i wrote this for the urban evolution blog and kickstand bike zine...
“National Park(ing) Day is an opportunity to celebrate parks in cities and promote the need for more parks by creating temporary public parks in public parking spaces.” --http://tinyurl.com/parkingspot
So much of our public space is dedicated to the use of motor vehicles. Park(ing) days are a way to temporarily reclaim a small piece of that space for the people! (For more information about other Park(ing) Day events, check out http://tinyurl.com/parkingspot.) Here in Charlottesville, we created a 2-hour “park” on West Main on a Friday morning. A cardboard car served as a traffic barrier. We created a comfy living room space in our park(ing) spot with a carpet and some chairs. A table loaded down with vegan chocolate chip cookies, dumpstered chocolate, popcorn, and tea from the Twisted Branch provided an added enticement. Once we set up the space, we invited all passing bikers, pedestrians and even some cars to join us for tea and cookies. Early on we had a story hour, and later we were entertained by a violin/accordion duo. People had a variety of reactions: some ignored us, some cautiously accepted a cookie, others joined our cozy space and hung out for awhile. We had a great time, and plan to continue doing it monthly! The next Cville Park(ing) day will be on March 31st.
Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (that beautiful chunk of land bordering lake superior that's connected to the mitten via the Mackinaw Bridge), i escaped to the east coast as early as possible. After 6 years of uppity schooling, i spent a year in New York City and a year travelling the States before settling down at Twin Oaks Community, an intentional, income sharing community of 90 people on 450 acres in central virginia. at the same time i joined a nascent klezmer band, the vulgar bulgars and spent the next 3 living the bucolic life of a farming klezmorim.