From today’s New York Times:
THE MINETTA PLAYGROUND, along Avenue of the Americas from Minetta Lane to Third Street, opened in 1935, and the play equipment looked that old. The colorful plastic furniture that the adjacent McDonald’s installed in the mid-1990s was boarded up and just plain tacky looking.
It really began to irk Jon Mudder, owner and head chef at Bellavitae, a nearby restaurant, and one day he raised the issue with a regular customer — the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn. Ms. Quinn told him he was not alone. The city is beginning a $1.5 million renovation of the park on Monday. It is scheduled for completion by next summer. Ms. Quinn said by phone on Thursday, “I was glad he mentioned it because it had long bothered me — it looked like a Habitrail,” a hamster habitat.