An Open Letter to Rome's Mayor and the Parks & Gardens Dept. and maybe, if he reads my blog, the ever-provocative Vittorio Sgarbi, who may appreciate this forthcoming proposal:
This year, as we celebrate Christmas, I remember all those who have fallen. After all, it is the 1 yr. anniversary of my beloved 5 story high pine tree -- the very symbol of Christmas -- cut down in the prime of its life. Along with it, we are reminded each day (just by leaving the house) of the thousands of others who gave their lives for no apparent reason other than to make room for parking spots and to enrich the sub-contractors who get paid per tree they saw down. Incredibly, they're contracts obviously do not stipulate trunk and root removal.
Their time on this earth was marked by the number of rings in their stumps. In their passing, we can gaze on those very rings still, if you can find them from underneath the trash at their centers. In reality, one can see that the Dept of Parks & Gardens is totally avantgarde: They have embellished an entire concrete metropolis with 100% ecological trash and ashtray bins. Too bad they neglected to inform the Garbage Dept. (Rome's AMA) about their brilliant installations. And so the trash is simply piled up on top of these mini-petrified forests.
I've always felt that these wooden half-columns were a sort of artistic repurposing of the Ancient Forum concept. If you stop and think of it, we have entire arcades of them -- with a little imagination you need not even pay a ticket to the Forum -- just look out down the once-tree lined streets of Rome and imagine how life once was when the streets bristled with activity under shaded umbrella pines, rather than melting in the summer heat.
But then I've found someone with an even better idea. Put in place in New York and called The Stump Project, this artist has created artworks and seating covers from the tree stumps left behind.
Please, Sig. Sindaco, could you hire her in my neighborhood? Or better yet, do what Italians do best, and just copy her idea while giving the commission to your young amante.