Film By: UNO student and documentarian Joshua Allen
Editor’s Note: NolaVie partners with students of UNO professor László Zsolt Fülöp, pairing them with artists, non-profits, environmental groups, and cultural entities to facilitate a live curriculum that results in a short documentary. This film, directed and edited by Joshua Allen, shares the story of the Parasite DIY Skatepark in New Orleans, Louisiana. The skatepark offers a prime location for skaters in a city with largely unskateable roads. Parasite DIY Skatepark is located at the intersection of Paris Avenue and Interstate 610.
[Read the full transcript of the interview below]
Skateboarding in the City of New Orleans can be a challenge if you don’t know where to go. Most residential neighborhood streets are chewed to pieces and absolutely un-skateable in most circumstances.
There are a few good spots downtown — the Hancock Whitney tower being one. Usually, skating isn’t very welcome in the city, and in the [French] quarter there’s usually so many tourists and people it can be a hassle to find any decent spot.
Thankfully, there’s a safe haven in New Orleans for skaters.
Free to the public, it was started by skateboarders in the area around 2010 as a do-it-yourself skatepark. The builders bought concrete with their money and later held skate contests and benefit shows at the park.
It was called Peach Orchard Skatepark. The first park was demolished in 2012. Then within a few weeks, they came back, moving further from the train tracks and under the overpass of 610. This is when the name “Parasite” was coined for the skatepark because now it was right off of Paris Avenue.
In 2013, the City of New Orleans finally recognized New Orleans first public skatepark. The skate community grows larger here every day, and there are still do-it-yourself ramps, rails, hills and ledges being built by the skaters for the skaters.