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Shredder offers good riddance to ’09

Forget New Year’s resolutions, scores of New Yorkers came to Times Square on to put their bad memories through the shredder at the third annual Good Riddance Day.


Ben Winnick, of Connecticut, shredded a newspaper story about the New York Giants’ 41-9 loss on Sunday to the Carolina Panthers, which ended the Giants’ playoff hopes.

“Hopefully, next season will be better,” he said.

Roxanne Rodriguez of Manhattan shredded a piece of paper with “Writer’s block” written on it. She intends to buckle down and write a musical.

“This is going to be the year I’m going to be dedicated and focused and I will get something down on the page every day,” she promised.

12 year-old prize winner

The winner of a $250 prize for most creative item shredded was 12-year-old Alissa Yankelevits of Los Angeles, who is visiting her grandparents in New York. She shredded the memory of a counsellor on a school trip who was later featured on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”

“I just spent a week with him,” Alissa said. “It was really terrifying because I just found that out.”

Good Riddance Day was organised by the Times Square Alliance as part of the build-up to Thursday’s ball-drop celebration.

Participants lined up near the booth where discount theatre tickets are sold and pitched their bad memories into an industrial-sized shredder. A Dumpster and a sledgehammer were available for items that couldn’t be shredded, which included an old computer and a tin of fattening office snacks.

Some shredded reams of bills and correspondence while others sought to banish the memory of former boyfriends and girlfriends.

Gillian Lyons broke up with a man she calls “the Beastmaster” and said she’s been waiting for him to return her possessions for two years. “He won’t give me back the TV I paid for,” she complained.