The street filled with all these happy men throwing up ropes that magically reappeared as a ladder.
I had never seen a tree get climbed. Not in real life. Maybe in picture books of kids who didn't look like anyone I knew. Those picture book trees looked like they had steps and the trees I grew up with were tall and thin and had no steps and they lived behind barriers that said don't walk on the grass and don't touch anything if you accidentally do walk on the grass.
The trees on the block I had lived on for 36 years always reminded me of the socialite ladies in New Yorker cartoons. Tall and elegant and certainly not to be climbed. These big guys just scampered up.
"What are you doing?"
"Looking for Asian Beetles."
"We are checking all the trees in New York City."
"All of them?"
"Yeah. We're almost done. It took five years."
The guys told me the trees I respectfully hadn't climbed for 36 years were called London Plane and the pretty ones that told me spring was here by their pink-white flowers were Ornamental Pear Trees.
All I could think was what a great job. What a great, great job.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.