Archive for September, 2010

Dust Off Your Carrot Costumes

September 28th, 2010

The Wigg Party is proud to announce that the next incarnation of the global phenomenon known as the Carrotmob will be happening here in our own backyard at the Matching Half Cafe on October 23rd from 3-6 pm. During these hours, Matching Half will commit a whopping 200% of their profit to making their business practices more sustainable. Yes, you read correctly: 200%!

This should look familiar...

For those of you who are unaware, a Carrotmob is one of the most effective tactics for helping a local business become more sustainable. The idea is really pretty simple: local businesses, traditionally of one type (we chose cafes), bid against each other to win the mob of people who stand ready to » Read more: Dust Off Your Carrot Costumes

PARK(ing) Day! but wait…SUNDAY STREETS

September 19th, 2010

Fell Street Parking Day (photo from Brendan Pierpont)

I can’t tell which to be more excited about: the fact that PARK(ing) Day was a marvelous success or that Sunday Streets will prove to be even better. Yesterday,  The Wigg Party and Fix Fell took over five parking spaces on the hazardous stretch of Fell Street to encourage the community to think about and hopefully question how we use our parking space.  I’m incredibly proud of our efforts to reclaim the street and demonstrate the power of re-imagening (or more literally repurposing) public space. I need not remind most of you that parking spaces are OUR space, government owned but people controlled. We created an environment where mere participation in sipping a cup of tea equaled civic-minded engagement and transit activism, where the act of reading a book re-carved the urban landscape. Reactions came in many shapes and sizes. but most fell into two camps: celebratory appreciation or smile-educing confusion.

I could keep up a cerebral and pedantic ramble about public imagination and guerrilla architecture, but I bet you’d rather look at some pictures.

Plenty of room for people, pups, and plants. (photo by Booka Alon)

My only regret is that in the haste of organizing and planning for PARK(ing) Day, I forgot to update our plans with SPUR/REBAR who had been under the impression that we were going to transform the parking spots into a two-way cycle track. Sorry for folks out there that we disappointed, but it just wasn’t feasible for such a short track of pavement.  Maybe next year we can take over all the spots from Scott to Baker.  (Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to?)

One community driven action at a time, our streets will be reclaimed. (photo by Brendan Pierpont)

You can check out more great photos on my flickr stream.  (One of these days The Wigg Party will get around to making one these neat things.)

And just so we all remember that public space reclamation isn’t ending any time soon, be sure to come out to the Sunday Streets Western Addition tomorrow from 10am to 3pm. The Wigg Party will be holding down Central and Hayes. Get more information and check out the route here.   And don’t forget to check out The Wigg Party parade through the Panhandle and ending where else but the unofficial after-party at the Sunshine Castle.

If you can’t ATTEND THESE EVENTS, I only ask that you SPREAD THE WORD. Preferably both. Many of the people I meet yesterday had not before heard of PARK(ing) Day.  Think how many more people you can reach.

THE GREATEST WEEKEND IN THE HISTORY OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

September 16th, 2010

We here at the Wigg Party have been hard at work over the last few months planning for some amazing events, and we wanted to give everyone a heads up regarding everything that’s about to go down this weekend.

PARK(ing) Day – 9/17 11:00 am – 5:30 pm

This guy wishes he had some tea. Photo courtesy of REBAR

First up is the internationally celebrated PARK(ing) Day, originally conceived by REBAR back in 2005. The event sprang from a simple realization: you can put something besides giant piles of steel, rubber, and petroleum in a parking space. On the third Friday of every September, thousands of people around the world get out into the streets to put the PARK in PARK(ing) spot. This year marks the Wigg Party’s first official participation and we’re teaming up with Fix Fell to produce SLOWdown: Free Tea and Chillout on Fell for PARK(ing) Day.

We are poised to claim 5 of the 6 parking spots on the south side of Fell Street between Scott and Divisadero. This is, of course, the beginning of the stretch of the Wiggle that calls out for a radical redesign in order to provide a safe passageway across town for bicyclists. We’re going to be showing you a little slice of what you can create when you understand that streets belong to people, not automobiles. Stop by anytime between 11 am and 5:30 pm for some tea (generously donated by Numi), hula hooping, lounging, conversating, and good old fashioned community making. Don’t forget that from 5:30-7:30 Fix Fell will be doing what they do every Friday – sticking it to the ARCO station on Fell and Divisadero. Yes, that very same ARCO station that is owned by BP and routinely causes unsafe bicycling conditions with their seemingly illiterate clientele who can’t figure out where they are supposed to wait for their atmospheric poisoning dead animal juice.

Sunday Streets – 9/19 10 am – 3 pm

The Route

After a day to recuperate and charge back up, we’ll be back at it Sunday morning for everybody’s favorite city sponsored event: Sunday Streets. Whoa doggy. » Read more: THE GREATEST WEEKEND IN THE HISTORY OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Upcoming Events Around the Wiggle

September 2nd, 2010

The fabulous season of short-lived sunshine is finally upon us and never too late as this month is jam-packed with amazing events to get you out doors, away from your computer or television, and having fun with your fellow community members.  The Wigg Party has put together a list of some of the best events this month and, trust us, cutting it down to five was no easy feat. Hope you can make it out to all of these wonderful events.  We’ll see you with our “wiggs” on!

Divisadero Art Walk | Thursday, September 2  from 5-9pm |  Most of you already know about this wonderful event.  Get drunk roaming up and down Divis (hint: there are also several shops off the beaten path) while you view local artists awesome work.  A variety of bars, restaurants, coffee houses and retailers will be offering promotional discounts throughout the evening.  In the past the party has flooded the street until the wee hours.  Now they want us to take it inside by 9pm.  If not as much fun, at least reasonable, since we don’t want to ruin the event for the nearby neighbors that suffer our quarterly sloshed revelry.  The recent update from those who organize the event reads:

We do ask that you enjoy yourselves responsibly,safely and with respect for the neighbors that live in the area. There will lots of lively art to enjoy, but at 9pm, we ask that you pick a spot, and head inside to finish your night. We want this event to continue to showcase the fantastic art and merchants of our street, and we need your help to keep our street clean of litter, and to keep the late night noise inside, and not impact our neighbors who have been so supportive of this fun event.

The Wigg Party Party | Thursday, September 9 from 7:30 – 11pm |  Many of you may have been following us on facebook or run into us at various community events.  Now is your chance to hear about all of the work that we’ve been up to and get involved yourself.  The Wigg Party Party is an SF-style blend of backyard community meeting and social networking event.  We gather at 7:30pm to network and socialize with friends and neighbors.  At 8pm we have a quick meeting to discuss Wigg Party and community happening.  Around 9pm we socialize again with drinks and lively conversation.  By 11pm we head out on foot and bike parade to chalk The Wiggle with our guerrilla art and tags.  The meeting happens as always at the Sunshine Castle (1571 Fulton Street @ Lyon).

Park(ing) DayFriday, September, 17  All Day |  Park(ing) Day is an annual experiment in the activism of reclaiming public space.  Groups such as Rebar, SPUR and other forward-thinking urban design groups encourage you to get out and occupy a metered car space.  Fill the meter with some change and create a park or garden installation.  Ideas range from the simple placement of chairs and potted plants to the more elaborate lawn games and design projects. For more general information visit the website.  You can register your local action as well as get information and useful tips at the Park(ing) Day DIY Network.  You can also learn more about how Park(ing) Day got started here in SF.  Not quite up to doing your own park installation but want to get involved, email clint@wiggparty.org.

Sunday Streets – Western Addition | Sunday, September 19  from 10am – 3pm | We’ve all been waiting for Sunday Streets to hit the Western Addition.  You see our count-down timer in the upper right on our webpage?  Any idea how excited we are? There will be open streets to bike, skate and walk through all the way from the Panhandle to Japantown.  View the full route here. The Wigg Party will be focusing our activities on the streets of Grove and Baker. We’ll have live music, cooking workshops, a bike maintenance booth, and art supplies for the little ones (as well as adults).  It’s too fun to miss, but it won’t happen on it’s own.  To make this event a success we need volunteers to run activity booths, entertain the crowds and make sure all goes according to plan.  We would love to have more bands, artists, cooks and volunteers for our booths. Email clint@wiggparty.org if you are interested in getting involved or can contribute supplies (bike tools, sound equipment, furniture, cooking equipment, craft supplies, etc.).

Tour de Fat | Saturday, September 25  from 11am – 5pm |  This year at the new location of Lindley Meadows in GG Park, the Tour de Fat is an SF biker’s surrealist dream come true.  Just check out photos from 2008.  The SFBC has a stellar record of throwing great events for cyclist all over the city, but this one is in collaboration with the New Belgium Brewing Company.  Come get your funky bike grove on and enjoy some wind powered microbrews.  Proceeds go to support the SFBC and the Bay Area Ridge Trails Council.  The morning will kick off with a parade through the park (ride at 10am, registration at 9am) and then the afternoon festivities at Lindley Meadows.  Knowing SFBC there will probably be an after party to wrap up a great day of biking.  Learn even more about the event on the SFBC event page.

Hope that is enough to keep you busy.  Let’s get out there and be the change – one community event at a time!