Canal Park, a Parks Department project started in 2003, will be opened today in a dedication ceremony. There had been a park there in the late 1800s, later redesigned by Calvert Vaux and Samuel Parsons Jr., but it was "removed" in order to build the Holland Tunnel. The NY Times says that the land was once a garbage truck parking lot, but tonight, after the dedication, there will be a concert with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. The more interesting part of the NY Times article is that community leaders Carole De Saram, Richard Barrett and Jana Haimsohn were the ones who spearheaded the restoration effort: They researched and found that there really was a park there (the city didn't believe them and wanted proof), and ended up suing "sued the federal, state and city governments, contending that removal of the park had been illegal because no one had obtained the State Legislature's approval." That's is some love for the community.

The Park Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe says that in spite of its odd location, right near the Holland Tunnel, in the middle of congestion, "You'd be surprised how a piece of greenery can be a sort of psychic oasis despite traffic rushing around you." The park will be a perfect place for performance art - tons of people will see as they leave and arrive.

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