Friday, June 06, 2008

Grow Your Soul: Share

Praises to Soul Fish Cafe and their very progressive attitude about parking.

Soul Fish Shares in Cooper-Young

Sharing helps optimize parking in Cooper-Young. This creates less pressure on everyone to have a proprietary parking lot. Less pressure is good for the district's other businesses and good for its space and architecture. The neighborhood texture is less likely to disappear in a cloud of parking-lot expired destruction. More density, energy and people -- customers -- in Cooper-Young, giving Soul Fish an attraction beyond its good food.

Contrast their sharing with the report of this Letter to the CA Editor:
I went to the Memphis Italian Festival on Friday, but as I pulled in to the Eastgate shopping center to park, as I have in past years, security guards ran me out. Have you ever seen this parking lot more than a quarter filled? I haven't, and over a three-day period, how much does it cost the shopping center's owners to pay for all that security, just to protect an empty parking lot?

Courtesy via the ever helpful Google, about quarter full might be right.

So they paid security guards, shunned patrons of a good cause and ignored those patrons' casual business (e.g., for this young man's employer, halfway between the Italian Festival and the parking lot), so they could stake a claim to their half-used asphalt heat sink.

Soul Fish's progressive welcome should be the vanguard for civic parking policy. "One business, one parking lot" development rips the texture and energy out of Memphis' districts and neighborhoods.

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Anonymous Jesse said...

Interesting thoughts--I hadn't ever considering sharing parking in that perspective before, and I find myself agreeing with you.

Your post sheds some light on the difference in this years' Italian Fest. My husband and I live a short distance from Marquette park, and the parking along our streets during the festival was probably tripled in what it was in years past. While we enjoy Italian Fest and the fun and people it brings to our area, it was difficult to even drive down the street this year. Broken beer bottles were everywhere and due to poor lighting, more than one person's car was broken into. Eastgate's stinginess was most likely the direct culprit for this problem. Hmmm...

3:39 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Totally with you on the Soul Fish spirit of cooperation. I live down the street and it makes me smile every time I drive by. Also makes me more likely to eat there (even though I can just walk). Three cheers for sharing!

11:36 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

Jesse, thanks for commenting.

Like the Cooper-Young Festival in my neighborhood, I would think some of the solution would have to be street parking as a festival like that becomes more popular. Perhaps the festival will have to work very closely with the neighborhood groups to make sure that they minimize problems (for instance, by policing the area for trash and crime, plus no glass beer bottles). I have to admit I've never been to the Festival, but it looks like a lot of fun. It would seem to be a great neighborhood amenity if the problems are not too big.

ginger, I don't think I've ever seen a parking sign as welcoming as that. 4 cheers for sharing!

11:30 PM  

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