Looking at the Crazy Coleman Playground Flock House

Posted on: July 19th, 2012 at 6:07 am by
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Shortly before the Fourth, a self-sustaining spaceship landed in the southwest corner of Coleman Playground, behind the baseball field. While it certainly resembles something from outer space, it is in fact part of the ongoing Flock House project at play across the city. Dreamed up by forward-thinker Mary Mattingly, the initiative is essentially a roving response to global migration patterns, and acts as a “self-contained ecosystem.”

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The reality? It’s pretty much urban camping. We stopped by the corner of Cherry and Market Streets and chatted up with two of the current artists in residence. Here they stay, roughin’ it with the bare essentials. Inside the Flock House proper is a primitive shelving system, water pipework, and hammock for sleeping. Outside, meanwhile, is a see-saw-powered generator to provide electricity. No respite, however, from extreme heat or pouring rain.

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While the neighborhood homeless haven’t yet discovered this tiny oasis, the children in the park certainly have.  We understand that the allure of the Flock House is too great for them, and the interior was consequently torn asunder. Not to mention the huge rats scurrying beneath the structure late at night…

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