Read no farther if you don’t like the Bronx, or dogs, or people, or trees. I’m moving on as an arborist to sites elsewhere in New York City, but thanks for the memories, Grand Concourse:
Six miles of walking a day (sometimes just after dawn). It’s a good thing when your legs hurt.
Graffiti – note “FUN” hovering above it all.
Slobbering pit bulls. Their drool is a magic elixir, you know.
The antenna-powered car. Can’t get a pic of the owner, too skeevy—but he can usually be found trading in his cans at the recycling center.
Winston the kitten, whom I’ve watched grow from a month old into a teenager. I recently saw him scale the honey locust outside the bodega where he’s being groomed to guard again rodents.
At that bodega, the one where I get coconut water and iced coffee, the women who greet me as Mami and make my day.
Also there, mouth-watering chop cheese sandwiches, kind of like an exploded cheeseburger with everything on it.
The skinny new trees. Let’s hope they make it.
Reed, my arborist coworker, who reports on the plant installation in the medians, and informed me that 150 of the perennials planted in the past month have been stolen. I believe he was a religion major in college.
Although I appreciate that residents might want greenery in their apartments…grasses?
The gracious old trees.
Let’s not forget what I’m here for: making sure trees are preserved during a construction project.
The women who are flaggers, who keep everybody safe. When they’re not loudly admonishing a car to slow down they’re sweet as can be.
The engineers on the site, especially Soheil, who is kind and inquisitive and has glowing green-blue-grey eyes, from Urma to NYC via Texas A&M.
These men are a constant inspiration as they hoist and hustle day after day, with very little goldbricking, though if they slack off once in a while, leaning on their shovels, the break is well deserved.
Jimmy, the god of tree guards.
The time the city sent some people around to actually pick trash out of the tree pits.
The life force of nature in the city.
Fruit stands. This neighborhood knows how to eat.
Mannikins. Tight, tighter, tightest.
Even the trash is memorable. Several people came up to my parked vehicle wanting to salvage the stuff under the wheel. Perfectly good wrapping paper, and Christmas on the way!
On the other hand, a fairy tale princess costume just tossed away.
A discarded scale. Someone might have gotten tired of weighing themselves after all those heavy meals at La Estrella Restaurant.
I won’t miss scooters. The constant threat to my life as they motor down the sidewalk is one thing I’ll be glad to leave behind.
On the other hand out on the sidewalk there is the scent of oranges freshly peeled.
This smiling face at the vintage movie theater every single morning.
Always front and center, the job of making sure roots don’t get mangled. And I think I succeeded for the most part.
Cows’ feet the size of bowling pins in a butcher case.
Every morning, the warmth of parents walking their little ‘uns (Maud-speak) to school.
So, with the glory of the Grand Concourse in the rearview, I am off for further adventures. I’ll be sure to tell all about them here. With photos.
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