Late last week, I watched two workmen stringing lights on the Christmas tree in Copley Square, near Trinity Church. It's a fabulous tree but it leans rather drunkenly to one side. You can sort of see it in the photo but branches obscure the trunk; in person, I could tell it was listing several degrees to the left. As I watched, I found myself leaning slightly in that direction to straighten things out.
One of the workmen came over and asked me if I thought they they were doing a good job. I told him the lights looked nice but the tree was crooked.
He said, "We didn't put the tree up. We only do lights. We do them every year. This year, they brought some guys in from Italy to put up this tree. They came all the way from Pisa, those guys...."
Well, at least we were on the same page Then the other man lowered his cherry picker and came over, and together we praised the quality of the tree. They explained that it is a local tree, cut down just days ago from a building site. Most Christmas trees of all sizes come to Massachusetts from Canada, where they get cut weeks earlier. Most trees aren't fresh by the time they arrive. The three of us agreed that it was a much better, taller, bushier tree than in past years. I came away with the impression that someone was coming back to straighten the tree. I will check on it soon.*
The Christmas trees in that location tend to fall over from the fierce winds that blow through the Copley Square because of the John Hancock Tower** next door. I hope this one is spared that indignity.
*Update. It's been a week now, and the tree looks more crooked than ever. I'll try to take more photos when it's lit.
**We're not supposed to call it that anymore but everyone does. The John Hancock Insurance people want us to call it something else — I forget what — since they sold the building and plan to eventually build yet a third John Hancock Tower. We already have two — there's an "Old John Hancock Tower," too. It would make sense to call the glass I.M. Pei skyscraper the Non Hancock Tower. But I think Bostonians have collectively decided that it's going to remain "the Hancock" in perpetuity. If you are going to leave your old buildings sitting around in our neighborhood, we are entitled to call them whatever we want.