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To the Editor:

With no knowledge of the controversy surrounding the AIDS Memorial at 7th Ave South and Greenwich Ave, nor the Rudin family’s involvement, I went to the unfinished park the other night. I don’t know if the stories of their minimal efforts to allow community input are true—but it would certainly seem they had little to no help from designers, historians or artists. The park is awful. It’s not even awful in some extreme, exciting way that would stir New Yorkers to argue or defend its merits for years to come. Instead, it is another example of what Manhattan is succumbing to: generic and unimaginative, it looks positively suburban. Granted it is not yet done (a monstrous origami-like shape has yet to land upon its tip), but already its featureless hills and bland walkways recall nothing so much as a dog park for humans. Lest anyone involved with the park read this and feel I am intentionally neglecting the key feature of its design, let me say that I have not forgotten the colored lights embedded in disco shapes in the ground. They are unforgettable. They were stunning. They stunned me. They stunned the group I was with. Just not in the way you had hoped…

 

—Eric Richard

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