A Staten Island artist/activist spent the morning dressed up as a Christmas tree and wishing commuters a ferry Merry Christmas, in protest against the DOT's ban on holiday decorations in the terminals. Scott LoBaido, whom you may recall from previous stunts such as paying the $10 Verrazano Bridge toll in pennies and trying to hang his own art in protest at the Brooklyn Museum, is upset about the decoration ban, like many other commuters. But instead of just griping about it, the Staten Island Advance reports that he ensconced himself in this impressive-looking tree and went forth to spread holiday cheer.
Calling the DOT's new policy "political correctness gone crazy," LoBaido told the Advance, as he traveled back and forth between the terminals. "There's a whole agenda to try to destroy everything traditional about America. I find it ludicrous." Security and police officers at both ferry terminals did not take action, as there appears to be no rule against individual displays of Christmas spirit... at least not yet, anyway.
In explaining the DOT's decision not to put up the traditional tree and menorah, Mayor Bloomberg said, "The Department of Transportation got sued one time too many. You start getting into the whole issue of religion in public spaces. [There] are plenty of [other] places to celebrate Christmas. We didn’t diminish any one religion. We just said, ‘no.'"
Most of the commenters on SILive.com are cheering LoBaido on for "being pro-active in response to a ridiculous edict manifested by a bureaucracy." But some people are never satisfied. As one commenter points out, "A tree is a pagan symbol. Why doesn't someone dress as the Virgin Mother Mary and carry a baby wrapped in swaddling clothing?"