Way Out West: The Los Angeles Excursion

The situation never changes. I can practically list off the sequence of events. I am required to go to Los Angeles. I get very excited. I end up beginning to dread the trip. I spend the next 72 hours in meetings counting down the seconds until I can catch a few minutes of pushing down some random Los Angeles street on a skateboard thus becoming grounded once again. Some people call it anxiety. I call it a severe allergy to being indoors.

So there I was. Stuck in Los Angeles on Saturday morning with a red eye flight leaving LAX that night headed back to the East Coast. The only hope I had of maintaining a normal sleeping pattern was to remain awake until I boarded my flight. With that in mind I began to architect my day. Arise from a near comatose state. Overdose on really good coffee and then head down to Fairfax to check out a bunch of shops I usually read and see in the blogs of others. I figured it would be good to kill a couple of hours.

let me be the first to say. I really don’t get the skate boutique thing. I mean, I get it but I don’t get it. I understand the economic part of it but I can’t bring myself to pay $50 for a t-shirt. Maybe I’m just a shlub from Upstate NY. I doubt I’ll grow much beyond that mindset but $42 for baseball cap? Are you out of your freaking mind? OK, I’m a cheap bastard that’s all there is to it. Lets move on.

So, first mission was to raise up from the nearly dead. Yup, this was my view. Pretty bad ass. Score one for Los Angeles on a no-smog day. I half expected to see Tarzan coming flying out the woods.

After procuring coffee and getting caught up on LOST (priorities you know) I made my way down towards FairFax with a first stop off at the Burton store. As you know the mighty B has been making moves Buying up AWS/ Habitat, finally coming out of the closet with Arto and flipping Gravis into an actual skate brand. By the way, Lee Crane had the best comment ever.

So the Burton store was packed nice and clean with all sorts of boards. From every little kick push deck to Burtons fancy snowboards to surf boards that will …well, surf. The skate side was uber stocked and the guy behind the counter mentioned that there wasn’t an over stocking on AWS and Habitat really it was an even count. He went on to explain that nothing really changed after the announcement. So there you go…

Wait, strike that. Check out this fancy display. overall it was a clean shop. Big and cavernous with not a huge amount of feeling or warmth. Kind of like Burton itself these days.
There was a quick side trip to the DC store but there was some god awful fratty kids in their acting like they were being filmed for an MTV reality series. My eyes couldn’t handle much more of things I couldn’t un-see after the week I just had so it was off to Fairfax.

Yup, Fairfax apparently it’s the place to open a shop as Huf just did not to long ago. I’m guessing in this 2 mile radius you have some of the bigger names in the LA Skate scene with Supreme, SLB and others including Diamond Supply Co. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Yes, Welcome to Fairfax indeed.

Here we have the outside of Supreme. Interesting shop with a wooden bowl. All in all it’s like the one in NYC. Bunch of guys behind the counters selling over priced stuff. Sorry. It is what it is. I still find it hard to believe people line up for this place.
The Diamond Supply Co. store had some good photos up and of course the layout was that of an old diamond merchants shop. Clever but you have to imagine what type of loss they must be taking on the rent with only about 20 t-shirts on the racks.

Finally I made my way past SLB, Sal’s shop. I have to give him credit with the most unique shop I’ve stopped in awhile. A title I’m sure that will be taken over once I get down to UNIV. But, back to SLB. The shop was … random but in a good way. Single speed bikes, more $50 fedoras than you can shake a stick at and some random skating stuff.

Hot rods and shirts. That car is pretty amazing though.
Finally, a shop that actually sells decks. I think. Actually up near the counter was all the skate stuff.

Last but not least I’ll just call the the future crystal ball. I can run math pretty quick but it doesn’t take my braniac mellon to do he following equation: Tanking economy + High boutique skate shop prices =’s no sales. No sales can be interpreted as no cash. Fairfax rent can be interpreted as high dollar. I bet SLB does OK…the other shops…that’s up in the air.

A saw was put up as I was walking away and it made me wonder if all the hipster skate shops aren’t going to be going the same route in the near future. Recession special indeed.

2 thoughts on “Way Out West: The Los Angeles Excursion

  1. Don’t forget in the low economy + overpriced goods equation to factor in really lousy service, which seems to be the staple in boutique type shops. Makes them even cooler.I went to SLB and really wanted the “Hate And Destroy” shirt, and grabbed it off the rack, there were 3 people by the counter looking at shoes or something, and I looked at them and held up the shirt to indicate that I needed help, and they just looked away. I stood there for 10 minutes waiting and then left.I regret not waiting longer. It’s a sick shirt.

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