Annual event makes different use of parking spaces
September 21, 2010 3:11 PM
Creative San Francisco denizens adorned parking spaces with barbeque pits, gardens and lawn transplants to celebrate the fifth annual Park(ing) Day.
The San Francisco art and design studio Rebar started Park(ing) Day to show how parking spaces, which normal house someone's car, can be turned into beautiful gardens and other creative settings, according to Park(ing) Day's official website. Once a San Francisco tradition, Park(ing) Day now has an international following with celebrations on almost every continent. The day has somewhat of a cult following and keeps people coming back yearly.
"Not that I dislike internal combustion or getting around on four wheels, but I think this is a salutatory event," Berkeley resident Steve Black who has attended Park(ing) Day for over four years. Black lived in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood for several years before moving to Berkeley. Despite his relocation, Park(ing) Day is still one of his favorite events.
"It challenges us to see the city through fresh eyes," he said.
Groups like Bay Natives, a local plant retailer and nursery, created a half block garden populated with wooden sculptures, native Bay Area plants and yellow watermelon for passer-bys to snack on.
"We're trying to create an oasis here in the urban jungle where weary people and also birds, butterflies and other insects can find a place to take a load off," said Geoff Coffey, principle of Bay Natives.
While many Park(ing) Day sites were gardens of some sort, other groups like Interstice Architects choose to create more whimsical set ups.
"We have two components to our site. It's hay and pinwheels," Interstice Architects principal Chris Kiefer said. Blue, green and red pinwheel spun rapidly around to show a key characteristic of Interstice Architects Bartlett Street location - wind.
Interstice Architects weren't the only group seeking to go beyond gardens. Outside of Aquarius Records on Valencia Street, a man who called himself Doctor Rainbow set up a barbeque pit to grill hotdogs despite the dreary weather.
"This year I wanted to set up a space for myself," Doctor Rainbow said. "It's part of the philosophy of the event. As more people know about it, there are more pods that pop up around the city and the world in fact," he said. Doctor Rainbow concluded that hopefully people would learn that parking spaces aren't just for automobiles, but also for people too.
"And of course rubber chickens," he added.
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