It was a blast! I left the office late in the afternoon, and was able to see just a handful of spots before my 6 PM appointment, but they were terrific. First stop was on 2nd at South Park, a miniature golf course constructed by the Blnkt Collaborative. There were two people on this three hole course, and half a dozen people hanging out having a great time.
Over to the Mission to Valencia Street. My first stop, between 19th and 20th was at a very elaborate garden, planted with all native plants. Did I say it was quite elaborate? It was, complete with a retaining wall constructed out of cobblestones.
I headed further south on Valencia. In front of Ritual Roasters were three adjoining parks. I walked along to the third park. A woman, who approached from the opposite direction at the same time I did, said hello, took off her shoes and stepped onto the grass. Grass, plants, trees, lots of people hanging out, lounging, reading, talking, and drinking coffee.
I walked back to the first park, which was built on a structure with wheels and moves by three people peddling. As I hung out talking, I learned that this park was constructed by combining a boat trailer, half a motor cycle and lots of other stuff. This movable park moved around town during the day, and parked at open spots that looked fun. l learned that this was the park created by Rebar, the group that founded PARK(ing) day. The intention of the event is to have people re-envision the use of public space. The member I was speaking with said the design of the event is "open source"--they set out guidelines and people create what they want. They have resisted attempts to make this a commercial event with corporate sponsors.
Many creative uses of parking spots. They won't know until after the event until how many there were. He pulled out his phone and googled "parking day" and talked about the press coverage they were getting throughout the day. After confering with each other, everyone decided it was time to move on to another parking spot.
I headed back up the other side of Valencia, passing two more spots (constructed like living rooms) on my way to my appointment. Next year, I will need to take the day off and walk around the city to see all of the spots. Or, perhaps I will create my own spot.