Thursday, June 17, 2010
Conflicted about the Friends of Rittenhouse Square
The park itself is pretty spiffy, and I gather that one of the reasons for that spiffiness is a group called the Friends of Rittenhouse Square. The city doesn't -- or won't -- spend all the money needed to keep the park in top condition, the greens manicured and the fountain running, so the private group raises the rest of the money needed to keep the place in shape to welcome that diverse range of humanity.
I appreciate their efforts. Really I do. But.
I'm also conflicted about the fact that the Friends of Rittenhouse Square have basically shut down the center of the park this week -- made it off limits to me, and to my son, and to everybody else -- so that they can do their fund-raising with a black-tie gala tonight.
Rittenhouse Square is a public space. It was created for the use and enjoyment of all Philadelphians. But for a couple of days every summer, those of us who can't afford to attend black-tie galas are reminded that it's not really our park -- it belongs to our betters.