Bobby Chocolate pulls up his socks and waits for his friend Jimi to complete his ride down the rail in the skate corridor of the City Heights Community Center walk next to Rosa Parks Field. It is National Go Skate Day, June 21, a Friday afternoon, and the concourse is crowded.
MidCity Community Activist Network is out, kids in blue-and-white T-shirts, celebrating that they won nearly $850,000 in funding and the city's blessing to build a skate park a few blocks away, which will be part of the City Heights Central Avenue Mini Park.
"I'll believe it when I see it," Bobby says. "They talk about this all the time and we're still skating here…. Tony Hawk people talk, Black Box people talk, YMCA people talk. We still skate here."
But lots of people want it, too. Cherokee Point Elementary School principal Godwin Higa has advocated for it, MidCity CAN has pushed, and the Hawk Foundation stayed onboard, selling the project.
In December, mayor Bob Filner came to City Heights and vowed to help raise money for the skate park, and in June, the $846,000 was awarded by the state Department of Housing and Community Development.
"Everyone gave up hope on City Heights, but we never did," says MidCity CAN youth advocate Terry Stanley II. "It took three years and it will take a couple more to get it built, but we're going to have one."
Meanwhile, Bobby Chocolate watches a couple of tykes skate the rail and quarter pipe they set out in the concourse for skating.
"Little man is skating tight today," Bobby says. "That's Will there. He’s going to be a star."