Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yuletide is a bit different across the river

My holiday senses are a bit heightened since I work smack dab in the middle of the global urban Christmas bull’s-eye. Not only are the streets teeming with wide eyed tourists but every building, both retail and corporate, are trimmed to the gills with garlands, twinkle lights, and anything else that transforms me from Jewish to Yule-ish.

Now the down side to this over exposure to extreme holiday decorations is that my critical eye has been working overtime in my poor hamlet just over the East River.

I’ve lived in my outer borough for twelve years and I have never taken notice of the pathetic attempt to decorate the city center with holiday cheer but now every time I leave my apartment I am bombarded by the sights of a chamber of commerce gone awry. Earlier this week I took notice of our town’s “tree”, not to be confused by “THE TREE” that sores over mid-town just yards from my office front door. No this is just "a" tree, specifically a tree that could be cast in the live stage version of A Charlie Brown Christmas. This poor little tree was recently planted to replace our old tree that finally kacked out after years inhaling exhaust from the nearby bus stop, however it is not quite ready for prime time (see photo – I have outlined the tree for easier viewing). This sapling is barely pushing 4 feet tall so to add spectacle the “Woodside on the Move” team duct taped a stick to the pinnacle so as to extend the height by about 2 extra feet. Atop this stick a star was affixed however due to either the wet weather or the weight of the star the poor tree began to gently sag to the right bending the trunk into the shape of an upside-down U (yes JUST like the Charlie Brown tree) leaving the star to point Due West instead of North. Maybe the 3 Kings are on their way to Jackson Heights? To counter act the pull of the earth’s gravitational forces the decorating team returned and strung lines of Christmas lights from the star to the opposite side of the tree then fastened them into the soft earth at the base. This “tenting” technique has helped and today I noticed that the star is pointing North West ward – more towards LaGuardia Airport than Flushing.

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