23 July 2012

Parking Lot Patio

Parking Lot Patio If you know me, it should come as no surprise that I love the way a meal can bring people together.

In the last 6 months, I've been working at Dossier as a Design Research Specialist. With this new post, comes a new desk chair, location and community. We're located in Railtown (in simplest terms, it's the area between a set of railroad tracks and Hastings Street in Vancouver and yes, I have aspirations to brand it as per the subtle identity suggestion), which means there is a beautiful mixture of the industrial, the creative and the social. But we still long for more cafes and restaurants to make the community more communal (like they do, in say, Gastown). Railtown wants more linger. And we want to meet and connect with our neighbours!

But in our neighbourhood, there are a lot of Parking Lots. And with a lot of Parking Lots, we have fewer options to sit outside and linger (and by default, fewer options to connect). So a few of us at Dossier wanted to prototype an outdoor space where food could be shared/consumed and where creative ideas could be exchanged! The parking lot has been paved so what if we brought some paradise back to it?

So in the past month, we've set up a little patio space (aka the Parking Lot Patio) in the No Parking area of our lot at 611 Alexander and have been delighted to have folks from UGM, Dialog and Aritizia join us at the table. In our lunch hour chats, we've discovered a passion for creating community in this neighbourhood (not to mention some aspirations for a future block party) and a desire to make an impact.

The summer has just begun (Vancouver weather hasn't always been as supportive) but we're pleased to be part of testing a new way to do lunch (and if we may suggest) and a new way to change the world.