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On August 23, with their eyes shining brightly towards utopia, North Park Main Street, the City of San Diego, and the North Park community inaugurated the city’s first parklet in front of Caffé Calabria (3933 30th Street).

The eco-urban gesture sees 4 or 5 parking spaces converted into a street-side park with seating for the public and guests of the café, which paid around $40,000 for its construction.

On Friday, September 20, in anticipation of their own pending parklet, Alabama Street at El Cajon Boulevard will hold a celebration as part of the annual Park(ing) Day, a worldwide event where artists, designers, and citizens transform parking spots into temporary public parks.

Festivities will take place in front of Mama's Bakery & Deli and Live Wire with a parklet preview and 10% off Mama’s Lebanese cuisine from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In addition, the Boulevard’s 2900 block will be celebrating from noon to 6 p.m. with a beanbag toss, live art, and a craft soda bar.

The first official parklet was built in San Francisco in 2010 by the city's “Pavement to Parks Program” following an unofficial activist popup parklet in 2005.

Parklets have since sprung up in Philadelphia, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Jose, Dallas, and Vancouver, B.C.

City Council President Todd Gloria stated at the dedication of the North Park parklet that more are planned for Little Italy, Hillcrest, and other neighborhoods.

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Comments

HonestGovernment Sept. 19, 2013 @ 7:57 a.m.

I always wanted to sit in a low-wall cage on the street. Exhaust fumes really do enhance food and drink, and the cage wall is completely protective from impact by cars and buses going at normal speed. Cool, man! And such a great photo-op for TGlo!

After all the years that I hung further back on the sidewalk, away from the bus benches that I had seen hit by curb-jumping runaway cars, and stayed away from the sidewalk adjacent to busy street traffic to avoid being a pedestrian victim of a collision ...now I can get right out into the asphalt, sit right down, and feel safe. Who carries the liability insurance for this?

Think how many trash cans Cafe Calabria could have bought for Angela Landsberg for $40,000.

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dwbat April 3, 2014 @ 4:37 p.m.

You may not like them, but parklets have become very popular. The one on 30th has a heavy metal fence; it's not like a wire birdcage. I would feel very safe sitting there, as do most people. The purpose of parklets is not "food and drink" as anyone may stop and rest there. You don't have to buy anything.

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