Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

4/28/2014

Owning the Street

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

It doesn't take a lot to make use of public space. I found this out a few hours ago while walking home. Though the Valley heat was in full swing, this lady put ingenuity to work by setting up a mini-picnic blanket under the shade of an overgrown tree in Encino.

She was a mother waiting for her child to get out of the elementary school across the way. She figured that she might as well get some sun lounging and reading done while waiting for the bell to ring.

Isn't that a great idea? Her small act reminded of urbanist Walter H. Whyte's quote: "The street is the river of life of the city, the place where we come together, the pathway to the center." Imagine if more people hung out under the sun by the sidewalk. It would turn a street bare of life, into a happier place to walk. I know I walked away smiling after chatting with her for a time.



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