Sun Basket DIY
Footage and Words from Todd Taylor (@hollarrr)
Around 1993-1994, we used to skate the closed down Canal Villere on West Esplanade and Williams Blvd., it's the spot in the Alien Workshop video that has the hips around the light pole. It was popular spot that was also building a scene with the younger skaters in the Kenner area. At some point, someone reopened the store (can't remember which grocery), so we lost a bust free place to skate. About a mile down the road there was a torn down grocery store called Sun Basket. It had that amazing inside foundation ground, so we all started skating there. It had a few gaps but mostly just good flat ground.
One day, James Lapuyade took his quaterpipe that was getting no use in his driveway over to Sun Basket, and from that day the spot just jumped off. Every left over jump ramp, quaterpipe, or flatbar that was in someones yard made its way to Sun Basket. It had become a full on skatepark. Saturdays would have 100 or so people skating out there and anyone that had seen it was hyped, it had become a full on Mecca. Dudes who worked construction would be out there with leftover materials from job sites building crazy contraptions, dropping off those manual pads that were used to build sidewalks, it was crazy. Sun Basket was a an all wood DIY that just sprung out of nowhere, it was amazing. Everyone would meet up and skate until it got dark, then go Downtown and skate street all night. It lasted for about a year before it got shut down. We heard a variety of reasons it did, but nothing was ever confirmed. They didn't tear out the foundation for a while, so ramps and ledges would pop up now and again, but would only last for a few days. Eventually a bank got built on the property.
A little of the Sun Basket legacy still exists, the high long flatbar at Parisite was built from leftover steel from Fastlane Skatepark to fit over a gap at sun basket. It never made it there, but floated around to different people for about 14 years until a rollerblader told me he had it at his house. Now it's at Parisite, and even though it never actually made it to Sun Basket, it's still a small part of it's legacy.