Regarding the Guerilla Dance Party:
In general, PPL thinks it was great to utilize the space, even if the event was illegitimate and even if it upset neighbors. The party brought more attention to this empty space and I hope others continue to organize events, whether they have permission or not. However, a few minor critiques that would serve to better unify the neighborhood and "cause":
First, pick up after yourself. Leaving bottles all over the lot makes you look as disrespectful as the "system" the led to the destruction of this block. It's my opinion that we should show the owners how to be better neighbors, rather than fighting back with the same sort of disregard for the neighborhood that brought this empty space upon us.
Secondly, and in the same vein, aiming to do something noisy with a little more consideration for the time would have probably been more productive. More people would have come out and less people would be bitching. Starting an hour earlier would have made the event a lot closer to following noise ordinances, which state that it has to be done by 11:00 on weekends.
That's it, as far as I'm concerned. I congratulate the organizers for pulling it off and hope to speak with them shortly. In the back of my head, I fear that the owner might put up fences and/or not allow any more legitimate events to take place on the lot, which would be a shame. I also think that would be a mistake on their part, given the effectiveness of this guerilla campaign. I guess we'll see what happens.
Coming up on Wednesday at Town Hall, the German Urban Planner Thomas Sieverts will be in town to give a talk entitled "Re-imagining Urban Spaces." Though this lecture addresses "in-between" areas, or sprawl, as I would call it, I find it an interesting topic related to unused space. He's interested in the future of what we've already built: places like Tukwila and Burien, places that are in between the city and country. I'm interested in the future of what we haven't built, what we've destroyed or abandoned in the city, places in between past use and possible future use. It should be interesting.
On Thursday, Sieverts will be touring the B /IAS installation: an in-between place in an in-between place (temporary art in Burien). It's free and open to the public.
Lastly, on Friday at Northwest Film Forum, he will sit on a panel that includes the Stranger's own self-styled urbanist, and ignorer of this blog and everything we're trying to accomplish, Charles Mudede. (I actually do respect what Mudede does, I've just been hoping for more of his support, so I'm venting here. That's what most people use blogs for anyway, right?)
More details about these and other events on Suddenly.org.