Silliness abounds today as I finally get around to Butler Plaza, where the monkeys hang in a tree. The first time I saw them, their green coats hadn’t filled in, or maybe they were dormant. I looked up in the tree, and there were monkeys there! Can you see them there, hanging around and on the tree? For a moment, I thought they were real, but quickly realized that they didn’t move.
Each one of these guys seems to have its own personality, just like real monkeys. Some of them sit, clinging to the tree, some sit lightly in the fork of the tree, but most of them hang from ropes and branches. They always make me smile when I take the time to look up at them. Look at the detail on these guys! They have ears and tails and even toes.
I really love the sense of whimsy they add to the shopping center, which is in great need of it. Not because it is pitiful or run down or anything, because it isn’t. For those of you who aren’t local, Butler Plaza is a huge strip mall that probably has more stores in it than the actual mall does. It is about a mile long, broken into about four blocks. It isn’t my favorite place to go, because it is kind of a pain to get to. I can’t really complain about traffic in Gainesville for the most part, but this is the worst place for it most of the time. Even traffic around the campus isn’t usually as slow as it is around Butler Plaza.
After braving the worst traffic in Gainesville, I really need a reason to smile, and for me, shopping isn’t it. Seeing the monkeys sitting and hanging from a tree, especially monkeys that don’t smell bad or throw things at me, makes me happy. At night, they all light up with Christmas bulbs, which is pretty and funny at the same time. There are more lights in the tree, which you can see in these pictures, and in a few of the palms nearby, which also help lighten the mood.