Backyard by Ben Babcock
In these modern times, overpopulated cities are not uncommon. Combined with a lack of space and a green green grass, it can sometimes seem like you're living in a concrete jungle with nothing green around. While public parks can do the trick, you're a lucky one if you can find one next to your office or condo. Most of us have no private place to sit with friends and just relax under the sky!
In New York, however, they've found a solution — kind of. A group that unites "brands and investors with creative ventures that shape and challenge the cultural landscape," called The Participation Agency, came up with an idea for downtown dwellers to experience suburban life. For a juicy price ($50/hour), you can rent an urban backyard! Of course, this doesn't seem very practical if you take into account the fact that there are eight million New Yorkers, but with the Timeshare Backyards concept, this idea has a chance.
Here's the plan: for fifty bucks, you get a decent grassy lot for an hour and an option to invite up to thirty friends. Want more? Then you have to go deeper in your pockets. For $100, you'll get a Slip 'n' Slide, while for a kiddie pool, you need to add $50 more. The same applies if you want to grill: you'll get a barbecue with the capacity to feed ten people. These are just some examples, of course; you can ask The Participation Agency for anything and they will arrange it… for a price. For example, you can have a local band play for you if you get a permit and pay $5000.
The first rental backyard is located on Ludlow Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side, an area some consider to be the city's hipster headquarters. The backyard was inaugurated on August 11th and remained in business until August 28th, and it was booked constantly for the whole summer. We'll see if this brave and somewhat crazy project will last long enough to celebrate its first birthday!