Play music and cook at carpark spots

The Ukulele Assemble organises monthly jamming sessions to play the instrument together, and will be participating in Park(ing) Day on Sept 18.
The Ukulele Assemble organises monthly jamming sessions to play the instrument together, and will be participating in Park(ing) Day on Sept 18.PHOTO: THE UKULELE ASSEMBLE
#SgEatWithUs is a movement encouraging people to bond over home-cooked meals, such as at a carnival they participated in at Orto, formerly known as Bottle Tree Park.
#SgEatWithUs is a movement encouraging people to bond over home-cooked meals, such as at a carnival they participated in at Orto, formerly known as Bottle Tree Park.PHOTO: #SGEATWITHUS

Park(ing) Day returns on Sept 18, with keen interest from first-time participants

It might be a little harder to find a parking spot on Sept 18 but it will be easier to find a "pop-up" space to learn a new skill, including trying your hand at playing the ukulele or cooking a new dish.

A number of carparks across the island will be transformed into temporary "parks" to celebrate the international movement called Park(ing) Day.

This is the second year that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing Board (HDB) are organising this to challenge existing notions of city space.

Park(ing) Day began in San Francisco in 2005, when an art and design studio converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park. It has since blossomed into a worldwide movement.

Last year, some 88 parking spaces here were taken over by community groups, local businesses and individuals. The URA said that this year there is no limit to how many of its 10,000 coupon-paid parking spaces will be up for use. The carparks will be in the Central Business District, Kampong Glam and Tiong Bahru, among other areas.

This is the second year that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing Board (HDB) are organising this to challenge existing notions of city space.

Park(ing) Day began in San Francisco in 2005, when an art and design studio converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park. It has since blossomed into a worldwide movement.

While URA did not want to reveal the number of applications it has received so far, it said that about 80 per cent of those who have registered are first-timers.

Among the new participants is The Ukulele Assemble, which hopes to engage and bring people together through music. It will provide three ukuleles and instruments such as the cajon and tambourine for public use.

The group will be stationed outside Kampong Glam Cafe in Bussorah Street from 7.30pm to 9pm.

"The ukulele is an instrument that you can just pick up and strum," said the group's founder Cheryl Beh, 36, adding that it is possible to pick up a song in less than an hour.

Another musical project that visitors can take part in is at a spot called "Play it Forward", initiated by arts manager Jean Hair, 31.

Two donated pianos, refurbished by local artists and designers, will sit in the courtyard of Aliwal Arts Centre from noon to 10pm on Park(ing) Day. They will remain there over the weekend.

Ms Hair hopes that this will attract piano enthusiasts and those who have learnt the instrument but have given it up over the years due to other commitments

The #SgEatWithUs group, which will be at Telok Ayer Street, will use home-cooked food as a recipe to bring people together .

There will be at least three home-cooks demonstrating their recipes and cooking stations for members of the public to whip up something on the spot.

"We want to encourage people to cook at home," said a co-founder of the group, Ms Lee Li Theng, 36.

Registration closes on Sept 14, and interested parties can register at the URA website, www.ura.gov.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2015, with the headline 'Play music and cook at carpark spots'. Print Edition | Subscribe