Come Friday downtown Dallas will be short around 30 parking spaces. They'll be spending the day instead as tea gardens and 50-foot-long "trails" and public reading "rooms" and teensy-tiny soccer fields and bocce ball courts and other community spaces -- think park, not parking. There will be music too, spread across four stages on Elm -- at Pegasus Plaza, in front of City Tavern, in front of Roma Express and in Deep Ellum. A list of performers, and showtimes, can be found the Deep Dallas Facebook page.
At some point today, says organizer and Friend of Unfair Park Noah Jeppson, the full list of participants -- 34 in all, give or take -- will be revealed on the official website. It will include the likes of the Zen Baking Company in Deep Ellum (which promises "Pumpkin Brioche, Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cakes, and our Cakeballs!"), Street Soccer Dallas, the city's Parks and Rec department, The Bridge and others who, says Jeppson, will "hopefully get people -- residents, employees and visitors -- rethinking the concept of streets and streetscapes and show it's possible to build a community in downtown."
Jeppson and James Warton aren't going this alone: Downtown Dallas Inc. is among the sponsors of the event, with its president, John Crawford, referring to the temporary installations as "an effort to create these quick wins ... to help transform these public spaces, allowing the community to experience a more livable, workable, and enjoyable downtown." Trammel S. Crow's also involved, insisting this is an extension of his Earth Day Dallas event held in the Arts District in April. "Like Earth Day Dallas," Crow says in a Downtown Dallas release, "PARK(ing) Day Dallas is another way to show Americans the importance North Texans place on the environment."
The event begins at 11 Friday morning. Further details follow, but keep in mind: This is part of an annual national event that last year saw 850 parks spring up in 183 cities spread across 30 countries.
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RESIDENTS BRING PARK(ING) DAY TO DALLAS ON SEPTEMBER 16TH
Metered parking to become active community spaces
Dallas, Texas, September 14, 2011 -- Streets in Downtown Dallas will be temporarily transformed on Friday, September 16, 2011 as performance space and "PARKS" take the place of on-street parking. It's all part of PARK(ing) Day, an internationally-recognized event celebrated in more than 30 countries and 183 cities. 2011 will bring the social experiment to Dallas for the first large-scale street installation initiated by downtown residents Noah Jeppson and James Warton.
Beginning at 11:00 a.m., each participating team will transform a standard parking space into re-envisioned public space. Over 30 PARK installations will be centered in three groups around Downtown Dallas: the Main Street District (Main Street between Field & Ervay), Deep Ellum (Main Street between Good Latimer and Malcolm X ) and the Arts District (Flora between Pearl & Olive).
Some of the envisioned activities include a book swap, nature trail, lounge space and performance areas. Transformed spaces will include sustainable construction materials; The Bridge will be collecting donations for the homeless (one-size adult hats, gloves and scarves).
In addition to individual activities, entertainment organized by Deep Dallas will showcase local talent throughout the day on several performance stages. A full lineup of activities and entertainers can be found at www.parkingdaydallas.org.
All of these activites will encourage a more lively, active and community-oriented downtown neighborhood. "This temporary event will bring together residents, employees, and visitors to rethink the function of our public spaces... and have fun doing it," Noah Jeppson said.