Long Beach has a great skate scene. Cherry Park has been a part of the scene for a long time; there is even a book called Cherry Life written by Mike Nesbit which is a photo documentary of life at Cherry Park. In an excerpt from the book Mike says:
Anyone who lives in Long Beach, California knows that Bixby Park is really called Cherry Park. Situated at the intersection of Cherry Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, this small park reflects the diversity of the city itself. As a prime skateboarding spot, the park united residents from all walks of life. That is, until the city remodeled it in 2002.
The first Cherry Park was nothing more than an open air theater stage where skaters would meet, skate, and hang out. You can watch some of the old skate videos and see the old spot in action. A couple of years ago the theater was torn down to be remodeled so skaters were regulated to a few wooden ledges and flat ground. After that another spot was opened called LB Free. It was an old parking lot on Willow and Lakewood converted into a skate spot by skaters. Recently this spot was closed by the city but this did not stop the Long Beach skaters.
This year the pro skaters from Toy Machine and Listen Skateboards that started LB Free decided to take some of the obstacles at the old LB Free spot and relocate them to Cherry Park. It started with a concrete ledge with a metal edge and a brick rail slide ledge and blossomed into a full fledged street course in a couple of months. Since it started I have frequented the park a few times to meet up with my brother Chad TimTim to go skate. I am not that big of a street skater but if I were I have to say this is a really good spot. On my recent visit there were a lot more obstacles from when it first started and on any given day you will find 20 – 30 people skateboarding, which on that day there was.
Long Beach pros hanging out there like Danny Montoya, Rob Gonzalez, Ray Barbee, Austin Stephens, Josh Harmony, and many more. The day I visited I saw my old friend Stacy Lowery. One thing I like about this spot is that you get to see old friends and it was good to see Stacy.
Another thing I like about the park is that it is a good place to just meet up with friends to warm up to go skate other places. It can be an end of day spot or you can just hang out. This is definitely a street skating spot so if you like transition then this is not the place to be. The ground is smooth concrete which is nice to roll around on. It has eight obstacles—the first two I already talked about. There is also a nice three step ledge with metal edges, a long parking block curb in the middle, a banked manual pad with metal edges, a plastic bench, a flat concrete bench and a cement bench with a back rest. You also have the new theater stage with a fifteen foot over grass gap which is on the other side of the park.
Cherry Park used to be a premier spot back in the day until they remodeled it, but from what I see now it is again a premier spot in Long Beach. So if you are ever in Long Beach and want to skate, or maybe catch a session with some pros or just want to hang out—come to Cherry Park and say “hi”. I will be the guy trying to perfect my rail slide or I will be in the corner trying to perfect my kick flip; like I said I am not much of a street skater. That I leave to my brother.