The Daily 750

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Dr. Park and the Park Whose Name We Dare Not Speak

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Who is this man and why is he smiling?

Park Medical CenterIt's Dr. Sunny Park, and he's smiling because he's bringing 50 family-wage, professional, skilled, long-term jobs to the Upper Left Edge in an addition to his five-year-old Park Medical Center. (The addition is the four-story building -- one floor is underground, for parking -- on the right-side of the rendering.)

The well-designed, professional office building, built of red brick with soaring entrances reminiscent of shoji screens, is the only building to add anything new to the architectural character of the town since, oh, 1925.

Imagine: providing professional jobs for local residents and increasing the tax base without dividing a community, ruining a town's character, its property values, its river, or its views.

The mayor was at the groundbreaking this afternoon.

"Why don't you come out against LNG?"

"I'm not against LNG."

"I know, but why don't you come out against it?"

"I'm all for it. I was just driving over the bridge today, looking over the bay and saying, 'We need some big white tanks over there.'"

I like the Mayor. I'm asking him to reconsider. The last big white things he favored were giant wedges of concrete that cost $80,000, filled in half a block down by the trolley and that someone thought made for a lovely park. The architect took a look at the finished product and died. Really. The mayor wanted to dig his own hole and fall in, too, after the public ridicule. I don't fault the Mayor for the park; the city needed artistic guidance and apparently didn't have or ask for any. I'm on the steering committee for a big public arts project and I absolutely need guidance from Those Who Know Better.

Now, about a year after it inspired death in its creator, the concrete wedges form The Park Whose Name We Dare Not Speak. Just when the _____ Park had become the setting for some interesting guerrilla art, a committee's been formed to change it into a Chinese commemoration park. I wish them more luck than the committee that was formed to move The Indian, resulting in a modern-day reenactment of The Battle of Little Big Horn: the committee has disbanded and The Indian stands firm.

But anyway, back to the good and enterprising Doctor: Hurrah! Dr. Park -- and his boss and wife and nurse, Mary, and their two great kids, Eugene and Ashley. Huzzahs!

The Park Family