Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Prefigurative Park Services: Call for Proposals

This should be of interest to friends of the Temporary Travel Office!


In response to the upcoming centennial of the U.S. National Park Service (2016) and the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System (2018), Prefigurative Park Services is seeking proposals for new parks and trails, broadly defined, which contribute to its core mission of preserving political possibility and connecting otherwise. PPS is interested in projects that both interrogate the historical meanings of parks and trails and re-imagine their spatial forms, social processes, and emancipatory functions in the twenty-first century, particularly in relation to unfolding ecological and economic crises.

The final form(s) of the larger PPS project as well as the individual contributions remains undetermined and very open. We anticipate a heterogeneous mix of conceptual design proposals, essays, interviews, drawings, maps, tours, audio/video/photo essays, etc. Feel free to contact PPS if you would like to discuss potential forms prior to the deadline. Our goal is to compile these proposals and responses into forms that can be distributed and exhibited for multiple audiences: a comprehensive website; a series of posters that can be printed and exhibited; a guide book containing the proposals along with critical/creative writing on parks and trails.


Who can contribute? Anyone. Artists, geographers, historians, park enthusiasts, park detractors, thru-hikers, day hikers, writers, activists, educators, youth groups, designers, architects, landscape architects, etc. Send us a proposal and let’s talk.

How & When?

Proposals should not exceed 1000 words. Maps and images (drawings, photographs, pictures of models) are encouraged. Please submit your proposals to prefigurativeparkservices[AT]gmail[DOT]com. The deadline for proposals is May 1, 2015, although we recommend you be in touch as soon as possible if you plan to submit a proposal. The tentative deadline for final projects is January 15, 2016.
More at the PPS website

Monday, July 29, 2013

Becoming Movable: A Motif-Rhythm Tour of Property

Becoming Movable

Becoming Movable is a virtual tour of that artifact, focusing on its how its existence tells a story about the creation of property and the uneven development of cities.
It was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2013 as part of their "Artists Respond" series, in which artists create digital projects in response to an exhibit or object in the museum's collection. The Travel Office chose to focus on a fireplace mantel that originated in a historic home in a Chicago west side neighborhood--East Garfield Park.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Embassy to the Riparian City of the Doan Brook Watershed Update

Riparian City flag along Doan Brook

Our Temporary Embassy to the Riparian City of the Doan Brook Watershed is now residing at the Salon des Refusés at 1387 East Boulevard, Cleveland, thanks to the wonderful Julie Patton! Read a fantastic history and description of the Salon by Julie at the About Place Journal.
We're honored that the embassy continues to have a home, especially there.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stories in Reserve: Volume One Now only $10

We still have copies of Stories in Reserve Volume One that we'd like to get out into the world, so if you'd like our first hardcopy guide book, you can now get it for only $10! You can buy directly from us (via Paypal) or through our friends at Half Letter Press.

Stories in Reserve is our answer to the Lonely Planet series of guide books. Volume One is a full-color, 36 page book + 3 audio CDs featuring three audio tours of the territory known as North America.
Tours include:
Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga guides us into Tijuana and finds one example of transnational commerce in a rather unexpected place—a dentist's chair.
Sarah Kanouse takes us to a Superfund- classified National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Illinois.
Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel & Sarah Ross walk us around Vancouver's False Creek, the site of two global mega-events.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Storing utopia is getting expensive in Hong Kong

This story from the LA Times presents a stark depiction of the relationship between speculative real estate, parking and inequality.
‎Parking space transactions in November rose more than five-fold compared with a year earlier at 1,640, according to Centaline, one of the largest real estate firms in Hong Kong. The average price of each space sold was $92,307, up 20% from a year earlier... The lofty prices paid for parking berths are unthinkable for working-class Hong Kong residents — many of whom are finding their city painfully unaffordable. The city's wealth gap is now at a 30-year high... 'People go crazy living in such a small place,' said Lee, a 26-year-old bakery employee, who pays $192 a month for the room — which is about half the size of a typical parking space.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Parking Not-So-Public

One of our series of guided tours of surface parking lots focuses on the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. It's home to the cubs, out-of-control drunk people, and some pretty interesting parking lore (the local towing company angered Steve Goodman enough that he wrote a song about them). Part of our tour focused on the notorious 2008 Chicago Meter Parking Deal, where the city of Chicago leased all of its street parking operations to a private consortium (Chicago Parking Meters, LLC).
"The Deal" was riddled with questionable ethics, covered fantastically by the Expired Meter Blog and the Chicago Reader—Mayor Daley now works for the New York law firm that negotiated the deal between the parking consortium (led by Morgan Stanley). It has recently come back into the news following bills that the parking meter consortium has sent to the city, totaling $27 million. According to the Sun Times:

The $14 million bill stems from parking revenues the meter company says it lost when the city took meters out of service last year because of street repairs, festivals and other city-sponsored activities, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
This is the second time in a year that the company has hit City Hall with a claim for a big parking tab. The Emanuel administration already is in arbitration over a $13.5 million claim over free parking that Chicago Parking Meters says it provided to people displaying disabled-parking placards or license plates in 2010.
That makes the total disputed amount more than $27 million.
This situation is enough to make someone build a giant Jabba the Hut sculpture out of parking machine receipts.