Park(ing) for a Day

courtesy-alicia-kachmar-1courtesy-alicia-kachmar-2courtesy-alicia-kachmar-5courtesy-alicia-kachmar-6courtesy-alicia-kachmar-3Alicia Kachmar is, in her words, “a writer, teacher, crafter, photographer, baker, biker, and occasional pool hustler” who offered to write about her experience participating in last week’s Park(ing) Day for Tribeca Citizen. (The photos are hers, too!)


Last Friday, I participated in an annual New York City event called Park(ing) Day. Heard of it? Anyone, from a group to an individual, can transform an ordinary street parking space into a public place. From picnics to art collaborations, Shakespeare performances to meditation gardens, the possibilities are as limitless as one’s imagination. As a Tribeca resident, I decided to park myself down the block from where I live on West Broadway and Franklin Street. It turned out that I was the only Park(ing) Day spot in Tribeca and the furthest one downtown.

I designed my space around an ongoing photography/craft/writing project of mine called Safety Cone Adventures, based on a tiny orange crochet safety cone I created for my crochet business. As safety cones themselves are ubiquitous in New York and serve various purposes—blocking off parking spots, dividing up lanes, saving you from walking
into a pothole, and guarding you from uneven sidewalk hazards—it seemed like the perfect fit for a Park(ing) Day space.

With an overall bright and cheery orange look—including a safety cone–orange dress—I provided a slew of safety cone-related craft activities for passersby and some iced safety-cone cookies to boot. I ended up meeting a good number of Tribeca residents, many of whom lived within one or two blocks. For me, this was the most rewarding part of the day—striking up conversations with curious onlookers, my neighbors, a handful of them artists as well. We talked about our artistic endeavors, neighborhood concerns, the annoyance of parking in New York and a myriad of other topics. Reactions ranged from, “Oh my God, I love Park(ing) Day!” to “Errrr, what is this?” It made me wish Park(ing) Day was once a week, instead of just once a year.

If you missed Safety Cone Adventures at Park(ing) Day, check it out online, or come by How to Enjoy Traffic Cones, an upcoming collaborative art exhibition at Chashama that I’ll be part of, beginning next Wednesday. Who knew there were so many cone enthusiasts out there? Not I—until I met a friend of one at Park(ing) Day and was subsequently asked to be part of this show.


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