Monday, December 27, 2010

Olive 8 Reset

The developers responsible for (that blue plastic-finned eyesore) Olive 8 are asking for your feedback. They want to know how much you think one of their units is worth. I personally believe that one should be able to get at least two bedrooms for less than $350,000 anywhere on the planet.

Click here to participate.

Here is the email you receive afterward, should you wish to go ahead and call instead of giving them your email address.

Update: I'm proud to announce that this blog post one of the first that comes up when one does a google search for the olive 8 reset. I hope the marketing team is checking up on what people are saying and comes across this post. Here's a personal note to them: "No matter how you try to sell units in that building, there is no way to skirt the fact that it's an eyesore, that it contributes to the further atomization and homogenization of downtown, and that all the work you do is turning Seattle into a place for tourists (however you choose to define the term) rather than actual residents."

Urbnlivn has more info.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Knight Life

It probably goes without saying that I don't read the Seattle Times (or take them seriously, or approve of their political endorsements, etc.) but I've been known to flip through the paper when coming across one abandoned on a coffee shop table. However, I admit that I was amazed and impressed a few years ago when I came across Keith Knight's comic "The Knight Life" in it. I had been a fan of the cartoonist ever since discovering his K-Chronicles in 2003, back when it was published on

Today Keith's facebook page announced that the Times has dropped "The Knight Life."

Seattle Times drops "the Knight Life" whilst the artist is in town!! Email to (politely) voice displeasure!

Keith Knight is holding an impromptu protest in front of the Seattle Times offices (1120 John St.) at 12:30pm for dropping "the Knight Life". Come on by and join the fun!!

I felt it was appropriate to post here because his work focuses on the minutia of life, in a similar way that I've been focused on something as common as a vacant lot.

Here's a quick sample of his work. If you think it's important, please send an email on his behalf. If you're mad as hell, come down to the Seattle Times offices @ 12:30.

[images from]

Monday, November 29, 2010

REMINDER: JT Hooker on Hollow Earth Radio tonight!

From the facebook announcement:

...the music will compliment some engaging discussions around our often rocky marriages between the local musical, political, economic, and social scenes... specifically touching on urban gentrification and what that means to the artist community who helped make those same neighborhoods so attractive/expensive...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jt Hooker on Hollow Earth Radio!

If you made it to Park(ing) Day Central Park back in September -- or any other event we've hosted recently -- you probably heard JT Hooker and friends providing the music from his mobile DJ rig. This year, the judges awarded him the prize donated by Hollow Earth Radio, which consisted of an on air show. He'll be performing from 8-10 pm on Monday night, 11/29; here is the facebook announcement.

[performing @ Park(ing) Day 2009]

Friday, November 19, 2010

Community Kitchen?

You may have noticed that here at People's Parking Lot, we bring up urban agriculture from time to time. Also, you probably notice that small businesses get some screen time. One idea that I've been discussing with different neighborhood folks over the last year is creating a community kitchen: one that could serve as preparation space for groups working in urban agriculture (Food Not Bombs, Alleycat Acres, etc), and for small businesses like Mini Empire Bakery, while even possibly serving as education space for classes connected with stores like Madison Market.

We have recently heard that a catering company is leaving the neighborhood and are considering approaching the building owners to see if this is a possibility. Thoughts? Would you have use for such a space? Want to help explore the possibility of creating such a space?

Monday, November 15, 2010

John Boylan's Conversation on Honor

Tuesday, November 16th, from 7 to 9 pm @ Vermillion.

From John's website:

The quick summary: This time we’re talking about honor, the fine art of doing the right thing.

The Guests

There are no guests this time, except for you and me. See below for an explanation.

The Story

I’ve been thinking lately about honor. Honor seems on its face to be about doing the right thing. But is the right thing always the good thing, the best thing? We grow up thinking that honor is about adhering to a code, a samurai’s bushido, the knight’s chivalry, or the unbreakable principles of a noir detective. But is honor even possible when one has embraced without exception a fixed set of rules?

Most of us have lived with a lie or two or three, even small ones, at some point in our lives. Is there honor in those lies? Is telling the truth sometimes the least honorable course? Can we have honor without faith? Can there be honor without courage and sacrifice, or at the least, without a generosity of spirit?

We’ve just come through a long season of politics where honor seemed to take a holiday. I’ve been wondering whether or not the courageous politics that our future requires is possible without a deep dose of honor. Can that happen? And where does honor fit in the art and culture of our time? Do the insights of the best theater, the contradictions of a fine novel, or the rigorous prodding of a great painting have a role to play in fostering honor in our lives? Or not?

I haven’t asked any guests this time, except for you. I might have brought in a theologian, a philosopher, or an ethicist. But I think that all of us have the deepest knowledge of honor—or a lack of it—in the world of our everyday lives. The call to honor, and the temptation to refuse that call, happen around us all the time, at work, on the highway, with our families. I’m hoping to hear more about those calls this Tuesday evening, and what they mean to you.

Note: I had listed “The Street” as the topic for this month. I’d had a couple of people in mind for that, and when they were not available, I decided to hold off on that one.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

[stories]... on November 18th at Office Nomads

From [stories from] the table at the corner of belmont and pine's Facebook page.

Please join us next Thursday the 18th for more stories, thoughts and ideas around public space, community, livability, wellness, art, urban design, city planning, hyper-local/grass roots organizing, open public conversation, new media, learning, social creativity and innovation, 'making', having a voice, developing an ...idea, marketplaces, architecture, our future together, sustainability, civic engagement, empowerment and furry cats.

It's a potluck so bring something to eat or drink and even if you can't just come. Come meet some of your neighbors, share your latest thoughts and aspirations for change, for community and a voice in the future of this part of the city....5-7.30pm, Office Nomads, 1617 Boylston, 2nd Floor.

Some of the organizers will be heading up to the Capitol Hill Community Council meeting -- at the Cal Anderson Park shelter house -- after the potluck.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Construction to begin by March?

That's the story, according the Stranger. My correspondence with owner resulted in a terse, "the building permit is expiring so we are renewing it," but evidently that was not the whole story.

The whole point of this blog (see the first post here) was to serve as a 'meeting place' so that when the time for construction came, we might have the mass and momentum to influence what happens on the space. I'm not sure I've succeeded in building that base, but I feel like a decent amount of people read these posts and have participated in the events we've hosted. The question is, though, if a project really is going to begin, can we do anything about it? Does anyone have the time and energy?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alex Steffen @ Town Hall, Wednesday Night


THE STATE OF THE FUTURE | Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | 7:30pm: An evening lecture in which Worldchanging Executive Editor Alex Steffen returns to Town Hall to present his new ideas about global sustainability and planetary futurism, which have grown from over seven years of research on global solutions and twenty years of environmental journalism. Alex is a recognized global thought-leader in the field of sustainability; he is a featured speaker on TED talks and author of the best-selling book "Worldchanging: A Users Guide to the 21st Century," which has a forward by Al Gore. Join us for an evening on "The State of the Future" and find out what is the critical next step in global thinking on innovation and how it applies to work being done in our region. Last year's talk led to Seattle adopting the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. What will this year's event lead to?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Construction Rumor?

I received an email this morning from a gentleman who had heard a rumor that construction might be starting on the lot in December. Has anyone else heard anything? I'll ask the developer and see if he'll tell me anything, though I doubt he will...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

McDonald's "Food" is Immortal!

Earlier this summer I spent a little time writing about McDonald's localwashing campaign and writing a few emails to the local folks behind the billboards. It turns out what what McDonald's is making isn't really "food" anyway (it doesn't seem to decompose after six months on a kitchen counter), so maybe arguing that it isn't "local" is beside the point?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Scenic Drive Factory

Somewhere on this site I wrote something about needing more production in the neighborhood, more workshops to go along with the bars, restaurants, stores, etc. When I said it (or thought it; I can't seem to find where I posted it), I was thinking places where people could be employed to create things that everyone needed, like furniture and clothing. Metrix opened last year, and I hear its fantastic, but I'm not really a laser/robot/technology type (though I was quite the Autocad drafter in high school); its DIY approach certainly piques my interest, but I have not really been able to envision how what people create there can be used as widely as, say, a chair. And I'm definitely not saying there is anything wrong with techno-centric tinkering; it's just not what I'm talking about here.

What I am talking about is the production of everyday objects, and the soon-to-be-opening Scenic Drive Factory combines the DIY ethic of Metrix, but is oriented toward producing such objects, namely those that can be created with sewing machines. Based on the photos they have posted on their site, the owners appear to be in the bicycle fashion and accessory biz (check out a NYT article on Bicycle Chic here), which is great, especially for someone like myself who ride bikes but isn't a cyclist, but they also will be renting their equipment out on an hourly basis to others in need.

[Photo from Scenic Drive Factory]

So if you've been looking to hone your sewing skills, create objects for personal consumption or resale, and do not want to invest in your own equipment, check out 'em out. It's like Office Nomads-style coworking for the material world.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The 1212 Project

If you've been paying much attention to this site, you know that Sean from Alleycat Acres is one of my favorite people here in Seattle. I turn one way, he's writing for, then look the other and he's speaking at City Council hearings; his group has started several farms around the city and now he has a new goal for 2011: to start 12 new farms, in 12 cities, over the 12 months of the year. His goal here is "to use urban agriculture to empower and inspire queer inner-city youth." A damn fine plan and, to repeat what I wrote earlier in a Facebook exchange, I can't wait for the new year so I can watch him knock this out of the fucking park.


Facebook Page:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NOW Urbanism, NOW Seattle

The first NOW Urbanism lecture of the 2010-2011 series is tonight at 6:30 in room 120 210 of Kane Hall on the UW campus. It will be "a conversation about the connections between past and present, built and human, local and global - in Seattle and beyond." The panelists are Lisa Graumlich (Dean, UW College of the Environment), William Rees Morrish (Dean, Parsons The New School for Design, New York City), and Phillip J. Ethington (History & Political Science, University of Southern California). The panel will be moderated by Ray Gastil (Gastilworks, former DPD Director of Planning). Though its unfortunate that Tim Gunn couldn't make it to represent Parsons, it promises to be a good event, and is put on by great people.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rush Hour in Copenhagen

Thanks to the Seattle Bike Blog for sharing this!

October 15th is Movie Night

In the past 24 hours I've received invitations to two great film-related events on October 15th. Both are political in nature, but one focuses more on built space while the other is essentially cultural criticism. Lucky for you they are not happening at the same time, so it would be easy to attend both!

In chronological order:

Event 1 -- Hollywood Film in the Era of Bush/Cheney:
A Contested Terrain

Dr. Douglas Kellner (UCLA)

Friday, October 15 at 4:00PM
BANNAN 102 (on the Seattle University campus)

Dr. Kellner’s talk will present some motifs from his recent book, Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush/Cheney Era, which provides an exploration of contemporary Hollywood film in the 2000s. His thesis is that during an era of unparalleled socio-political turbulence and conflict, Hollywood film can be seen as a contested terrain between conservative and liberal forces. Examining a wide range of films, genres, and filmmakers, he documents how many popular films reproduce conservative and militarist discourses that replicate the positions of the Bush-Cheney regime, while other films criticize or satirize the conservative administration. He will engage both fictional entertainment films and documentary films in what he calls, “The Golden Age of Documentary.” In sum, he wants to document how Hollywood film in the 2000s has been a vibrant force of social protest, which helped create cultural conditions to elect Barack Obama. His talk will also address themes that will structure a second volume of his Cinema Wars studies that engage cultural wars over gender, sexuality, race, and class in contemporary cinema and that updates the first volume by engaging Hollywood cinema in the Obama Era.

Dr. Douglas Kellner is George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and is author of many books on social theory, politics, history, and culture. Author of Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism, Kellner is editing the collected papers of Herbert Marcuse, four volumes of which have appeared with Routledge. Kellner’s Guys and Guns Amok: Domestic Terrorism and School Shootings from the Oklahoma City Bombings to the Virginia Tech Massacre won the 2008 AESA award as the best book on education. Blackwell published Kellner’s newest book, Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush/Cheney Era, earlier this year. His website is at:

Copies of Cinema Wars will be available for sale. The talk is proudly made possible by the Seattle University Philosophy Fellowship and is free and open to the public.

Event 2 -- You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You

Two sneak preview screenings of
You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You

Friday, October 15, 2010 7:00pm and 9:00pm
The AV Club in Georgetown, Seattle
$10.00 suggested donation, at the door

60 minutes, in English. Directed by Richard Jackman and Robert Lawson. A brief discussion will follow each screening. The 7:00pm screening will be captioned, with ASL interpreted discussion following the screening.

This screening of You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part You is funded by the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You tells the story of the "free state" of Christiania, a 39-year-old anarchist squatter community occupying an abandoned military base in the heart of Denmark's capital, Copenhagen.

Christiania was born in 1971 when youthful idealism and a severe housing shortage incited hundreds of young people to "storm the gates" and claim 85 acres of deserted brick buildings, woods, ramparts and canals as their home. Finding it politically unpopular to evict the young settlers, the Danish government declared Christiania a short-term "social experiment."

With the freedom to experiment, the Christianites built a distinct culture based on group consensus, and a thriving economy of restaurants, bars, cottage industries, and an open hashish trade. In every respect, Christiania became an alternative that challenged, inspired, and frightened the society outside.

39 years later, Christiania is still alive, despite increasingly uneasy relations with the Danish government, which plans to "normalize" Christiania. After years of struggle and compromise, many say that the end is near for this famous "social experiment."

The AV Club will also feature Laura Wright’s multimedia installation Ohio, funded by the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, simulating the sounds and landscape of Ohio on a summer night. Several films will be screened at the AV Club this fall. Email for more information.

Getting there

The AV Club is a metal building behind Georgetown’s Tacoma Screw Store in the alley between Flora Ave and Ellis Ave S. It is located behind the house at 6225 Ellis Ave S., Seattle, WA 98108. Please enter through the alley, there is no access from the front of the house. There is street parking on Ellis Ave, Flora Ave, 12th Ave South, and S Angelo St. Busses 60, 106 and 134 will take you to Georgetown.

For driving directions and further information about the screening, please visit

Monday, October 4, 2010

NOW Urbanism at UW

Check out the NOW Urbanism lecture series at UW that will be happening throughout the academic school year.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Park(ing) Day Video

Shared by the good folks from Undriving.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Park(ing) Day at Salmon Bay School

When most people think of Park(ing) Day, they think of adults reclaiming the street and other spaces devoted to automobiles. But a group of fourth graders at Salmon Bay School in Ballard participated this year, and had a blast doing so. A report from the classroom:

At 9:15 Friday, September 17, just seven school days after the school year began, 27 fourth graders, teacher Marian, and ample chaperones headed out of Salmon Bay School on a mission. We were not going on any ordinary field trip. We were toting red wagons loaded with our temporary park features to erect a park on Park(ing) Day in our reserved parking spots in front of Ballard Public Library. In our red wagons we carried native plants (6 large snowberry bushes, 10 salal plants, 10 evergreen huckleberry plants) on loan from our favorite, friendly local nursery: Swanson's Nursery. Thanks Swanson's! We had turf rolls, a good investment to reuse for future temporary parks and plays. We had a fish bowl "pond" with real guppies that students were in charge of planning and caring for; though we had some close calls with maintaining a healthy habitat for the fish on their transport via the bumpy wagon train, they all survived!

We brought our dream neighborhood maps to share our neighborhood dreams with the public, as well as demonstrate our mathematical skills using ordered pairs on coordinate grids used to map our neighborhoods. Students also brought their written and prepared speeches about what we were doing to share with curious passers-by and the class of 3rd graders from our school that took a field trip to visit our park. For our recreational use of our park, we brought origami materials, chess, and math games. Half of the class recreated and educated people about our park, while the other half was taken on a tour of Ballard Public Library to learn about green features of the library, and then groups rotated, and afterwards we all lunched in our park as a group of students performed a reader's theater play. Yay for street theater!!! And when it was time to leave, we picked up our park to the tune of musician-parent extraordinaire Jen Busch playing "This Land is Your Land" on traveling guitar, and we left two parking spots where our park once was.

It's great to see such a fantastic park being organized by a smart group of kids and their wonderful teachers and chaperones. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for these amazing young citizens.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Worldchanging Future City, Call for Artists

You probably know about Worldchanging's upcoming fundraiser, Future City, which features a discussion between our own mayor, Mike McGinn, and Sam Adams, the mayor Portland, that will be moderated by Alex Steffen, the Executive director of Worldchanging; but did you know they are looking for artists to decorate tablecloths? From an email I received yesterday:

Dear friends,

Worldchanging is celebrating another year with a fundraiser called "Future City" on Oct 1st.

As part of the event design, we are searching for artists to work their magic on the plain, white circular tablecloths that will drape 15+ tables. They can be painted, or what not, as long as the colors are drawn from those on the book and shades and tints of grey. We hope that you would illustrate "growth" and/or "future cities" in your art.

We will be distributing the cloths by Saturday at the latest and hope to have them completed by next Wed. You can design one or a couple. If you have friends that would like to design one, let us know.

If you sign up by Friday, we will credit you in the program as well.

Please forward this on to anyone else you think may want to participate.

Feel free to contact me with any questions!

Thank you,
Morgan Greenseth

Let me know if you're interested and I'd be happy to put you in touch with Morgan.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Great City Brown Bag: Building Broadway Station

On the heels of another successful Park(ing) Day, I thought I'd pass along Great City's invitation to this Thursday's Brown Bag meeting where the Broadway light rail station will be discussed. My involvement with this project has been limited to attending the community design charrette last summer, so I'm not totally up to speed on what will be discussed, but if previous brown bags are any indication, this one will be informative.

Thursday's Brown Bag: Building Broadway Station

Where: GGLO Space at the Steps, 1301 First Ave., Level A
Date: Thursday, September 23, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Enter through door located about 1/4 of the way down the Harbor Steps (click for map)

The planned multi-modal transit station at Broadway and John in Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s best opportunities to realize the full benefits of equitable transit oriented development. The neighborhood is among the densest residential neighborhoods in the city and is home to a diverse and engaged community, eager for improved transit access and revitalization in the commercial districts of Broadway, 12th Avenue, and the Pike and Pine corridors. In the coming years, Sound Transit and the City of Seattle will extend link light rail to Broadway and the University of Washington, and build a new streetcar line from the International District to Capitol Hill. These investments will in turn create significant redevelopment opportunities in the Broadway Station Area.

The Capitol Hill community has been engaged throughout the planning process for these projects, effectively advancing the community’s vision for the equitable and vibrant development that reflects the culture and character of the neighborhood. This presentation will provide an overview of the planned transit investments, the ongoing planning process, as well as development opportunities and community priorities.


Scott Kirkpatrick is TOD Program Manager at Sound Transit and is leading the design and planning process for the private development of 4 Sound Transit-owned sites above the Broadway Station. Private developers for these sites will be selected through and RFQ/RFP process in 2012-2013.

Ethan Melone, Rail Transit Manager at Seattle Department of Transportation, is the lead planner for the First Hill Streetcar which will connect the diverse and vibrant neighborhoods on Capitol Hill, First Hill, and in the Chinatown/International District, while serving medical centers (Harborview, Swedish, and Virginia Mason) and higher education (Seattle Central Community College and Seattle University).

Vanessa Murdock, a senior urban planner for the City of Seattle, is the City project lead for the development of an Urban Design Framework for the Sound Transit owned sites on Capitol Hill. The UDF will bridge the City’s planning policies, design guidelines and zoning regulations, laying out more specific design and development criteria for the development of the Broadway Station Area.

Cathy Hillenbrand chairs the Capitol Hill Champions, a joint effort of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Capitol Hill Community Council to advocate for community priorities in the redevelopment of the Broadway Station area. Primary community objectives include a permanent home for the farmers market, affordable housing, community cultural space and affordable space for small businesses.

Park(ing) Day Press

Bootlegged from an email sent out by Max at Feet First.

Media Coverage:,0,5093038.story

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thanks and Congrats!

Thanks to everyone who participated in Park(ing) Day and came out to our Central Park yesterday, despite the gray skies, and congrats to the winners of our design competition. As previously noted, we sent out three judges (plus myself, though I wasn't judging) in a donated Zipcar to take notes on the parks around the city. We made it to almost all the parks but due to a technical difficulty getting out on time, we were not able to make it to quite all the parks. One gentleman was offended by this, and we do apologize, but at the same time want to clarify that the Central Park and awards competition is entirely grassroots, supported by volunteers, and operates on a budget of zero dollars. So if you didn't see us, that's why.

And now to the winners:

Grand Prize: Custom trophy from last year (built by the amazing Web Crowell -- go see his first feature film at NWFF 9/26!) + $200 (in quarters, funded in part by your registration fees for the central park): Olson Kundig Architects.

Best Creative Use of Plants, $100 gift card to Zipcar: Mad Tea Party in the Park, by Mel Burchett and Maureen McGregor.

Best Use of Re-purposed Materials, Intellectual Reading Package from Spine and Crown: ARCADE Journal, Schuchart/Dow, and graypants.

Sportiest Park, Bluebird Ice Cream gift certificate: Alloy Design Group.

Best Ambiance, Hollow Earth Radio T-shirt and On-air Guest Spot: My main man and one of the coolest people I know, JT O'Neill aka JT Hooker from 12hr notice.

Most Contextually Relevant Park, One month of free advertising on Brite Collective.

Best Collaboration, Gift Certificate from Tidbit Bistro and Bike Pad from Caffe Vita: Cascade Land Conservancy

Best Waterfront Reference, Porchlight Coffee gift card: LMN Architects.

Most Low-Impact Park, Gift Certificate from Tidbit Bistro and Bike Pad from Caffe Vita: aLIVe: a Low Impact Vehicle exploration.

Best Costumes, A gift certificate to Emerson Salon for a free haircut: Magic Garden (you might have seen this space across from Vita on Pike...).

Thanks to all the businesses for donating this parade of wonderful prizes and thanks to the builders for making the streets and parking lots of Seattle more interesting for one day. I'll be posting some photos over the next few days too; if you have any you'd like to share, let me know or post them to the facebook group. Thanks!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Park #10 -- aLIVe: a Low Impact Vehicle exploration

I'm happy to announce that Cheryl Dos Remedios -- "a well-placed, well-dressed radical" -- will be bringing her Low Impact Vehicle design exploration to Park(ing) Day Central Park. We are very excited to have her on board and hope the weather cooperates so she can bring the full LIV exploration to our space.

Park(ing) Day Award -- Hollow Earth Radio

If you made it out to Central Park last year, you probably came across Forrest from Hollow Earth Radio: he was recording your deepest and darkest secrets in his confession tent.

[Image by Scott Sands at Cojourn.]

Unfortunately they can't make it out this year because of a retreat, but being the good neighbors and cool folks they are, they have donated a nice little prize package consisting of a t-shirt and a guest spot on the air!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

For Your Viewing Pleasure

PARK(ing) Day: User-Generated Urbanism from Brandon Bloch on Vimeo.

Park(ing) Day Award -- Spine and Crown

I just got word that Spine and Crown will be donating a smattering of books again this year as a Park(ing) Day prize.

Last year Kris's contribution was a collection of books on gardening and green living. I expect something in a similar vein this year, but you never know, he might just drop some Deleuze on your ass.

Undriving Licensing Station at Park(ing) Day Central Park

Come get licensed to Undrive!

The ever-popular Undriver Licensing Station will be at People's Park(ing) Lot from 4pm til dark! We'll be issuing official, personalized Undriver Licenses™ to people who make a pledge to reduce their car use - or car use on the planet - in the coming month. All ages welcome. Get creative about getting around! More info at

Park(ing) Day Award -- Tidbit Bistro

How does a little modern Italian and Spanish food sound? It sounds really good to me and the good folks at Tidbit Bistro will help make it a reality for two lucky park-builders with gift certificates for their Capitol Hill location at Broadway and Union. Another reason to participate in this year's Park(ing) Day: the potential to win delicious free food from a small local business.

Park(ing) Day Award -- Emerson Salon

After spending weeks prepping your park and day in the sun (or rain) utilizing it, you'll probably be due for a little maintenance, don't you think? The good folks at Emerson Salon will be providing a free haircut as an award this year so you can get back to looking sharp for the autumn. They have been supportive of events we have taken part in organizing (most recently the Capitol Hill Garage Sale) and for this we greatly appreciative.

Facebook Invitation

I now present to you the official Park(ing) Day Central Park facebook invitation, thanks to JT Hooker at 12hr notice!

Award from Porchlight

Just got word that Porchlight Coffee (which doubles, triples, quadruples, quintuples as a record store, art gallery, performance space, and record label) is donating another award that will be handed out to one of the best spaces for Park(ing) Day. Will the prize be coffee? vinyl? a record deal? Come by Park(ing) Day Central Park on Friday to see.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Park #9 -- Bike Maintenance by Seattle Bike Blog and Belltown Pull-Apart

Just got word from the good folks at the Seattle Bike Blog and Belltown Pull-Apart that they will be setting up a free minor tuneup station and showcasing a super-suave bike trailer. If you made it out to Earth Day Free Day, you probably saw Chas working on bikes, and if you made it to The Lonely Kazoo's opening show, the Seattle Bike Blog writers and mechanics will look familiar. Another reason to come on down on Friday!

[I'm not endorsing here; it's one of the bike blog's paid advertisers that showed up when I borrowed their logo.]

Park #8 -- Yoga for Cyclists

Ride a bike? Need to stretch? Come by the Yoga for Cyclists space at the central park on Friday. The organizer, Kelli Refer, will lead classes throughout the day and also show you how to use your bike as a prop for yoga poses.

There's still time to register to create your own park. Download the registration form here.

Park(ing) Day Registration!

Park(ing) Day is three days away but you still have time to download the quick registration form and get it in by Thursday night. With the park I'm finally getting around to thinking about building and two others people are planning, we should have ten on the lot, plus maybe something else fun by the folks at Undriving. We're still rounding up awards and also have the after party with Streets for all Seattle and Feet First which runs into the night.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Park #7 -- SVR Design and Streets for All Seattle

If you made it out to the Park(ing) Day Central Park last year you probably saw SVR Design's park right on the corner of Belmont and Pine: they brought the ping pong table, and it was frequently in use throughout the day:

This year they will be sharing a space with Streets for All Seattle and the word is that the ping pong table will be back. Come on by and hang out with some of the best landscape designers in the city, talk about what you think defines an urban street, and bring your ping pong skills.

Park(ing) Day After Party

We are teaming up with the good people at Streets for All Seattle and Feet First to host a Park(ing) Day after party next Friday, September 17th, on the lot. More info on the facebook invitation!

Park #6 -- Spring Into Bed and the Inner City Cornfield Project

Park #6 at the Park(ing) Day Central Park with be the second installation that officially focuses on urban agriculture, which is appropriate since 2010 is The Year of Urban Agriculture in Seattle.

Here is a photo of their 2008 Park(ing) Day park as well as a description of what they have in mind for this year:

Spring into Bed and the Inner City Cornfield Project are hosting a
Seed Bomb workshop as part of the Central Park. Come learn how to
transform your urban neighborhood into an edible paradise and get your
hands dirty in the process. Got balls? Help us spread the seeds!

SIB is Seattle's food justice garden building event and ICCF is
turning sidewalks into public food gardens thanks to the Office of
Arts and Cultural Affairs.!/pages/Inner-City-Cornfield-Project/135256633170550

Park(ing) Day is a week from today and we still have space so come build a park, listen to some tunes, and learn how to seed bomb a vacant lot near you. Click here for the registration form.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Park #5 -- ARCADE + Schuchart/Dow + graypants

Judging by the three organizations teaming up to produce Park #5 -- ARCADE, Schuchart/Dow, and graypants -- I think it's safe to say that this one will be easy on the eyes. Take a look around each of their websites to see some of their work, ranging from printed media to home furnishings to condominium build-outs. I look forward to seeing what they come up with!

There's still room and time to register to build you own park for the event on September 17th.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another Prize+ from Zipcar

I just received word that the ultra-generous folks at Zipcar are donating a $100 gift card as an award again this year. And, on top of that, they will be providing a car for this year's panel of judges (in the works; let me know if you'd like to judge) to take to the various parks around the city. Last year we had a distinguished lineup of judging talent, including Justin Carder from CHS and Jen Graves at the Stranger, along with a practicing architect and a graduate student in landscape architecture.

New Central Park Poster

Here is the most up-to-date Park(ing) Day Central Park poster, replete with all the acts currently confirmed to perform.

Park(ing) Day Performers

We have quite the lineup of performers for Park(ing) Day Central Park, which is Friday, September 17th -- two weeks from tomorrow . Some of them will be playing during the day, and others later that evening at the Streets for All Seattle afterparty. More acts will be announced but here is the list of DJs, brought to you by 12hr notice.

DJ Clarise (worldwide debut)
Tony Burns -
MC Anton Bomb (Yes/Shameless/Naha Army)
one-900 (Electromuse, Hussler, Dirty Deeds)
JT Hooker

[JT Hooker at work. Photo by Kevin Kauer, borrowed from Line Out]

If you're looking to build a park, please get those registration forms in soon. The more the merrier! Thanks!


Tonight during the first Thursday art walk, come by 676 S. Jackson for brite collective's re*cre*ate. It is a lead up to Park(ing) Day, a celebration of their Seattle Storefronts space, with coffee from Caffe Vita, treats by Mini-Empire, and whole lot of fun.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Park(ing) Day Prizes

So far we have two delectable prizes to award to the best parks around the city and are currently combing the neighborhood for more. If you're a local business and would like to donate a prize, please let us know.

The first will be a gift certificate from Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream and Tea Room, one of our sponsors last year as well.

The second confirmed prize will come from mini-empire artisan baking. If you came to the central park last year, you may have had a chance to sample some of their earlier work at the award-winning zen-cakes and zines park.

Also, make sure to stop by our Park(ing) Day installation in the empty storefront at 7th and Jackson during this Thursday's art walk, September 2nd, to try a few of the treats that mini-empire's is donating!

More prizes will be announced as they are confirmed.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Park #4 - Alleycat Acres

I came in last night -- or, technically, this morning - and checked my email, only to find an application for our fourth park, by the good urban farmers at Alleycat Acres. I suppose they don't really need an introduction, but here is a good story at the Seattle Post Globe about the group's genesis.

This is only one of the many websites posting stories about this fantastic group, as anyone who has been reading over the last few months can attest. A few months ago I posted the video that GOOD magazine produced about their first farm up on beacon hill, and I've been known to name drop them while writing mean emails about McDonald's localwashing campaign.

In short, I couldn't be happier about them participating in the Park(ing) Day Central Park. Keep an eye on them though, they might end up taking over the whole space and turning it into a farm!

If you want to join them and others at our Park(ing) Day Central Park, just download the registration form.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Park #3 - Alloy Design Group

We just received word that park #3 will be hosted by Alloy Design Group, a design/build firm operating out of the Central District.

While the specifics of their space remain undisclosed -- though there have been intimations of a tetherball park -- a quick look through their website shows professional work like this:

I doubt I can persuade them to build a quarter-size mockup of any of their professional work, but am excited to have designers of this caliber participating in the event.

You can download the registration form to build your own park here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PPL and Feet First at 1st Thursday Art Walk

And guess what we'll be doing? That's right, promoting Park(ing) Day.

Thursday, September 2nd, we will be setting up in a vacant storefront at the corner of 7th and Jackson in the International District, thanks to Christa Thomas of the brite collective and WKND, one of the artists selected by the Seattle Storefronts program to set up shop in a vacant space.

We will be setting up a PARK similar to those which people will build on Park(ing) Day and make a push to sign up more participants.

Why, one might wonder, are we going to promote an event that is, in part, centered in Capitol Hill, in the I.D.? For one, the I.D. is lacking in open space and is on the verge of making a move to increase it. A recent pro-parks levy has provided funding to expand Hing Hay Park into the area now occupied by the former post office. Secondly, with increasing interest in redeveloping the southern portion of the city into an area with parks, green streets, and mixed-use housing, now is an opportune time to try and reach out to the community to ensure that their voices are heard when designs come into being. Since Park(ing) Day is all about community engagement, Christa and some of her associates, like Nin Truong, hope to use the opportunity to connect with neighborhood residents.

To do this, the plan is to help promote Park(ing) Day all around the city, to provide a space to show how small groups envision parks, and to do a follow-up Park(ing) Day event on Saturday, September 18th. Christa has also graciously offered to have the winners of the citywide best park competition set up there work in her storefront for a month or so after the event (here are all the winners from last year).

[grand prize winning park from last year, photo by Signal to Noise]

And this is just a hint at the extent of potential Park(ing) Day festivities for 2010. An event for the evening of Friday, September 17th is being discussed with the good people from Streets for All Seattle. Check back early next week for more information.

All of this notwithstanding, the major part of Park(ing) Day is community participation, so if you'd like to build your own miniature park, download the registration form and get to designing!

Central Park Flyer

Thanks are owed to several folks for cooking up this flyer: Brett Wiseman drew the original art for us last year and Web Crowell added some pertinent information. Mel Burchett, one of the two ladies hosting [stories from] the table at belmont and pine, reworked it for this year's event.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Park #2 -- Office Nomads

Upon opening my mailbox earlier this evening, I found an application from the good folks at Office Nomads for their Park(ing) Day park. This makes it the second year in a row that they have participated in the Central Park; here is a photo of their co-working space from last year.

One of the highlights of their park is that they will provide wi-fi access to anyone who needs internet access during the day. So if you'd like to participate and still have some work to do, their co-working park is the perfect place for you. I would also like to say that I especially welcome their participation because their business is founded on re-envisioning space. While Park(ing) Day is about converting unfriendly outdoor spaces to inviting places, I would say Office Nomads is about doing the same for the office environment: as a reformed high-rise worker, I can vouch for the difference in the two settings.

And not to show all my cards, but emails regarding a park being hosted by a design journal that participated last year have been circulating. Here's the registration form if you'd like to build a park too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

McDonald's Follow-up

Just realized I have yet to receive a response from the ad agency responsible for those McDonald's local food ads, so I just sent this message off:

Ms. Yamaguchi and Ms. Madison,

I have yet to receive a response from my previous message (forwarded below) and thought I would write again in case it got lost in the daily shuffle. As you may know, earlier this week the Seattle City Council passed changes to the urban agriculture code, making it possible for groups involved in local production to grow and sell their crops.

Urban Farm Hub has a good summary here:

Since both McDonald's and OMD/DDB appear to have an interest in local food production, it seems that this would be the perfect time to come out to one of Alleycat Acres' sites and take a look around. Sean, the founder, is very excited about the opportunity to show you both what is happening at the grassroots level.

Hope to hear back from you soon,

Again, I invite you to send your own messages as well. Here is contact info for the three ladies that appear to be spearheading this advertising campaign.

Laurel Yamaguch (DDB ad agency) Laurel.Yamaguchi (at) sea.ddb (dot) com
Paisley Madison (McDonald's, local) paisley.madison (at) (dot) com
Tara Abrams-Levine (OMD, marketing firm) tara.abrams-levine (at) omd (dot) com

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Park(ing) Day Parks

So far we only have one park officially registered for Park(ing) Day Central Park but I know there are lots of applications out there. Nine have been downloaded, plus I emailed the file out to around forty individuals and groups. Several other groups have contacted me saying they want to build parks too. Anyhow, Park(ing) Day is a month (minus a day) away, so get those applications in if you want to participate. I believe we had about twenty last year and I'm trying to get it up to thirty this year.

JT from 12 hr notice will be performing along with one his fellow DJs. Do you have a band and want to perform as well? Let me know!

"The Lonely Kazoo" Thursday Night

Thursday night, August 19th, marks the opening performance of the rock opera The Lonely Kazoo at the Fremont Abbey. Here's the facebook invitation. I could write an explanation of the show but the reader would be much better served by looking through their website, which includes both music and a better explanation than I can provide here. I will say, though, that I support their endeavor on both ideological and aesthetic levels, that I will be at the show, and that I can't wait to see where they go with this and future projects.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stories From The Table Wednesday Morning

Look for the table at the corner of Belmont and Pine on Wednesday morning for the next installment of Stories from the Table.

Monday evening was my first time in attendance and I thought it was great. Lots of people asked what was going on and several stopped by, left contact information, and "signed up." In this case, "signing up" meant to write or draw something you would support. It could be an idea for that space -- I saw P-patches, off leash human parks, bus terminals, setc -- or just an idea in general, like "World Peace Day."

So if you're walking downtown in the morning, head out a few minutes early and see what the hosts are asking this time.

[photo by Michael Dobbie]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stories From The Table at 6 PM

Come by the People's Parking Lot this evening at 6:00 PM for the second installment of Stories From the Table. Passersby are invited to stop by the card table

and visit, share a thought, have a talk, a rant, write something, maybe draw...or just bring [the hosts] food.

you, we, us (& them) may end up starting something here...and if not, at the very least, you'll have been part of a brief capitol hill moment, mooment? maybe movement?

Here are a few photos from the first event last Thursday.