30-Jul-2013 (Tue) Wherein we need your help building a parklet in front of DNA Pizza!

Our Kickstarter for the parklet is live! Please pass this link along to all your friends, and contribute what you can. We've got some pretty cool rewards for contributors...

Parklet on Eleventh Street at DNA Lounge.

Here's the explanatory video, featuring many familiar faces from the DNA crew:

And here's a sweet animation of what the thing is going to look like:

Our Kickstarter runs through Tuesday August 20, which is only twenty-one days from now. That means it ends just a few days before a lot of our friends leave for Burning Man. I'm a little worried that the proximity to Burning Man might leave our constituents distracted, but we didn't really have the option of delaying the Kickstarter until afterward. That's just another reason we need your help getting the word out.

So please pass it on!

27 Responses:

  1. Rosy Rouge says:

    I like the idea...of getting a mug...

  2. Are people going to be aloud to smoke right there?

  3. Cody says:

    I think you're missing out on a significant pool of nerd pledges by not offering a "lunch with jwz" perk, as painful as it might sound. You could do em in batch, doesn't have to be one-on-one.

    Seriously though, it looks awesome. Best of luck!

  4. bode says:

    I can't believe the executive producer did not cast himself in this masterpiece.

  5. Kevin Lyda says:

    Interesting. Never heard of a "parklet" before.

    The discussions on parklets I read use the work greenspaces; I'm curious why your design seems to lack any plants? Seeing the various pictures of vandalised bathrooms you've posted makes me think that "people suck" will play a role in your answer. Have parklets had to evolve in their short existence due to that reality and now are just gathering spaces free of shrubbery?

    Still a good thing and makes the area designed more for people than for cars. Just curious how the reality of these things is working out.

  6. as long as it doesn't take a way the motorcycle parking I'm all for it.

  7. adolf says:

    Parklet? I'm from Ohio. "Parklet" does not mean much to me.

    From TFVs, it looks like an outdoor space with tables and a couple of Strong Things that can help to lock up a bike.

    If that is all it is, then I guess I don't see how "parklet" differs from "sidewalk dining," except it uses street parking space instead of sidewalk space.

    Two naive questions:

    1. Will random passerby be allowed to use the Parklet? If I walk from the sandwich shop down the block to DNA's Parklet, will I automatically be allowed to eat my sandwich there?

    2. If I am in SF, and I order a beer at The Lounge or The Pizza, will I be able to take it out to the parklet to consume? Will I be able to bring the remainder of that beer back inside for a refill?*

    *: Here in Ohio, I've actually bought a beer inside of a bar, walked outside with it, walked back in with it, and been refused service until I handed over the mostly-full bottle...whereupon the bartender was more than happy to sell me a whole new bottle. He cited laws-and-stuff, and the mood was good so I rolled with it, but I'll never have that $2 back, nor will I ever leave a bar with a beer and have an automatic expectation that I'll actually be able to drink that beer if I decide to come back in.

    • jwz says:

      "Sidewalk dining" implies space that is part of the restaurant. That's not what this is. A parklet is literally a public park that used to be a parking space. I said in last week's blog post,

      Parklets are weird in that, while we have to pay for it, it's not really ours. They exist in that gray area of sidewalks: you don't really own your sidewalk, though you're responsible for it, so the bargain you make with the City in order to take back some parking spaces and turn them into something nice is that you have to foot the construction bill, even though the thing you build is technically a public park.


      • It's open to the public, not just our customers.

      • No, you can't smoke there, because you can't smoke within 15' of the entrance of a business, and the parklet is in that range. Also smoking is gross and you should feel bad.

      • No, you can't drink alcohol there, because there's no drinking in public parks (ha ha right), but more to the point, you'd get us in trouble for it.

      • You can eat food there, whether bought from us or elsewhere, but we're not allowed to reserve seating there for only our customers or anything like that.

      Some businesses have an "off-sale" license which allows them to sell you liquor to-go, but it's never legal for you to leave a business with an open container. I don't know what the laws are in Ohio, but in California expecting to walk out onto the street with your beer without someone yelling at you is... not usual.

      • Jon says:

        I don't know what the laws are in Ohio, but in California expecting to walk out onto the street with your beer without someone yelling at you is... not usual.

        Crazy, ... really. No beer in public parks or on the street? America – country of strange morals.

        • phuzz says:

          There's no street drinking allowed in most towns in the UK, it's just not enforced (unless the police need an excuse to arrest you). Hell, in Bristol you'd find it hard to get arrested for smoking a joint in the street.

      • adolf says:

        Thanks for clarifying. It just seems so [surprising / chaotic / anti-capitalist] that a business would pay for a space that the public will be able to use for free. This would never happen where I'm from.

        I mean, sure: Non-profits do stuff like that. But unless it's a ball diamond of a soccer field, for-profit entities here are strictly all about themselves.

        Re: Beer. It was an odd occasion, and late at night (after the 1AM normal retail cutoff). I stopped at a crowded neighborhood bar to get a six-pack to take home, and was pleasantly surprised when the bartender gave me the beer and said it was already paid for.

        Turns out an Old Friend was there at the bar. He saw me walk in, and insisted on buying whatever I was ordering. So I took my six-pack out to the car, asked the wife if she wanted to hang out at the bar for a bit with Old Friend, and brought her and one unopened bottle of beer back inside.

        Apparently it became A Problem somehow when I opened that beer inside of the bar and started drinking it.

        As I said, the bar tender was happy to take the tainted beer off of my hands and sell me an identical bottle for an identical price, so it wasn't A Big Problem. Indeed, it turned into a lovely rest-of-the-night.

        But meh. Sometimes these rules do not make sense.

        • Andy says:

          for-profit entities are strictly all about themselves

          Oh, a parklet is a huge benefit to the retail establishment, make no mistake. Having outside seating is great and improves the business sales. "self interest" gets all kinds of wierd when you have space constraints and bureaucratic regulations.

  8. Valgar says:

    Wait...this looks like it is replacing the motorcycle parking (based off the mock-up). That will...well, that will suck.

    • jwz says:

      The parklet is replacing a car space, and the motorcycle parking is turning into bicycle parking, roughly.

      We (DNA) actually petitioned to get those 6 metered motorcycle spaces installed, way back when. But then in the intervening decade, the Cycle Gear motorcycle shop moved in right across the street from us, and they installed eighteen free motorcycle spaces on Harrison at 11th. They're literally 50 feet away.

      Once the parklet is installed, if it turns out that the difference between 18 and 24 motorcycle spots on the same block is actually significant, which I doubt, we'll start the process of turning another car space into metered motorcycle parking. We'll see.

      Trying to roll this change into the parklet process at the beginning likely would have delayed the whole project by another year. The bureaucracy is even more horrible than you can imagine.

      • Valgar says:

        Thanks for clarifying. Personally I would never park my bike over there after hours. That was the nice bit about the parking right out front of DNA, the bikes were never really out of sight.

  9. ryan says:

    jwz, are you part of the project team autographing thank you cards?

  10. Ben says:

    What's up with the pizza party reward? You could get three of the $150 level rewards for $50 cheaper and get the same stuff plus twelve event tickets.

  11. Jason P says:

    It looks like it could use some highway-barricade strength planter boxes at either end with a nice boxwood hedge or topiary in them. They'd provide some visual interest, a nice windscreen, and even a bit of added protection should some car careen out of control into the parklet.

  12. Um.... you guys can't afford a parklet on your own? REALLY NOW? I think kickstarter and indiegogo and the like are meant for people who can't afford to do projects, not for big, extremely well established nightclub/restaurants to buy parklets that we all know they can afford on their own. Way to gleen off of your community.
    (I'm sure you'll remove this comment, because that's what well off corporations and businesses do when they don't want to be accountable. Just thought I'd throw my opinion up in a respectful way, giving you the chance to explain yourselves.)

    • DNA Lounge says:

      We're asking for the public to help pay for it because parklets belong to the public. A parklet is a public park. We are constructing a new piece of public infrastructure to improve the neighborhood, and so we're asking for our neighbors (and other interested parties) to kick in. It's not a part of the restaurant, it's open to everybody. E.g., we're explicitly not allowed to just use it as extra seating exclusively for our customers.

      That's why we think it's appropriate to ask for the public to help pay for it: because once it's built, it doesn't belong to *us*, it belongs to all of us.

      Incidentally, there have been a number of other successful kickstarters to fund public parklets in San Francisco, and just about all parklets are in front of restaurants and cafes.

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