Monday, November 23, 2009

E.A.S.T. is for cake

We're back! With more tales of E.A.S.T. and an unprecedented rate of blogging, previously unseen on the Garden Posse blog. It's because we feel inspired by the creative energy mentioned in the last piece, and because we met someone who actually reads this blog! Our readers are a silent bunch. That's okay, but don't be afraid to mention your presence in the comments. We'd love to hear from you.

Okay, so on to dessert.

The Garden Posse is not the only game in town when it comes to taking guerrilla-style action in public spaces. The Waller Creek is for Lovers Action and Adventure Society is taking on a very specific piece of public land. Unsurprisingly, that piece of land is Waller Creek, running through downtown. The area - that in parts, is the definition of neglected public space - is slated for large-scale redevelopment, aimed to transform the unassuming creek into a San Antonio style riverwalk.

The Waller Creek is for Lovers Action and Adventure Society, a project of Public Workshop, wants to get people involved in thinking about what this opportunity for new public space could be for them, personally. I admit, I'm guilty of ignoring and deriding redevelopment projects as an unnecessary city expenditure which is bound to inconvenience me during its planning and construction. I hadn't thought about how I could someday enjoy it. And I definitely hadn't thought about how I could be a part of imagining it as something new.

Not until I experienced Waller Creek made out of cake.

Alex, the founder of Public Workshop, said the idea came to him in a brainstorming session. A 6ft long topographical model of Waller Creek made out of cake must have hit his mind like a lightning bolt of sugar. A member of the group spent Saturday baking cake after cake, and on Sunday the cake map was assembled in front of the HOPE Farmer's Market entrance on 5th & Waller. There was frosting, chocolate rocks, sprinkles, and many more sugary topographical features. There were also stickers that asked participants to write what Waller Creek was for. I wrote, turtles.

It took about two hours to construct the cake from start to finish, during which time I met many cool people and stole some frosting on my fingers. At the end, there was cake eating. Lots and lots of it. The Waller Creek is for... estimates that at least 100 people took part in the cake eating. You can read their version of the event on their blog.

After witnessing the Waller Creek cake, my mind has snapped open to the ingenious idea of combining baking with community action. It is no secret that the Garden Posse loves to bake, and so I've spent the past few days thinking: How can we bake a guerrilla garden? Or can we guerrilla bake? What would guerrilla baking mean? If we made a garden out of vegetable shaped cookies on a base of brownies, how long would it last? I must know.

It was wonderful to meet all the inspired people behind the Waller Creek... Action and Adventure Society. Perhaps a collaboration lies in our future? Ah, the magic of E.A.S.T.

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