Spring comes early at ‘pop-up’ NYC park

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New York’s temporary urban garden may go away, but the location will continue to host various vendors.

In August, Jay-Z and Kanye West used Openhouse Gallery for the rollout of their “Watch the Throne” album. When Jay-Z tweeted “201 Mulberry Street, NYC,” thousands of people swarmed outside for a sighting, and the block was closed to traffic.

Since its inception four years ago, Openhouse Gallery has created installations for high-end clients such as the auto manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, a group of Italian leather tanneries and Google. Other setups involved skating and stadium seating for World Cup soccer viewing.

“It’s .2 acres with so much positive energy,” Mr. Daou said.

Each installation provides work for small businesses - for instance, a New York-based foliage company and companies that created artificial scents and lighting that transformed 201 Mulberry into a park in three days.

The garden is free to the public and open from noon to 8 p.m. daily.

The rest of the year, clients pay $4,000 to $8,000 a day for the venue.

It was the only warm, parklike space one family found for outings with their baby in winter.

“This is a great alternative when it’s cold or raining,” attorney Vida Cave said as she watched 6-month-old Caspian crawling on a round picnic blanket while she and her husband sat on a nearby bench.

“The baby loves watching toddlers here,” she said.

For parents, there are food and drink vendors, plus Wi-Fi and a music playlist.

In the dead of winter, Park Here has something Central Park doesn’t: In addition to natural light from skylights, there’s artificial illumination for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

A big Valentine's Day bash is planned before it all folds on Feb. 15.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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