Time's Up! Celebrates Park(ing) Day 2007

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On Friday, September 21, 2007, more than 20 groups reclaimed parking spots all over New York City and turned them into creative community parks in recognition of Park(ing) Day—an annual, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into public parks known as park(ing) spaces.

Time’s Up! and Green Map invited everyone to celebrate the day at “7th Haven,” our park(ing) space in front of Birdbath Green Bakery on 7th Ave and Charles Street in the West Village from 8am-6pm. We had chairs, lemonade, and shade set up so folks could stop by and relax.

We created a bright, visual and inviting park using live potted flowers and plants, colorful signs and banners, shade umbrellas painted like flowers, cardboard flowers and bees, parking-meters disguised as flowers and a square-foot of astroturf (complete with a fake flower and butterfly) that served as our symbolic grass. The Bike Lane Liberation Clowns arrived at around 10 in the morning and finished bringing the park to life with their music and antics as they livened up the pavement with chalk-drawings of nature and words declaring our space “car-free.”

We spent the day chatting with folks from the neighborhood and sharing free cookies, muffins and lemonade (donated by Birdbath Bakery—thank you!) with curious passersby, including a garbage truck driver who pulled up to empty the trash can on the corner. Our free dog biscuits were also a big hit with the canine companions. We had a literature table set up with copies of the Green Apple Map, NYC bike maps, Time's Up! event calendars, stickers, buttons, patches and info on ways people could help the environment. And a Time’s Up! volunteer bike mechanic provided free tune-ups to passing cyclists (which came in really handy when a car in the adjacent parking spot carelessly backed over a couple of bikes—our only mishap of the day).

In the afternoon, people sat and relaxed in beach chairs while listening to live guitar music. A man who had stopped by the park earlier on his way to synagogue returned to share a picture of his granddaughter. All the while, we watched in amazement as migrating monarch butterflies—on their way to Mexico—fluttered down 7th Ave and paused to rest on the potted chrysanthemums that we had set out in the street to create a border for our park from the whizzing cars.

All in all, it was a great day and a really positive community-building experience. We hope you’ll join Time's Up! at our park(ing) spot next year!

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