Tacoma Urbanist

Mar. 14, 2008 at 12:44am

Noon Downtown: Frost Park Lunch Event Q&A

If Gregoire's presence in downtown Tacoma wasn't enough, local Tacomans are again set to eat lunch in the rarely inhabited Frost Park at noon today (3/14/2008)

Here's some Q&A on the event from my perspective.  Others will have theirs:

Q1: What is happening?

A1: A number of Tacoma residents are going to eat lunch at noon in downtown Tacoma in Frost Park located at 9th and Commerce on March 14th.



(From last week 3/7/2008)

Q2: Why are people doing this?


Why not?  It is city park which was designed for such and activity but is rarely used for such an intended use.  Its your park.  You likely paid something toward it in taxes.  Why not use it?  Must you spend another lunch in your cubical or at a "working lunch" with your boss?

Its a great opportunity to socialize with many of the more active and dedicated civic people living and working downtown in a non-virtual medium.

Q3: Does one have to be invited?  How come I never received an invitation?


Anyone is invited.  It is a city park.  All you have to do is show up.  This is as close to an invitation as you are going to get.



Q4: I have heard that alot of the people that go are technology folks who control Tacoma's internet systems and could shut it down if they wished.  True?


Unlikely. 

Not all of Tacoma internet controllers will be present at the park event for security purposes.  At any rate, any Enron like control they may be able to pull off would be short lived, no longer than a week or so.  (Please note, however,  that the technically correct term is "internets.")

Q5: Who are you taking Frost Park back from?



(A ceremonially "taking back" of Frost Park for "intended purposes")

The park is normally empty this time of year.  We are reclaiming a public space from indifference and neglect which have plagued Frost Park for years.

Q6: I hear these folks are all into "Go Local" or "Buy Local" or something "Local."  Am I going to get dissed or treated poorly if I bring a McDonalds Happy Meal?

No.  If you are simply walking through downtown and not committing any crimes, you are contributing in some way to the city and are welcome.

(However, you may want to check out the move Supersize Me)

Q7: How do I find out more about the event:

You can check out the pictures and commentary from last week.

comments [23]  |  posted under tacoma, washington

Comments

by Beverly Queery on 3/14/2008 @ 2:16am
oh! i thought the term was "the Internets", like "the Iraq". shows how much i know.

by KevinFreitas on 3/14/2008 @ 6:44am
I think it's more like "teh Internets". ;)

Thanks for the great inner Q&A Erik. Great explanation of what we're trying to do here. Folks should also keep an eye on the calendar so they know where these weekly "tack back..." brown bag meet-ups are happening.

Anyone else joining in today? Pink Cookie Lady will be there with you know what. Cheers!

by jcbetty on 3/14/2008 @ 8:41am
I'm there in my rubber boots and rain coat. Or, bikini and flip flops. Not sure yet. AND, I resemble that "teh" comment!! --you gonna be there, bev?

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 11:10am
11:10 a.m. and no rain. Looks like we are going to get lucky. Though I am going to bring my umbrella.

by KevinFreitas on 3/14/2008 @ 11:30am
Might just escape it. There's a band of showers moving slowly up from the south. We're out the door in a few. See y'all there!

by izenmania on 3/14/2008 @ 1:20pm
Nope... sure didn't escape it!

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 1:31pm
Pretty good attendance for being in the rain.

Impressive civic valor:



We had some new people show up including County Councilmember Tim Ferrell:





More pictures here:

www.flickr.com/photos/tacoma-urbanist/

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 2:13pm
UMBRELLA WIELDING ANARCHISTS SHUT DOWN FROST MEMORIAL PARK!

by izenmania on 3/14/2008 @ 2:19pm
One of them had a beret! Sure sign of a revolutionary ne'er-do-well!

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 2:26pm
Given the weather, the attendance certainly outperformed.

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 3:06pm
Tacoma Urbanist with Large Umbrella

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 3:22pm
Tim's stump speech got me thinking so I did some googling and here's the story of the guy who the park is named after...

Larry Frost - September 9, 1977 |

The Story Continues

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 3:29pm
A Tacoma before my time...


by Bond at City Arts on 3/14/2008 @ 3:37pm
It was fun meeting everyone at the park today. Thanks for inviting me, Kevin! What a nice idea for not only reclaiming a public place in the city--but also for learning more about it. I'm sure Frost Park is a place I will surely not forget now. Thanks to all.

by KevinFreitas on 3/14/2008 @ 3:57pm
Not a problem, Bond. It was great to meet you and see everyone out even despite the weather. Once I break free from work I'll be sure to post photos and audio of Tim Farrell's fill-in on Frost Park.

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 3:59pm
What an event. Now there is even a fashion analysis (or at least a note) of Kevin's wardrobe that he selected for the Frost Park event (from last week's picture) from Funkorama Vintage:

the kind and adorable Kevin is wearing What? Purchased Where?

Not sure if that is an endorsement of his clothes or not.



funkomavintage.blogspot.com/2008/03/volc...

by NineInchNachos on 3/14/2008 @ 4:11pm

by izenmania on 3/14/2008 @ 4:15pm
So the conclusion here is... Kevin is a muppet?

(side note: in England, "muppet" is NOT a compliment)

by cassioposa on 3/14/2008 @ 4:18pm
Little known fact: Kevin can do a pretty accurate imitation of Kermit's voice. But only unprompted, to much of my frustration.

by morgan on 3/14/2008 @ 9:37pm
Sorry to have missed all the excitement! I was in meetings all day :(

I would like to take these gatherings to the next level and analyze why people (not drug dealers) don't make more use of this space.

For starters, I found the steps to be too small to use for sitting down. And other than a few planters that could be used as make-shift seating, there aren't any other places to sit. This park has been made a "walk-thru" park not designed for the casual lunch. I know benches have been tried before, but there are newer bench designs that discourage "afternoon naps."

What are some other observations?

What would make this a knock-out park that people (not drug dealers) would flock to?

by Erik on 3/14/2008 @ 10:14pm
I would like to take these gatherings to the next level and analyze why people (not drug dealers) don't make more use of this space.

Mainly because the park is located in a place with blank walls on most of the sides of it.

Places like this work better in urban areas where adjacent buildings with cafes are spilling into them.

I would like to take these gatherings to the next level and analyze why people (not drug dealers) don't make more use of this space.

Knock down the North Park Plaza Parking Garage and place a restaurant on the first floor adjacent with seating outside so people naturally come into and out of the park.

In the meantime, we simply do our best with it.

As I walked on Pacific today, alot of the adjacent merchants were asking what was happening. The park can be approached from so many different angles its hard to see people approaching until they are right there.

Its a highly visible park which is a good thing. Another good thing is that there is actually a couple of parking spaces by it which Herban Cafe used today.

know benches have been tried before, but there are newer bench designs that discourage "afternoon naps."

Given the prolific problems at 9th and Commerce and the arrests and fights in this park and bizarre activity, I don't think it would work to start adding things to make people hang around longer.

We just got the phone booth and many of the benches by the transit stop taken out so that the LINK stop could actually be used. Its better now than ever. I am cautious about doing anything to head down that path again.

by Daymaker on 3/14/2008 @ 11:13pm
I missed you all today. We got busy and I worked right through my lunch. Glad y'all didn't faired the weather. Looking forward to next Friday.

by Erik on 3/15/2008 @ 1:11pm
I missed you all today. We got busy and I worked right through my lunch. Glad y'all didn't faired the weather. Looking forward to next Friday.

See you on Friday.

If there is not any rain, I wonder how many people will attend Tacoma's Weekly Civic Event in Frost Park? 65? 75?

Its the equivalent of having a months worth of meet ups in one hour.

I already hear there are going to be some more surprises next week.