Best Climbing Tree - 2005
The tilted tree at the Menil Collection
Tree climbers inevitably branch into two distinct species. The kiddies, the romantics and the novices want a docile tree, one that practically lies down for you. The tree nuts -- who wear special clothes and would live in trees if they could -- want a challenge. Both factions will be satisfied at the public park surrounding the Menil Collection, home to a strange tree of uncertain lineage and obvious charm. You will know it by the trunk. The gnarled base juts out of the ground at a 45-degree angle, allowing climbers to literally walk up into the canopy. Once there, the romantics can continue along a horizontal branch, where they can sit near the towering tip of a Mark di Suvero sculpture and snuggle. The intrepid can scramble on upward. At the very top, they might even glimpse downtown.