PARK(ing) Day NYC this Friday

Parking Day 2008 Video from Streetfilms

Park(ing) Day, one of our favorite yearly public space happenings, takes to the New York City streets this Friday!

This international event transforms metered parking spaces into playgrounds, parks, creative installations, and unusual meeting-grounds for all to hit the pavement and enjoy. Converting car-intended spots throughout the five boroughs, these park(ing) spaces are a great example of  street-space reclaimed. Park(ing) Day’s mission doesn’t sound too far off from the High Line’s reclamation of  space for the public.

Last year the High Line participated in the Park(ing) Day extravaganza, one of 57 spaces across the city. This year, our newly-opened park hovers 30 feet higher than most parking spaces, but encourages you to check out a nearby Park(ing) Day space on ground level. A map and description of all the spots is here.

One of our favorites is right here in the neighborhood.  Weave the Hearts, sponsored by the West Harlem Art Fund and created by Japanese artist Shintaro Tokairin, can be located at 400 W. 14th Street, near 9th Avenue. Tokairin has created a woven installation piece which will encapsulate the space, inviting visitors to relax and indulge in the artistically-inspired parking spot.

Detail of artist Shintaro Tokairin's installation for Park(ing) Day

Detail of artist Shintaro Tokairin's installation for Park(ing) Day

For the installation, Tokairin took the idea from the Japanese, “zori”, or flip-flops, which use woven materials to support the shoe’s structure and add to design. The fabrics used in his three-dimensional park(ing) structure range from recycled clothing to plastic and paper bags.  The West Harlem Art Fund has several additional “Pop Up Installations” located from Harlem down to Chelsea.

There are more than 50 spots being planned for Friday, some of which are participating in a little healthy competition, via this year’s POP.Parks contest. The spots will be judged on the criteria of accessibility, ease with which to assemble and dissemble, connectivity, comfort, safety, and cost.

So, if you find yourself strolling at street level this Friday, please take a moment to pop into one of these pop-up parks across the city!

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