Yesterday we noted, thanks to New York Shitty and the L Magazine, that there was a Christmas tree “growing” in Brooklyn. Made of PBRs implanted in a tree-shape in the McCarren Park fence at Bedford and North 12th, plus red and green painted sneakers, a star made of Metrocards, plastic bags, tinsel, and other found items, the tree was immediately dubbed the “Hipster Christmas Tree,” partly because of the PBR, partly because of its location, and partly because the word hipster is bandied about like a pair of sweat socks at a Dirty Christmas party.
Julian Cole, a 26-year-old Australia native who’s lived in Williamsburg for about 6 months and works a day job in advertising, is the creator of the tree. He says, for one, it is not a hipster Christmas tree. But he’s open to interpretations: “I tried to make it the Brooklyn Christmas Tree, not the Hipster Christmas Tree; however, I am happy for everyone to have their own take on the work.”
Since the pictures we posted yesterday, he’s updated and added to the maybe 12-foot-high tree. He sent us some new photos, and said the inspiration for the idea came from thinking about shoes on wires, but with more of a holiday vibe: “I saw so many Christmas decorations, and I thought about what I could make out of found materials around Brooklyn. I decided to do something lighthearted and fun and make it a Brooklyn Christmas tree.”
It took him about 6 hours. Most of Cole’s materials were found, though some — tinsel and green backing — were acquired from a discount store. Several area bars, and bottle collectors, donated PBR cans to the effort (Cole did not drink them all, he says).
Is the Brooklyn Christmas tree is better than, say, the Rockefeller Center tree?
“I think it’s better for Brooklyn,” Cole says. “It’s a bit more gritty. It’s not like Manhattan, where everything’s prim and proper. It’s more me.”
He hopes people will add to the display “as they see fit.” Get your photo taken with it before some grinchlike person pulls it down!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 13, 2011