In a “blink and it’s here” arrival, autumn has come to Anchorage. Leaves are yellowing, evenings are dark again, and the clouds and intermittent rain add a blue grey tinge of chill to everything that makes me long for apple cider and soups.
I love September in Alaska for many reasons, one of which is that every third Friday communities all over the country celebrate PARK(ing) Day, an “annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into temporary public places.” It’s also just hella fun.
My buddy Abby and I decided to check out some of the mini-parks during our lunch break, and did a meandering lap around downtown, stopping to chat with creatives and activists at each spot.
Our stroll included:
- Playing ping pong in a cardboard shelter with cardboard paddles
- Learning about the Spenard Road Redesign and the new Muldoon Town Square Park that will be home to Anchorage’s newest inclusive playground
- Chatting about an ongoing art project at the Church of Love in Spenard
- Admiring lincoln log-esque benches (the girl in the photo above had the right idea; despite the drizzle, she put down a sleeping pad and settled in for a snooze)
- Peeking at fresh veggies for sale
- Eschewing corn hole (we were getting a bit hungry by then and needed sustenance after our rousing game of ping pong)
- Finishing up at The magpie for lunch
It was cool to see design theory in action: even modest changes to a space as small as a parking spot transformed the feeling downtown. Despite the rain, people were more convivial and curious about each other, more likely to swap stories, share a laugh, and slow down… the perfect way to wrap up the work week and kick off the weekend. Thanks Anchorage Parks and Recreation for making it happen!
BONUS: Related to parking spots, Easy Park just announced their Amenities Program; if you’re parked in one of their lots or garages, you can call 297-4471 for a jump-start, low tire fill, or escort to/from your vehicle, for FREE!