Gloria Dawson/ The Daily Green If you drove into Manhattan Friday, you may have wished you' had used public transportation (who are we kidding, we''d always suggest using public transportation), because Friday was NYC Park(ing) day. All around the city -- and in cities around the country -- parking spots were converted to one-day parks for all New Yorkers to enjoy. The event was organized by Open Plans and according to their website:
Park(ing) Day is a fun event developed and run by individuals, schools, non-profits and governments worldwide to bring awareness around the urban habitat and the need for better and more productive use of public space. On Park(ing) Day volunteers reclaim parking spots within their communities and build temporary, public parks for neighbors to enjoy. The parks are inspired by the creativity of the many volunteers who develop them and may be dedicated to a bit of lawn space, trees, flowers, art installations, seating areas or a place for kids to play.
Gloria Dawson for The Daily Green I visited the park on 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues across the street from The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). This particular site was sponsored and built by the Trust for Public Land and Transportation Alternatives. The volunteers decided to keep this park traditional. But a grass lawn, park bench, and a beach towel were all it took for passers by to stop for a visit. One volunteer commented that when a car pulls into a parking spot an average of only one person is served, while a park, even one as small as a parking spot, can serve hundreds throughout the day.
He had been there since the morning and had witnessed New Yorkers enjoying their breakfast and reading the paper, much to his delight. At least 20 people experienced the new park while I was visiting -- including tourists who came to relax on the bench after a visit to MOMA, and a bike messenger who rested her legs for a few minutes between trips. There were many parks all around the city including ones near Times Square and Penn Station and a few out in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. You could reach each of them via the New York City subway or bus system.
So it was a good day to keep your Prius in the garage, and enjoy the parks instead. A full list of "parks" here.
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