San Francisco Parklet in Front of Four Barrel Coffee Photo by Bonnie Hulkower
Last week I had the fortune of beating the northeast heat in San Francisco. Instead of seeking air conditioning indoors, I found myself seeking outdoor spaces to congregate. It turns out more and more parklets have been popping up around the city to meet increased demand for sidewalk spaces to hang out. As of June 2011, there are now fourteen parklets throughout San Francisco. I met up with some friends at the new parklet in the Mission District on Valencia street in front of Four Barrell Coffee. It was lovely to be able to hang out with my friends while I enjoyed an espresso and another friend enjoyed an empanada from a place down the street. The design was set up as a standing coffee bar area, so not a place to lounge for hours, but it was a perfect place to have a drink or a bite and catch up with friends while catching some sunshine. The bike parking area when complete will be able to hold about 15-20 bikes. Although some restaurants along the Valencia corridor have outdoor seating, the important distinction of the parklets is that since they are on converted public parking space, they are open to patrons and non patrons alike.
There are also new parklets in Nopa, in front of Cafe Abir on Fulton Street and in North Beach in front of Tony's Coal Fire Pizza and Slice House on Stockton Street. The first parklet in San Francisco was built in front of Mojo Cafe, not far from Cafe Abir, about a year and a half ago.
The Parklets are reminiscent of the mini parks on Park(ing) Days when citizens reclaim the pavement with of their own greenery and designs. I always loved Park(ing) Day and am looking forward to visiting more Parklets. Here is hoping that they catch on in other cities as well.
More on Parks in San Francisco
Parking Day 2009
Gorgeous LEED Platinum Townhouses Completed in San Francisco Park
Green Apple Festival 2009 San Francisco: Cleaning Up Golden Gate Park