Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Sad Trees of Columbia Pike

Someone spray-painted a frowning face on nearly 30 trees along Columbia Pike*. I have so many questions.

Is this street art? Graffiti? A gang sign? An angry arborist? A statement on global warming? A commentary on local environmental efforts? A protest against the Missing Middle? Were the trees angry all along, and some generous citizen just gave them a voice? Or is this what happens when a group of bored teens get their hands on some white spray paint?

While painting a single tree is low effort, when you count up the number of trees involved and the consistency of each face, it becomes a relatively significant undertaking. Each tree appears to have only one face, and the light poles and other nearby infrastructure were spared. This, combined with years of watching CSI, suggests organized behavior.

So while the obvious culprit is bored teens, it could be more profound. Or more likely, I just want it to be more profound. After all, I do have a habit of seeing street art where others see public defacement of property.

Here are more examples of the trees that now scowl at us from along the Pike. Sorry, trees, we'll try harder.

*Columbia Pike is a street in Arlington, Virginia, and has been since around 1810.

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