Why sleep in a cozy bed when you could rest (or nest) in the sprawly trees of Central Park? That’s what a pair of twin brothers from Florida, Dana and Cory Foht, were doing lately. While most New Yorkers were wearily bedding down for the night in a bedroom, the Fohts were cheerfully climbing the trees in search of a bed.

Their resting spot is not likely to be awarded any stars by the Michelin Guide, but it offers something the Fohts think is better: stars in an inky firmament directly overhead and obscured only by a screen of twigs and leaves.

According to the brothers, they hit upon their idea for treetop-slumbering while climbing a banyan tree in Florida. From the banyan trees, they embarked on a city-to-city bicycle trip and explored creative and inexpensive ways to find food and lodging. Their first attempt at sleeping in a tree was in Williamsburg, VA, but it failed due to “hammock-hanging problems.”

Soon, they learned the importance of selecting the right tree. It must have branches low enough to be ascended without a rope, but also have boughs high and sturdy enough that the hammocks can safely be suspended. The tree’s canopy must be dense enough for the Fohts to recline amid the leaves without being easily seen.

After arriving in New York last September to rally for community garden preservation, the Fohts decided to stay. They couch surf between friends’ apartments and occasionally “hang their hammocks” in the backroom of a bicycle-repair shop where they work as mechanics; but they’re always drawn back to the trees in Central Park for their peculiar brand of sweet repose.

The brothers graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2007 and hope to be documentary filmmakers. In fact, they say they’re editing footage for a 10-minute film about “life in the elm”–coming to a YouTube near you.  {read more} NY Times (slideshow)


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