View this post on Instagram
For years the holiday adornment on the New York-bound entrance to the Holland Tunnel has irked me. You see, the “O” has a circular wreath and the “U” nestles another wreath but there is a Christmas tree slapped over the “N.” Though the three decorations are symmetrical, it’s unseemly because the letter before the “N” in Holland is a capital “A,” which is the most-Douglas Fir-shaped letter in our alphabet. What did I do about it? Gripe to the person sitting in the passenger seat or to my ride share driver, then move on into Manhattan (Uber rider rating: two stars. “Passenger wouldn’t stop complaining about some tree and the design of the English alphabet”).
Often the greatest citizen champions are people who are thinking what we are all thinking but actually say it out loud. Well, I have a new hero and his name is Cory Windelspecht. This bold man is the voice of the people, the people who are sick and tired of that goddamn Christmas tree being one character off from it’s ideal place in life. On his Change.org petition he writes (all sic):
The entrance to the Holland Tunnel (One of the busiest enterance ways into America’s most populated and famous city) is a majestic site of architecture and history. A site that should be celebrated. However, every Holiday Season it is decorated with 2 wreaths and a Holiday Tree. But for some reason the tree is over the letter N in the word Holland instead of the letter A where it would fit perfectly. This one small thing triggers anyone with the slightest hint of OCD every time they enter the city. On top of that, it’s just unsightly and ruins the holiday festivities for people to enjoy on such a great piece of architecture.
I am asking you to join with me in asking the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to move the tree decoration over from the letter N to cover the A. This is the time where ALL PEOPLE should be celebrating and have an opportunity to enjoy the decorations and festivities. This country is divided already, let’s start doing things to bring us back together.
As of press time, more than 2,000 concerned citizens have backed his charge. Though Lana Levy took the redecorating a step further with this comment on the petition: “I’m signing because this is insane and needs to happen! Can we also do something about the O in ‘tunnel?’”
Budweiser backed both she and Cory with this tweet that ends with the hashtag #TunnelNotTonnel
The Port Authority has reacted swiftly by adding a survey to their homepage. The choices (with visual renderings) are:
-Leave the decorations as they are
-Move the tree to hang over the A in word “Holland”
-Move the tree to hang over the A and remove the second wreath that’s now over the U in the word “TUNNEL”
-Add a tree to hang over the A, but keep and adjust the existing tree to make the decorations symmetrical
The survey ends on Sunday, December 16 at 5pm, but we have a fifth solution. Time Out New York normally stays out of such matters as we’d rather spend our time uncovering the best things to do and we are also working on opening up Time Out Market New York for the spring, but Cory, Lana and the others who have spoken up in the name of pleasing aesthetics have inspired us to take a stand and help with this public monstrosity. We think that the first step toward the best possible solution is to move the tree to the “A.” Then we think the Port Authority should replace the circular wreath on the “U” with a festive garland in the shape of a horseshoe, you know like what some funerals have or what they give to a horse when they win a big race.
It's as fair a compromise as we can imagine—one that could remedy this ongoing design atrocity.