Alissa Walker is a writer, a gelato eater, and a walker in L.A. She shares an experience from her adventures around town at CityThink each Wednesday. Follow her daily on Instagram at @awalkerinLA, on Twitter, or at her blog, and use the hashtag #betteroffped to share your own photographs of walking in L.A.
Walkers aren’t the only people using our streets and sidewalks. There’s a whole population of folks who are rolling through L.A. on bikes, wheelchairs, strollers—even Segways. But the ones I encounter the most in my urban explorations are skateboarders. I’ll find them sailing over the curbs, popping into plazas, and surfing onto buildings, much like this anonymous skater at the downtown Caltrans plaza the other night. As you can see from the sign, the city of Los Angeles doesn’t exactly appreciate skateboarders as valuable to our streetscape, but I feel like they interpret and improvise on the infrastructure, making them a crucial part of the urban fabric. I also suspect they know the city and its architecture better than anyone.