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Event rings in the new year by shredding the old

Mon., Dec. 29, 2008, midnight

NEW YORK – Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Or maybe shredded?

In an event that organizers hope will become a New Year’s tradition, New Yorkers and tourists were invited to bring bad memories from 2008 to Times Square on Sunday and feed them to an industrial-strength shredder.

“This is the perfect way to move on from a bad year, from a bad experience,” said Kathryn Bonn, of New York City, who shredded a printout of her boyfriend’s e-mail breaking up with her.

The event, the second annual “Good Riddance Day,” was sponsored by the Times Square Alliance, organizers of the New Year’s Eve ball-dropping celebration.

Some participants wrote “the stock market” or “cancer” on a piece of paper and shredded it, while others shredded bags of bank statements and check stubs.

Kate Anello, a Yankees fan from New York City, destroyed a poster of the city’s longtime rival, the Boston Red Sox.

“I hate them,” she said. “It felt good.”

City resident Jay Ballesteros won a $250 prize for the most creative object to be shredded: a sock representing all the socks that emerge from the laundry without their mates.

“I’m hoping to use the prize to buy some brand new socks,” he said.



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