Friday, July 8, 2011

no going back for some

Since I moved the third week in June, I returned several times to my empty apartment before the end of the month. Among other things, I photographed in High Rez the walls which I couldn't take with me, and defrosted the fridge, then returned to empty the smelly dirty, melted fridge-freezer water and clean up a bit more. Took down about 10 bags of paper recycling and garbage, more stuff I didn't want. For what? They are going to tear down the building. I guess I didn't want to leave a total mess for the demolishers. Sort of like washing a dead body before you cover it in dirt. A bit macabre that reference, but apropos for the romantic ruin my home is to become. More on living within the Terrain Vague later.

I am reminded of interesting pigeon behavior after one of the many times we evicted them from roosting in our shaftway. I enjoyed their cooings as they nestled on my windowsills, but not the shit that accumulated there. Really seriously dirty and disgusting it was, just to think of whatever was wafted in on a not-so-fresh breeze right thru all that bird guano. And I assume downright hazardous to health.

All that said, I have to admit that it was the guys next door in 7 2nd Ave that got it together the last time we had to get the pigeons out. We had had to remove the chicken wire covering the shaftway again for the last FDNY inspection some long time before, so the pigeons had enjoyed a hassle free couple years probably at that point. (There were most likely other building issues more pressing, we couldn't address them all and it became kind of a losing battle. Resigned to Live and Let Live, I simply kept my shaftway windows closed. Besides, it was nice to have a version of wildlife so close-by in the city). So the birds had quite accumulated, and had a real robust society going all up and down the negative space between 7 and 7 and a half. It was early in the year and they hadn't laid eggs yet, a good time to evict. First shooing, screaming and waving, then broom waving, then a wild water hose didnt budge them. Eventually one of the guys went out, procured an airhorn and that did it. The birds scattered as nearly did I up to the Ear hospital on 14th street. (Or is that the Eye hospital?) Once bird-free, we quickly covered the top of the shaftway. No easy task, wrangling 200 square feet of chicken wire over a 5-storey hole and trying to secure it to nothing but the crumbling parapet wall.

An hour later the pigeons were back, pacing back and forth their pigeon wire, actively and obviously searching for a hole somewhere, hoping they could get back in to their homes.

1 comment:

  1. I find it sort of ironic that maybe you miss the connection between you evicting the pigeons and how they must feel, and people who are evicted from their homes repeatedly on the Lower East Side, and the changing landscape there. I watch that video and find it sad. Pigeon droppings are not health hazardous unless left unattended and dried for a long while typically in a contained space in which there is no air (such as inside). If this was just cleaned (similar to how people with trees and yards, rake the leaves), you could have lived in harmony with them. I guess you did them a favor because likely the developers wouldn't take the time to figure out a process to get rid of them and would have destroyed babies and all.

    good luck.