NYC Celebrates Park(ing) Day 2014

Kristy Raffensberger of the New York Public Library reads to children in a Park(ing) Day space in Tribeca. Photo: HR&A Advisors
Kristy Raffensberger of the New York Public Library reads to children in Tribeca. Photo: HR&A Advisors

Today’s the day when people across the world replace parking with parks to prompt their neighbors to think a bit differently about how we use street space. While participation in Park(ing) Day seems to have ebbed in New York recently, the city still made a decent showing this year. Here’s a sampler of the pop-up parklets across the city today.

Consulting firm HR&A Advisors set up a temporary parklet on Harrison Street, between Hudson and Greenwich Streets in Tribeca. It featured yoga sessions plus books and storytelling from the New York Public Library and Poet’s House.

The Park Slope Street Safety Partnership and the 78th Precinct took over a metered parking space in front of Ride Brooklyn in Park Slope, near the precinct house and the NYPD-protected block of the Bergen Street bike lane. The precinct offered free bike registration and Vision Zero literature, and new 78th Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Frank DiGiacomo was on hand to meet residents.

Community Affairs Officer Brian Laffey, left, and Captain Frank DiGiacomo, commanding officer of the 78th Precinct, enjoy Park(ing) Day in Park Slope. Photo: Eric McClure
Community Affairs Officer Brian Laffey, left, and Captain Frank DiGiacomo, commanding officer of the 78th Precinct, enjoy Park(ing) Day in Park Slope. Photo: Eric McClure

Nearby, the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District organized a series of pop-up parklets with local retailers that sell furniture, decor, and garden supplies. The only thing missing, said BID Executive Director Josef Szende, was barriers from NYPD. (NYPD told Szende there was a shortage as the department prepared for the People’s Climate March this weekend.)

Floral Heights went all out on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Photo: Josef Szende
Floral Heights went all out on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Photo: Josef Szende

The Transportation Alternatives Bronx activist committee organized its second Park(ing) Day event on the Grand Concourse at 161st Street. The miniature “Boogie on the Boulevard” featured hula-hoops and games for kids. TA says it helped neighborhood groups organize eleven Park(ing) Day locations, including one on Duane Street between Greenwich and Hudson, where the nearby Laughing Man cafe is looking to make the parklet permanent by applying to DOT’s Street Seats program.

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