Park(ing) Day

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You probably know that today, September 19th, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. But did you realize that this is also PARK(ing) Day? According to the organization’s website, “PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.” In keeping with our city’s hipster reputation, a few “parklets” popped up on Congress Avenue today.

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The hosts of the City of Austin parklet apologized for the sorry state of their space. They explained that earlier in the day a rainstorm came through downtown, and water gushed  into their area. We joked that maybe they should have planned on a pondlet instead.

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Two of the parklets were sponsored by the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) of Central Texas. One area was set up with seating, tables, and board games in front of Annie’s Cafe & Bar and Swift’s Attic. This seemed like a better location: less prone to flooding and close to fine food. When I visited, the hosts were snacking on a huge bowl of roasted brussel sprouts.

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The other CNU parklet was decorated with bamboo trees. Visitors were asked to draw a map of something in exchange for a walking map of downtown. I watched as one woman drew a precise, detailed—and completely wrong—map of Austin.

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Wishing you a Happy PARK(ing) Day! (And, for good measure…Arrr!)

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