Today, we had some visitors from the Ukraine. It’s is their first time to Dallas, and they are here for the Open World Program. I caught up with them taking pictures on Living Plaza this morning before they go on a site seeing tour of downtown, then back to City Hall to having a meeting about their program. They offered to take my picture and I regrettably declined. What a beautiful backdrop!
Come join us next Wednesday, May 16th from 11:30 to 1:30 during lunch. The theme is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Plaza. We’ve got the food and entertainment taken care of, YOU bring the rest. That means Bring Your Own (BYO) lawn chairs, Frisbees, kites, books, blankets, instruments, and any fun activities you can think of (kid friendly, of course) to join in the celebration. We’ve invited people from all over town, so don’t miss out!
THE LINE UP
Yells at Eels jazz ensemble, NOMINATED BEST MUSIC ACT BY D MAGAZINE’S EDITORS 2012, will be here. Before they get to Living Plaza, they’ll be popping up for quick, fast-intense performances all around the streets of Downtown guerrilla style. They start at 11am and go ’til 12:00pm ending up on the Living Plaza, where they’ll play a 30-minute set featuring music off their newest 7″ Vinyl – Wind Streaks in Syrtis Major.
Len Barnett and Percussion Things takes the stage at 12:30.
Dos Paisanos, Cajun Tailgators, Trailer Cakes, and Ssahm
Angola African will be doing a Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Arts dance fighting) demonstration on the lawn. As well as Yoga with Chinook of Tsada Yoga from South Side on Lamar.
Recycled art project with VET. Where you can make functional art, like a fan or an umbrella to block the sun, and take it with you.
In celebration of BIKE TO WORK WEEK, we’re having a raffle during the Living Plaza. Arrive by 12:30 on your bike to enter and win the Dallas Downtown Bike Commuter Raffle!
The plaza is a public space and open for all kinds of activities (which we’re tracking on this blog, in a segment called Daily Plaza) so come out and use it. We’re always out there Tuesdays and Thursday eating our lunch around 12:30 and would love the company – you’ll know us because we’ll be sittin’ on a big swath of green astroturf.
The bigger events, like Living Plaza, that draw more than 75 people, or include music, or some kind of vending require a special permit and a small fee depending on how many people are in attendance, which you can read more about here: http://www.dallasspecialevents.com/special-event/
The Living Plaza is one of our most awesome assets! Not only is it a platform for interaction, connectivity, inspiration and diversity but it’s our stage to the world. So, come out and use it, and together we’ll make it our own!
A man with long, wavy grey hair and a cowboy hat emerged from the green park area of the plaza with a blue cooler (full of water and juice) in hand and a band of merry followers in tow. They traipsed across the plaza and landed on the concrete planter in front of the CityDesign Studio’s window. They were there to have Bible study. The Plaza as a Bible Study? Why not? It’s a public space and as long as they don’t exceed 75 people then they are allowed to be there without the need of a Special Permit.
Their bible study lasted for 1 hour. The man in the cowboy hat proselytized, genuflected, and professed his heart out. Every now and then you could hear his yells and screams through the glass window. It was surely a spectacle and an endearing show of community to say the least. A few interested parties sauntered over from across the plaza and jumped into the spotlight every now and again. The man and his studiers waited patiently as the errant speakers spoke and said what they needed to say. The study went on…Then it ended and some people stayed to pray and talk some more. The plaza was alive! For an hour. And in that hour there was magic. But would they return? Yes, the grey-haired man with the cowboy hat said they’d be back every Monday and Tuesday at 1:30. Right on, brother!
The Living Plaza season is back!
We learned a lot last year about organizing and encouraging activity on the Plaza, and have started to re-think what it means to have a Living Plaza. How to get the broader community involved and allow citizens to become the authorities of the space. Let’s dream!
In the past, we had a once-a-month event with food trucks, music, art displays, and other creative endeavors as a way to get people outside, to enjoy the city’s amazing public space, and to think about how to make regular use of one of our greatest city assets. Over the past few weeks, we have been working towards the 2012 inaugural Living Plaza picnic event at City Hall, which will happen Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 11:30-1:30pm.
This Month’s theme is Do-It-Yourself – DIY the Plaza! The music and food trucks will be back, but YOU bring the rest. In other words, Bring Your Own (BYO) lunch time entertainment like kites, blankets, Frisbees, instruments, computer, sports equipment, and any other fun activities. Feel free to think outside the box with activities, but make sure that the ideas are kid appropriate.
Also, as we ramp up to May 16th, we have been enjoying the plaza on a daily basis. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we’ve been taking our lunch outside and taking some props: kites, Frisbee, sidewalk chalk, astroturf under the trees. These simple acts have been recognized by passersby, people on vacation, and the city staff, and so far the reaction has been one of curiosity and inspiration. One office in the city saw the kite flying and decided to have their monthly Friday meeting on the plaza with the theme of ‘Recess.’ In addition, a couple other meetings have taken place outside, and more and more food trucks are starting to grace the plaza.
Though we have been meeting regularly, Daily Plazas can happen anytime! Have your lunch, read a book, take time to enjoy it, and if you want some company let us know.