Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Requiem for the Toy Tower

This morning I found some time to go over to the 6B Garden and watch the Tower of Toys be taken apart. It was an oddly hypnotic, elegant sight to see. Eddie Boros' sculpture, I am happy to say, did not go gentle into that good night. It resisted. Plank by plank, rusty nail by rusty nail, it fought back against the chainsaw and the cherry picker. A tangle of wood, wires, ropes, toys, and other junk, the tower, in its undoing, was perhaps just as regal as it was in its making.



The man with the chainsaw pulled on a hobby horse and the animal refused to budge. He tugged a board and was confounded. He placed a few strategic cuts, sending down a shower of golden sawdust. He tugged again. The sculpture resisted. He cut again. Withholding, restrained, the tower surrendered a few bits and pieces, which the man sent plummeting with a crash to the garden below.



Man and sculpture became--and it may be too sentimental to say so--like a pair of dancers, or boxers, moving from strike, to clutch, to separation. He tugged and the tower responded by twisting and swaying. He bumped and the tower shimmied. And like a tease, now and then, the tower relented, giving up a plank of wood, a silver ball, a string of Christmas lights, a bucket of water that tipped and cascaded down the length of the structure, foamy and brown.



Gradually, the tower gave in to the man's patient cajoling and coaxing. That little hobby horse that had at first resisted him, now seemed to leap into the man's hands. A lover to the end, he did not drop the horse. He lowered his cherry picker to the ground and gently, gently placed the toy upon a green bed of flowers.

Dare I say it? The tower has gone out the way it came in--with poetry and defiance and a fair share of beauty.

7 comments:

Marlie said...

This is a very sweet review

Mark said...

beautiful and fitting. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! I only moved here a year ago. On a disoriented ramble I stumbled across the 6B community garden and for the first time got a sense of how wonderful this city is. Now everytime I pass the sculpture it reminds me... What a shame to see it go...

ShatteredMonocle said...

Another good one. Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you were there to capture that moment. I was dreading the idea of the city taking it down, and you humanized it. It feels like a good death. Thank you.

JackSzwergold said...

The sculpture coming down really symbolizes what really saddens me about NYC nowadays. I think that without maintenance, yes the sculpture needs to come down. It makes sense and I can't ague against it. But there goes yet another unique "way of life" that someone forged out of this city's garbage. Who would ever carry on that tradition or have the time and energy nowadays? Some NYU MBA grad doing shots on Saint Marks?

That's what died. The "can do" spirit. And I never thought I'd ever say "can do" non-ironically ever.

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