Balloons are not for the faint-hearted. They wilt, pop, fly away and teach children the true meaning of tragedy. Here, I saw two dozen helium balloons hanging like golden fruit in the leafless branches of a lonely sidewalk tree. This was not on purpose. But for karma's sake, I decided to pretend it was. The cheery cluster looked like a big bunch of grapes ready for harvest. They shimmered like soap bubbles. They gave the street a festive party mood that triumphed over freezing temperatures, trash and slush on a grey January day. All you had to do for things to look up was look up.