Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weight Bearing Elements

The city stands on its trees. In early spring when the stick straight bareness begins to pubesce and bulb the buildings lose their winter prominence.  The bricks still stack all the way up to the sky, but their middles are missing, replaced by freshly minted leaves.  Brown grey branches end in elegant pink and white tips. Old bikes cannibalized down to their naughty bits lay chained to iron skirted guards, like the last reminders of winter's inhuman appetite.  The skeletons of conquistadors lay wrapped in strangling vines, speared by tall grass a mere mile shy of the fountain of youth. 

How many people can pass the same tree and have different thoughts? Shel Silverstein aside, what are the trees of New York?  The New Jersey wetlands do more to scrub the air in New York City than all of Bloomberg's million trees ever will.  The trees are under control.  Frederick Law Olmsted planted Central Park with the idea of a romantic garden in mind.  The trees were planted purposefully askance.  The grid gone spaghetti soft.
The trees break the sidewalk. The trees count your steps. Your stride fits between trees. The trees seldom show ill-use, outside of the occasional restaurant permanently celebrating Christmas with a wending choke of white lights plugged in year-round or sycamore trunk bearing a purple graffitied initial. 

The trees give your dog directions.  The trees hold scarves, hats and pilates balls. They get shaggy with blossoms, perfume bloated to over-ripeness.  They mark the seasons and track the sun.  They bend around corners and flick you the bird.  They hold onto rain showers and continue to drip for hours after.   

Treehuggers and treefuckers (and bear fuckers) beware: New York City's trees bear the weight of the whole hag-ridden Western world.  

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