Monday, August 30, 2010

Day #15 - Way off topic

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Today's post is so off topic it isn't even funny...but I stumbled upon a inspirational neighborhood event this weekend right up the street. A group of neighbors got together, applied for a neighborhood matching grant, acquired all the necessary permits and painted a gorgeous turtle on the intersection of 41st and Interlaken in Wallingford. I was on my way out the door for a run and stopped by and painted for a while. Maria and Dan joined me for a bit (Maria liked the bright colors and the commotion of kids running everywhere.)

Anyway, if there is a point to this story, it is that the original idea to do this was prompted by a little girl seeing the "ladybug" farther north in the neighborhood and asking her Dad if they could paint a turtle at the intersection of her house. A neighbor of the family was excited about the idea and took up the charge. This past weekend, I randomly met great neighbors and was inspired at the amount of work relative strangers could accomplish in a small amount of time... all of which was begun by the idea of a little girl.

So, the next time you feel like a project won't happen, just remember that turtles can be painted in an intersection within a weekends time (during an economic downturn) and it makes people happy - really happy actually. I know it is "just a turtle", but in Seattle (a city well known for tons of permits, process etc.) this is actually no small feat!

I shouldn't admit this (especially as a future landscape architect!) but I sometimes doubt the relevance of public art/installations in times when people need food, education and shelter. However, although most of the people participating owned million dollar homes, a few of us didn't. One person (pretty well known in the hood) most likely doesn't even have a home and he came by for the event and seemed to have a good time as well.

Bottom line, if it took a turle to get to know each other at the cost of $1200 of neighborhood matching grant funds, so be it. In my humble opinion, it was money very well spent and will likely result in people taking care of each other on a more individual basis as far as food, education and shelter. Now people know each other, there is a common bond and an event to look forward to next summer (ie. turtle painting touch ups).

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