Lamar Anderson is a San Francisco–based freelance writer. Her work has appeared in Architectural Record, ARTnews, the Hairpin, and Salon.
Cardio bikes, swing seats and foosball.
To understand a city’s character, look no further than its parklets (which, as you know by now, are those mini–urban parks that replace parking spots with public amenities). San Francisco will never say no to a potential hack—witness Rebar’s awesome but ill-fated parklet made from a sliced Citroën cycling van—and Los Angeles will turn just about anything into a workout. With the opening last week of two new parklets on Spring Street in downtown L.A., passersby who regret downing that entire venti mochaccino can hop on one of the parklets’ two exercise bikes and people-watch while squeezing in a few minutes of cardio. Their bored companions can try a hand at the foosball table or just text from one of the nifty swing-style seats. Sure beats idling in a car! Read more.
The new parklets are an initiative of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Complete Streets Working Group, which collaborated with city council, city planners, the local business improvement district, and AHBE Landscape Architects to transform two parking spots into a mini-playground for pedestrians. With some pro-bono help from Hensel Phelps, these urban patios warm up the streetscape with wood deck tiles, modular pavers, perforated-steel guardrails, and custom wood planters.
Despite the athletic theme, the parklets do invite a certain kind of laziness we find irresistible. Why bike to the gym when you can just bike to the stationary bike instead?
If you’re in LA, you can see the parklets in action tonight at the Downtown LA Art Walk.
All photos courtesy of Christine Kim/Secret Agent PR
This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.