If you spy a person standing in a metered parking space, chances are they're exiting their car, crossing the street, digging in their pockets for change, or are simply passing through, with no intentions of remaining in the auto-sized space for more than a few seconds.
Rare is the day that humans flock together and settle in a parking space, complete with lawn chairs, potted plants, umbrellas, and picnic-ready items. So rare, in fact, that it only happens once a year, on the third Friday in September.
It's PARK(ing) Day, and if you're noting the all caps calling out the "PARK" and wondering if that corresponds to people lending a touch of leafy green and human conviviality to the asphalt spots, you'd be correct. Described as "an open-source global event where citizens, artists, and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered spaces into 'PARK(ing) spaces: temporary public places," the widespread event draws people looking to dip in for an hour or commit to a full day.
For sure, themes of greening our urban landscape and connecting with each other on a non-mechanized level are threaded through the Friday, Sept. 19 happening, which will mark its first decade next year.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Not every space around Southern California will become a pop-up park, but you'll see some action 'round Pasadena, when the Pasadena Playhouse sets up a Shakespeare in the PARK(let) on Colorado Boulevard between El Molino and Madison. Union Station'll be in on the action, or at least the parking lot that is adjacent to Alameda, and pop-up participants shall head for Fourth Street in Long Beach.
The full globe-wide map of meet-ups and to-dos is parked right here.
Want to plan your own? The PARK(ing) Day planners have tips on DIY-ing your own space. Just don't forget to feed that meter on your temporary garden.