Happy Park(ing) Day 2010! Yesterday, about 50 makeshift "parks" popped up around the five boroughs, representing NYC's participation in the worldwide holiday. According to the Park(ing) Day website, the festivities amounted to 700 pop-up parks in 140 countries, each reclaiming a parking spot for the duration of the day. Taking back the land from the automobile, five square feet at a time!

Kenneth Lo, a Park Slope resident who set up his "park" on 7th Avenue and 1st St, said that the majority of the passersby dug his parking-spot patio, but that it had elicited some kvetching from drivers. "It's as if it's the last spot in Brooklyn!" Lo said, adding that one woman had pulled over to ask if he "really had to do this." Lo said he set up his spot to urge people to reflect on "how the space is used in a city, and how much of it is devoted to cars."

Graduate urban planning students at NYU set themselves up with a kiddie pool, lawn chairs and laptops on 6th Avenue. "People seem to think we're crazy," NYU student Paul Salama said, "buses keep pulling nearly into us."

We passed a Saved by the Bell-goes-to-Europe themed pop-up park on Great Jones Street, where the instigators ate baguettes and lounged in costume. Farther uptown, a group of college students picnicked, played guitar and juggled on 5th Avenue.

Another successful Park(ing) Day!