Most New Yorkers disdain pigeons. Admittedly not the epitome of societal graces, yet I respect their fortitude. One rarely sees pigeon demise on the asphalt. Their sheer number might make one think that at least a half-dozen would litter every Avenue. Meeting their maker with the assistance of the M-57 cross town bus or a pigeon squabble. I am certain my city does not spend dollars on a pigeon clean-up crew. Sheer. Witted. Grit.
Part of pigeon survival is knowing where the goods are. I imagine most pigeons do not have the ability to distinguish bagel from brioche, yet they do know that a seated human perhaps offers the potential dine. Cooing at ones' feet as if one was the Maitre-D at Lutece. Though flocked together like one gand feather, it is clear it is a democracy. Every pigeon for itself. I sit with them most mornings on what was once a concrete boat ramp to the Hudson River. They momentarily greet me until I am close enough to be identified simply as the broad with the Earl Grey tea. Nothing to offer. Pigeon heads twisting in search an easier mark. Their coloring delights me. Clearly of the same species, all Manhattan pigeons have red feet, but an intriguingly intricate array of feather-pattern. I watch them parade the river wall in one straight line. Pigeons, preening to pass entrance beyond the velvet rope at Studio 54. Perched upon Louboutins' with red-footed finesse.
Crows, however, are of a different mindset. I was once blessed with a small home in the words where road-kill was in abundance. Foie gras for crows. Crows fly solo, scouting for the greater good. Sitting on my concrete patio, Earl Grey in hand - because some things never change. Some things do not have to. I spotted a crow eyeing the delicacy from the phone wire. He did not swoop. He did not singularly swallow his way to gout. Eye on the prize, he squawked. A similar squawk sounds when a hawk is getting too near the crows' nest but with more alarm. It means everyone rally! One by one they came. Each sitting side by side on the wire. Each joining in the squawk until every crow within an unknowable distance heard. It took some time. The Earl Grey cooled. My eyes locked on this seemingly socialist maneuver. With one last united squawk there was silence. The feast was about to commence. A hierarchy did exist. The finder of this feast was not first to eat. One from the middle of the telephone wire swooped first, taking his pleasurable time and fill. One singular squawk and another joined him from the ranks. Then two. Then three more together. The process continuing until each crow had eaten and the telephone wire was once again a telephone wire and not the velvet rope at Studio 54.
I think I would rather be a crow. A crow in Louboutins.