Toronto had 41 during July, and apparently artist Luke Jerram has inspired a couple of dozen other cities to try the idea: Play Me, I'm Yours.
Mike Kowalsky who posted the photo on the left to Facebook notes that the piano at the corner of St. Viateur and Casgrain is painted with flora and fauna found in the nearby Champ des possibles, a former industrial space/parking lot owned by the city of Montreal and now gone to glorious abandon. Another great idea.
But just a few hours before that piano was inaugarated I had an experience in the Champ which is troubling. While out walking I came upon a big tree trunk burning in the Champ, apparently the remnants of a campfire of the night previous. With the aid of a young man cutting across the field on his way to work in one of the lofts in the nearby transformed light industrial buildings, I was able to turn it over so that the burning surface faced the ground. Then I was able to cover it with dirt and gravel. Stopped by the firehouse on the way back, just to let them know so they could check to see if the first was indeed extinguished.
Okay, camp fires are nice, and wild places in the center of the city are even nicer, but to keep them EVERYONE has to be careful of them. This summer has been hot and dry, and even if it rained a bit the night before, it's quite possible that left undisturbed, the fire inthe trunk could have smoldered for hours or even days before bursting into flame.
Hey guys, be careful when you play with matches--and with the commons that we would all like to protect!
BTW. the second photo is of the piano on St. Denis and Marie-Anne, a much more urban setting.