Saturday, April 24, 2010

downtowners come together to form "Pop-Up Park in a Parking Spot" in Youngstown

Converging around a single parking spot on West Federal Street, individuals from across downtown created, enjoyed, and disassembled a "pop-up park" in front of the YBI this week.

Because the space was occupied for less than the two-hour free parking limit (as demanded on the street signage), no traffic tickets were placed on the propane grill which occupied the parking spot.

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But how to construct a pop-up park?

First step: haul out onto the street the green shag carpet you've been saving for just these types of occasions.

Second step: roll out the carpet to fit into a parking space.

Third step: arrange lawn chairs, grill, houseplants, and umbrella around the emerging pop-up park.

Fourth step: liberally apply copious amounts of kelbasi, carrot applesauce, thick-cut slanina, chevapchichi, boca burgers, dirusso's sausage, chocolate-covered stawberries, mac n' cheese, and schewbel's bread to the pop-up park.

Fifth step: play some tunes on the boom-box, and watch the crowd grow...

in a matter of minutes, the pop-up park can be taken down . . .

and the shag carpet again reaches it natural rolled-up state, ready for storage and subsequent unveiling at the next location in downtown youngstown.


Deb said...

next time text me. Looks like you had a great time!

Jennifer said...

Um, ok, not to be a dick about this, but... why are you in a crosswalk? This sort of thing has been done in many cities, and the whole brilliant idea is to take over a parking space, which would otherwise hold one inert space and make it into something alive and interesting. The whole idea behind this sort of feature, I thought, was to show how much more interesting our public space might be if we weren't offering it all up to empty machines.

Check it out:

Don't get me wrong; I'm happy when anyone is enjoying his or herself, and I'm happy when fun things are happening in Y-town, but I also think it's important to have a global perspective on our actions. I think protesting car culture with this sort of event is perfect; having this sort of event which interferes with pedestrian walkways is counterproductive, in my book.

Janko said...

@ Jennifer...

Thanks for the video. Appreciate it.

This idea was definitely not a new one, as was pointed out in discussions with the media. It was perhaps, the first time it happened in Youngstown. The main intent was to hang out with other downtowners and show the importance of public places of leisure (which are currently lacking in many downtowns).

Regarding the crosswalk, the original intent was to pop-up and pop-down within a two-hour period.

What's not in the pictures here, is the sidewalk construction that was occurring in front of the YBI at the same time. With the laborers and wet cement, we shifted the park over a few spaces but didn't want to take up the handicapped spot.