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Charles Street Transformed into a Community Park and Curbside Café

DSC_0978For PARK(ing) Day 2015 Floura Teeter transformed two metered parking spaces on Charles Street into a community park and curbside café. Our goal for the day was to bring the community together, to create an inviting and pleasing space for our neighbor and popular Mount Vernon restaurant, Dooby’s, and to get pedestrians and drivers thinking about the charms of a few more urban parks and a few less blacktopped parking spaces.

On Friday, September 18th, the community, passersby, office workers, and residents were treated to a green oasis and curbside café as part of Floura Teeter’s seventh consecutive participation in PARK(ing) Day. While located on bustling Charles Street, Floura Teeter’s installation enjoyed a lot of foot traffic and visitors, including Dooby’s customers. While Dooby’s continued conducting regular business inside their restaurant, they also served up Korean BBQ, chicken, and tofu tacos at a food tent inside Floura Teeter’s park.

IMG_3204The park offered Floura Teeter employees a rare opportunity to educate the public on the PARK(ing) Day movement and make it fun. While previous years have featured bocce ball and ring toss games, this year we added a creative element. Throughout the day, Floura Teeter invited neighborhood businesses and passersby to take a few moments and create “Goodwill Flags.” Originally called “Prayer Flags” in Tibetan culture, the hand-decorated flags were hung above the Charles Street sidewalk and park.

IMG_3189Floura Teeter employees, friends, and family, created many of the flags before Park(ing) Day, but when the public added their designs, the full complement of Goodwill flags heightened the festive atmosphere. Tibetans say that displaying such flags promotes peace, compassion, and harmony, and that when wind blows on the flags, their messages are spread through the air, blessing everything the wind touches. The flags become a permanent part of the universe as the images and messages fade into the elements.

PARK(ing) Day is an international event, now in its 10th year, where artists, designers, and creatives of all types convert metered parking spaces into temporary public open space, challenging people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforcing the need for broad-based changes in urban infrastructure. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has grown to include more than 950 “PARK” installations in 162 cities, across 35 countries and 6 continents.

IMG_3144Floura Teeter always enjoys the PARK(ing) Day event and views it as a perfect way to showcase the importance of low-impact, bipedal travel, and especially the advantages of maintaining open and green space in urban environments. Our 2015 installation, along with other worldwide efforts, and positive public responses to those efforts, may one day explain how small green spaces became catalysts for groundbreaking changes.

Visit our Facebook album to see more pictures of Floura Teeter’s PARK(ing) Day installation.

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