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On Sept. 21, the last day of summer, Natalie Watson of Evanston 150’s Walk & Roll set up a cozy quasi living room on Main Street near Custer Avenue – her contribution to the international celebration of Parking Day. The website parkingday.org says the annual celebration is a “worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.
“It was a comfy setup,” Ms. Watson told the RoundTable. “We had poetry reading, meditation and nature sounds to draw people in. We thought that Lupita’s Restaurant was unhappy with us for taking up their closest parking spaces, but when I went in to buy food to share with the street, Lupita herself tore up the bill.”
Despite the rain, Ms. Watson said, many passersby stopped to ask what was going on. “It was a great opportunity to promote our vision of a city for people rather than for cars, and everyone with whom we talked appreciated our effort. … There are few public spaces left where these casual encounters can happen. It was funny to me that most of the cars just sped on by, oblivious to the strange scene, because obliviousness is exactly what we are trying to overturn.”