A few days later, a stenciled Lorax-esque graffito appeared on the surface of the stumps: “i am kingston.” And then came the plywood tree.
Just a two-by-four with two dozen crudely made plywood branches glued to it, planted in a hand-cut notch in the stump, and stabilized by three thin wires that appeared one morning. No paint, no varnish, no leaves, and no lights.
And yet. And yet, a grace note on a street full of stumps.
In music, a grace note is a kind of ornamental addition to the main note, playing off the main but stealing part of the time allotted for its own purposes, the accent often startling. On Wall Street, while we wait for new trees, or fewer trees, or no trees—whatever clangorous tune the city chooses to play, this grace note lingers, longer than expected.