Last summer architect professor Hansy Better Barraza, 34, had an awesome idea. She noticed her neighbor's hammock and had a moment of hammock-envy. "I said: 'Oh my God, you know what's needed? A public hammock, a communal hammock for everyone to come together,'" she said.
In a synchronous moment later that day, she saw a tweet. The newly-formed The Awesome Foundation was offering $1,000 - the foundation's first grant ever - for an awesome idea. Since she'd already had one that day, she submitted her proposal for a public hammock. She was awarded the money, and after maneuvering through standard red tape, a 33-foot long woven net swing made with 4,278 feet of rope from recycled bottles has been installed at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Oliver Street in the new Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy of downtown Boston this week.
Barraza, a native of Columbia who teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and also has an architecture firm, has applied to Guinness World Records to have the hammock designated the world's largest portable. There will be a kick-off party for the hammock tomorrow on August 20.
And while she has permission to keep it up for two weeks, she would like to make it a gift to the city of Boston to make it a permanent addition to the city's leisure-time. She believes that it's a great way to promote conversation and relaxation in a city bustling with busy workers.
"It's a big hammock," says enthusiast Peter Evans, 24. "How could you go wrong?"
The Awesome Foundation started in Boston, but has grown to include chapters in Providence, New York City, San Francisco and London. It awards $1,000 grants every month for crazy brilliant ideas. If you're interested in starting a chapter in your city, check this out.
Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff