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:
















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 Centraldistrictnews.com: 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 Undriving.org.

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 yourcapitolhill.com 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.



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 - soundcloud.com/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.