Our jewelry isn’t created in what you would call a bustling urban environment. Sebastopol is a small, country town, but it does have a thriving downtown with its share of automobiles and traffic. I’m all for the “greening” of spaces, so when my landscape designer friends Cary and Amy of merge studio told me about their plans to erect a “parklet” and participate in PARK(ing) Day 2012, I couldn’t wait to see the result.
What’s PARK(ing) Day, you ask? It’s an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform parking spots into temporary public parks. Since the first parklet was set up in a metered parking space for just 2 hours in 2005 by San Francisco design group Rebar the event has been held on the third Friday in September each year. Today it came to my tiny town.
Using reclaimed redwood siding scraps and fiber cement panels, Cary and Amy created a little oasis next to their office right off the town square for friends and strangers alike to hang out and enjoy the lovely sunshine where a gas-guzzling SUV might otherwise have hulked. I hopped in my own SUV (um, yes, I am a mother of four! but at least it’s a hybrid) with my two-year-old daughter and drove over to join in the fun.
Now I’m all abuzz with ideas for next year. Not as a commercial venture (no pop-up okomido atelier here), but there’s no reason why you have to be a landscaper to participate. You just have to be civic-minded and have a love of beauty. Or maybe you just like playing in the street.