Simulated Summer

The entrance to "Park Here."
The entrance to “Park Here.”

We have very little space in this city. So, looking at the unremarkable sandwich board, you’d think that it’s there to alert motorists to an underground parking lot.

But “Park Here” isn’t a garage. Behind those glass doors, which could easily be mistaken for an obscure storefront, is a zone of lingering summer in a city in the grip of winter.

The trunk of a full-size tree inside the indoor park.
The trunk of a full-size tree inside the indoor park.

A luscious, verdant space with Arcadian greenery, “Park Here,” is a simulation of a park that provides an easy, green escape from the chilly grayness. A few wooden benches offer perches to reminiscence or ruminate. One can even sit in the shade—artificially created by indoor lighting—of a story-high, hyperrealistic tree.

When I visit this place next, it’ll have reverted into a window display of chic ladies boots. It is, after all, only a faux park, something akin to the “holodeck” from “Star Trek”—a simulated reality facility that creates artificial environments, where the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise entered either to train or for recreation.

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