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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What is a parklet? El Sereno will soon find out

“What is that?” and “What are you doing?”  were among the most frequently asked questions heard this afternoon on the sidewalk outside the El Sereno Food 4 Less. Passersby were referring to a parklet or street porch that was being constructed on a strip of Huntington Drive outside the supermarket.  The parklets in El Sereno, downtown Los Angeles and Highland Park are part of a demonstration project sponsored by Council District 14 and a group called  Living Streets.  The idea is create inexpensive and unexpected gathering spaces along city streets.  While a crew with the L.A. Conservation Corps. was still constructing wood benches and planters this afternoon, a grand opening celebration for the Huntington Drive parklet is scheduled to be held on Saturday at 10 a.m.

In contrast to the York Boulevard parklet in Highland Park, the El Sereno parklet is larger and a bit more complex, said Frank Vuoso, a supervisor for the  L.A. Conservation Corps.  One section of the parklet platform, for example, includes a ramp to accommodate the disabled.

The benches also include small tables, which one passerby said will be a welcome amenity for patrons of a popular taco truck that parks nearby.

Large planters will complete the east end of the parklet.

The parklet will include small tables built into the benches. The back of the benches will server as containers for landscaping.



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8 comments

  1. I will be there Saturday 10am photographing the event.

  2. I don’t mean to be a party pooper here, but what is so special about a ” bench seating area” which is basically ‘on’ the street? So while you have your coffee you get gassed and are exposed to the lovely sounds of tire roll off and engine noise pollution while inhaling dust particles from the brake pads? Or get a clip around the ears by a side view mirror. Same in DTLA. Sometimes I feel the civic situation in LA is so desperate the city can throw a bone and the serfs will be ever so grateful. Similar are the cross walks Euro-style, which are “too expensive”. I guess taking out a pedestrian with a car is cheaper than painting white stripes in the tarmac.
    These days not getting bullets in the back from the LAPD makes for a great day.

    • Its just another manufactured excuse to block a traffic lane, or to eliminate parking.

      Hey, notice, they are doing this at a red curb — which is supposed to be red only because it creates a hazard to have a car the size of “street porch” parked there.

  3. is this parklet near Sparkletts?

  4. This parklet idea is a better idea than the city giving hundreds of millions of dollars to someone like Eli Broad to house his private art collection.

  5. This is a great idea – the problem with my neighborhood El Sereno, and LA in general, is that there are few areas for people to gather; in general you walk on a narrow, treeless sidewalk in a straight line, eventually make a u-turn, walking along the same treeless path to get back to your car.
    In Europe and Mexico, you often encounter a plaza or piazza, often with a fountain, surrounded by shops and restaurants, so you get a sense of place, and can walk around and enjoy the space. The parklet idea, is a great start to getting you off your straight line and being able to talk to other people – in other words, building community and forming connections to the people around you. Is it the Trevi Fountain and the Spainish Steps all rolled into one? No, but it is great start to thinking differently about how the community can have a little relaxtion space in the middle of our business district. As a bonus, it looks great too! Congratualations to those who are bringing this to our community. Ever wonder why the Grove and the Americana are constantly filled with people – Communities LOVE a place to gather and enjoy each others company, especially when they can eat and shop there too.

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