Paved Paradises


Parking in New York City is nothing to get excited about, but Park(ing) Day, emphasis on those hugging parentheses, is another story. This annual transformation of ordinary parking spaces into public places, an event that began in San Francisco and premiered locally in Brooklyn, now happens in cities all over the world. On Friday, 55 parking spaces around New York will be turned into pop-up parks with art installations, gardens, picnicking, bicycle-powered blenders, chess matches and musical performances. Twelve of these creative, car-less spots will appear in Brooklyn. Here is a modest smattering (including one courtesy of yours truly):

Cortelyou Road Park
Together with volunteers, Anne Pope, founder and director of Sustainable Flatbush, will build the grassy, chair-filled Cortelyou Road Park for the third year in a row. As always, there will be plenty of attractions for the kiddies, but they’re outdoing themselves with a puppet show and workshops on turning your trash into treasures from Garbage of Eden Design, an Etsy shop, and RePlayGround. In addition to recycled fashion statements, you can also get a composting demo, test out a solar-paneled cell phone charger, and vie for the chance to win a gift basket from the nearby Flatbush Food Coop. Exact Parking Spot>>

LITTLEJOHN Park is a collaboration between two Fort Greene/Clinton Hill forces: cartoonist Isaac Littlejohn Eddy and the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership. The two, says Sarah Farwell, Program Manager for Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership’s Preservation and Streetscape Initiatives, are planning an open-air workshop where Eddy will interview and illustrate passersby and teach others to document the characters of their neighborhood, just as he does for the NY Times Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Local blog. Throughout the day, he’ll hang up the work of participants, then scan and post them to Flickr and the Myrtle Ave blog. Exact Parking Spot>>

The Buckminster Fuller Park
Seeing as Buckminster Fuller was a designer and proponent of doing more with less, it makes perfect sense that the Buckminster Fuller Institute has a mini park in the works. Last year, Will Elkins, the Store Coordinator & Prototype Program Manager at BFI, located in Williamsburg, helped bring a large-scale tetrahedral kite to fruition with the help of Park(ing) Day visitors. This year’s project remained TBD at press time, but like last year’s space it will resemble the mission of its ongoing Prototype Program, meant to engage “the public in hands-on education via the exploration of structure.” Exact Parking Spot>>

Safety Cone Adventures
Although my parking space of the above name is not physically located in Brooklyn (long story!), Safety Cone Adventures was conceived of, crafted and very much coddled there. Orange safety cones are ubiquitous and multi-purposeful: they divert traffic and properly divide lanes, lay claim to parking spots to denote TV/movie-filming areas, stand inside potholes so your feet/wheels don’t have to, and warn against uneven sidewalks. In other words, they deserve a graciously thrown Park(ing) Day party with orange safety cone sugar cookies, a scavenger hunt, safety cone origami, a photo shoot, and safety cone giveaways in the form of crochet toys, stickers and prints. Exact Parking Spot>>

Sent by Nicole. Text by Alicia Kachmar. Photos from top courtesy of Linus Gelber, Prototype O, Sustainable Flatbush, and Alicia Kachmar.

One Response

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)