New Yorkers may scoff at the ambitious sounding name for a new grassroots-driven park on Olympia's Westside, but many people today certainly felt like it could be that other Central Park, minus the mature trees.
Although hundreds of cars passed by the busy intersection of Harrison and Division, they were hardly noticed as people hung out for hours, visiting artisans, seeing old friends, making new friends and meeting neighbors. More than one person was heard to say that the just over half acre piece of land feels much bigger when you're standing in the middle of it.
Alicia Elliott, the visionary woman who recently bought the previously vacant lot for $450,000, is moving fast. With a team of dedicated volunteers, the space that almost became a 7-11 mini mart was today transformed into a bustling community scene of musicians, artisans, food vendors, picnic tables, flower planters, and yes, two conveniently placed portable toilets equipped with sinks at the far end of the lot.
And it's just the beginning. Park project volunteers anticipate and encourage future local events, including craft fairs, music, art and dance shows at the location, and just offering a place to visit with friends and meet neighbors.