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Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past

Park[ing] Day didn't start in Los Angeles. That honor goes to San Francisco circa 2005 (though we did beat them to something else very San Francisco-y this year).

Still: We can think of no place more appropriate than L.A. -- throughout the holiday's 183-city circuit, all over the world -- to celebrate a day dedicated to converting parking spaces into adorable mini-parks.

In our city's fourth year of participation...

... overqualified local chapter leader Stephen Box points out that L.A. has about one acre of open space for every 1,000 residents, and, countywide, there are seven parking spaces to every car. Gross.

In the spirit of solution, all these exhaust fumes and oil spots call for some art, obviously! And life lessons: The Park[ing] Day L.A. website reminds us that "a park doesn't have to be 100+ acres, that sometimes simply 100 square feet will do."

Here are our favorite installations -- via the holiday's official Flickr pool and Facebook page -- to inspire your own piece for this Friday, September 16. Better get on it. L.A.'s enviro set can get pretty cutthroat, for a bunch of breathe-easies.

7. Tire swing park. Can't go wrong with a tire swing. That city tree hasn't felt so useful and fulfilled since it was but a baby seedling.

Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past
Facebook

6. Park of hella weeds. These guys left no inch of pavement un-planted. And you gotta love the "paying the parking meter" flourish.

Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past
Facebook

5. Negative-space park. If only all cars were cut from cardboard, filled with mulch and outfitted with Lay-Z Boy-style camping chairs.

Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past
Facebook

 

4. Under-construction park. Like most L.A. parks, this one is under construction. Unlike most, though, it comes with neon-green balloons and mod red seating. Art!

Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past
Flickr

3. Sunflower park. Could there be a cooler depiction of urban nature than sunflowers stuck in street cones, arranged in garden rows? We think not.

Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past
Facebook

2. Bra park. Yes, friends, there is a canopy of bras stretched above our personal sand dunes. Your jealousy is natural.

Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past
Facebook

1. Kiddie pool park. Now here's a park we can get behind. If L.A.'s parking landscape turned into one giant kiddie pool, we wouldn't complain; and given the parking-complaint habits of the average Angeleno, that's saying something. (See also: Photo of a Metro bus gassing by another kiddie-pool park.)

Park[ing] Day L.A. Is This Friday: Here Are Our 7 Favorite Projects From Years Past
Flickr

Honorable mention goes to the Skid Row basketball park and the car-as-planter park. And the dozens more that didn't look quite crazy enough in their Flickr thumbnails to make our list, but were no doubt perfect in person.

More comprehensive LA Weekly coverage of Park[ing] Day 2010, including interviews with some of the street artists for a day, can be found here.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]


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