Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bright ideas: In September, attempts to transform downtown Dallas with pop-up ... - Dallas Morning News (blog)

I exchanged a few missives with the great Noah Jeppson Friday afternoon into early this morning, during which the downtown denizen was full of intriguing notes, among them: The second annual PARK(ing) Day Dallas is filling up quite nicely with folks interested in transforming downtown’s parking spaces into pop-up shops and stops. Among those signed up so far for the September 21 makeover: The Playhouse Fun Project, [x]cube GAMES, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the UT Arlington School of Architecture, Wallace Roberts & Todd, Which Wich?, the city’s Park and Recreation Department and myriad other museums, media types and downtown businesses. Interested parties have till Friday to register for a space.

From last year's PARK(ing) Day Dallas, the first but not the last

Said Jeppson, this year’s experiment will expand beyond last year’s boundaries: “We’re hoping to stretch along Main Street from Main Street Garden (where Green Fest will be happening) all the way to Belo Garden,” he explained in a midnight-thirty note. “There also will be some parking space transformations on Harwood Street and Deep Ellum. And, they’ll be connected with pedicab service to help people move around downtown. There will be lots of fun activities to get downtown employees, visitors and residents out on the sidewalks â€" from dog parks to croquet lawns and performance spaces.”

Jeppson, the man behind both the downtown-tunnels map and the Unvisited Dallas website, is a True Believer in downtown, serving as both critic and champion â€" the indie-rock John Crawford, let’s say. Which means he doesn’t just push his own projects, but those belonging to all comers who likewise envision creating something out of downtown’s vast nothingness.

Which is why he also sent word yesterday about Patrick McDonnell’s efforts to Kickstart $5,000 with which to adorn Dallas City Hall Plaza with shade structures by September 26 â€" a mere five days after PARK(ing) Day, what timing. As you’ll note in this virtual catalog, the would-be offerings range in shape and size â€" from the practical to the surreal, from the smallish to the sprawling. McDonnell can be seen in the video above explaining how the money will be spent.

Right now he’s not asking much â€" pledges top out at $50, for which you get a few keepsakes. Me, I’d go for top-dollar donors and throw in a shade structure, like Amanda Popken’s Beach Bench. Might come in handy for PARK(ing) Day Dallas, come to think of it …

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