mouse went on for several years until 1995, when the Embarcadero Center's property management convinced the Police Department to position an officer at the plaza round-the-clock until the plaza was demolished and rebuilt in 1999.

It wasn't until around 2000, with the use of skate-stoppers, that the city and many businesses were able to curb skateboarding.

By 2003, all but a few of the city's well-known spots were skate-proofed, resulting in a skateboarder exodus from San Francisco. Many skaters felt that skateboarding in the city was dead and migrated to other hot spots such as Los Angeles, New York and even Barcelona.

Right below are some the pix of new skate stoppers just installed at the Embarcadero.

A bronze octopus at Rincon Park on the Embarcadero in San Francisco on Friday, November 18, 2011. The sculptures of bronze starfish, turtles
and octopi do double duty. Whimsical art at water’s edge, they also deter skateboarders with a lust for “grinding” Credit: Adithya Sambamurthy
The Bay Citizen. From The Bay Citizen


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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Saturday, December 03, 2011 


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