I hate to say it, but the recently dedicated AIDS Memorial in Greenwich Village, which sits across the street from where St. Vincent's Hospital used to be, looks like the outdoor garden center attached to a suburban K-Mart. And where it's situated, off busy Seventh Ave., doesn't offer a very contemplative atmosphere. Furthermore, a soothing quotation engraved in the walking area is so lengthy that I doubt many will take the time to read it, especially since reading will likely be interrupted by other visitors walking over it. Names engraved on a low wall aren't those who died of AIDS but, rather, those who donated funds, a tacky feature for a memorial. Lastly, I found it disconcerting that three days after a recent snowstorm, snow/ice still hadn't been cleared from the area, making it impossible to read the inspirational quote (you would think that arrangements would have been made for this type of upkeep.)
I get it that the site was considered ideal for paying tribute to St. Vincent's since it was the focal point of the AIDS crisis in New York and one of the first hospitals to offer a dedicated AIDS wards. However, I would have hoped for something more magisterial than a structure that resembles a not very sturdy looking mini-Oculus (lower Manhattan's new transportation and shopping hub).
Meanwhile, a more stately and understated memorial is situated in a lovely, more secluded setting along the river in Hudson River Park at Bank Street. Dedicated in 2008, it went largely unrecognized during the hubbub surrounding the planning of the newer memorial. (And it cost considerably less.). I find this site much more conducive to thinking about friends and loved ones lost to AIDS.