The surprise is not that the bosses downtown thought it would be a good idea to to turn a pristine vacant lot into parking for an event celebrating nature. The irony is usually so thick around here that it can be suffocating. And City Hall has long been a proponent of similar sorts of silliness — remember the plan to make Greenville Avenue four lanes (and, when that failed, three lanes)?

No, the surprise was that everyone downtown was so surprised that people thought that their plan was a crummy idea. Poor Sheffie Kadane, whose city council district includes Winfrey Point. He looked, when interviewed on TV, as if Martians had come to earth and he was the only who could negotiate the peace treaty. And he didn’t want to do it.

Still, after all these years and after all the protests, the elite at City Hall refuse to acknowledge that they don’t always know best. Or that they should even be questioned about their decisions. This episode was chorus and refrain — the semi-secret plan to do something, the City Hall shrugs when the first objections are made, the City Hall arrogance when the objections didn’t go away, the City Hall insistence that the world will end unless its plan is OK’d, and the City Hall acquiescence to the objections without actually acquiescing.

The more things change, right?