Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
SUNDAY 1:00pm A Tree Falls in Queens
Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 01:03 PM
The fallen maple had become something of a pilgrimage point. Locals from the surrounding streets of Jackson Heights stood around the uprooted trunk, pulling out their phones to take snaps, even making their kids pose for pictures.
At its trunk, the tree was about 30 inches wide and inspired a good measure of admiration. "Must be at least 40 years old, maybe fifty," said one woman. "It'll take them days to remove it."
Kathy Pappas peeked through the blinds of her 3rd floor apartment, overlooking the maple. When she moved in, nine years ago, she said the tree was "eighty percent of the reason" she had picked the location, just across from the Community United Methodist Church.
"I feel so so sad....Feel like I lost part of my apartment."
As for the Toyota Camry station wagon, that lay crushed beneath the tree, no one seemed to know who or where the owner was.