When you and your friend talk about metered parking spaces, what's the conversation about?
We've broken it down for you, unscientifically but accurately. You and your pal A) spend 90% of the time searching for possible parking spaces and B) spend 7% of the time discussing how other people have parked their cars and C) spend 2% of the time asking each other for quarters, dimes, anything.
Rarely do you admire the lawns and flowers filling a metered parking space. But 1% of the time you do, on the third Friday in September, which just happens to be PARK(ing) Day, everywhere and anywhere, but very much around Southern California.
What started as a bit of public art-meets-nature activism in San Francisco has spread far and wide, and at little cost but much cheer. The meat of the matter is this: People, be they artists or gardeners or just those who like to mix up the urban scene, merrily, arrive at an empty parking space, feed the meter, and proceed to decorate it with plants, lawn chairs, and anything else that subverts the park-here paradigm.
"The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat... until the meter runs out!"
Until the meter runs out, indeed.
Where to find the "parklets" of PARK(ing) Day, which is Friday, Sept. 18? There's a spot on Melrose listed, though the nature of these for-the-moment installations is they can, and do, pop up anywhere.
Some parks exist for decades, and even centuries, and some for an hour, or two, if you've got enough nickels in your pocket.