There aren’t a lot of parks in LA. Somewhere down the road we all decided that having little walled off single-family compounds with private open space was all we’d ever need (despite the fact that most of us can’t afford said single-family compounds) and the City forgot to build pleasant places to be outside, sit on a bench or under a tree or toss a Frisbee around. Sure, Griffith Park and Elysian Park are beautiful, and the beach and the mountains are great, but I have never lived in a neighborhood where there is a place to walk down the street and enjoy the outdoors. If you want to have a pleasant sunny time in LA it involves a breakfast menu and a 30-minute wait.
Enter Park[ing] Day. Once a year, various community groups, planning and architecture firms and other do-gooders set up mini-parks on public parking spaces throughout the greater LA area. Isn’t the juxtaposition clever? Everyone in LA gets bent out of shape about the lack of parking spaces (did you know that there are actually about seven parking spaces in LA county for every one car?) but no one seems to mind that there is next to no public green-space in many of our denser communities. What an excellent commentary on the priorities of the Angeleno ethos.
There were quite a few pop-up parks Downtown today, though the event is region-wide. I think maybe they got a little carried away on Winston Street where it looked more like a street fair and less like a park (I don’t think I’ve been to a park with information tables and tents and live bands, it takes a little more than Astroturf to sell it) but fortunately these two lovely ladies over on 2nd Street in Little Tokyo took a “less is more” approach to the event and consequently are making a much more profound statement to the passer-by. As of 1:30 they were still just feeding the meter every hour and they actually got a thumbs up from the meter maid as he passed by. Badical.