Monday, June 24, 2013

Cause of death: Rat Poison - Remembering a Hawk in Madison Square Park

Remembering a Hawk in Madison Square Park

These pictures of a hawk in Madison Square Park were taken in the fall of 2012. It's a red-tailed hawk, and though I saw it frequently last year, I haven't seen it in months. The pictures I posted most recently of a hawk I am sure is a different bird. I was told by someone who might know that the hawk in this picture might've died from eating a rat that died from poisoning, which raises the problem of how an we encourage natural predators when eating their prey will kill them? There will never be enough hawks flying over the and through the  to do the job, nor can they get underground into the sewers and subway tunnels where huge populations of rats breed AND poison is an effective way to keep the rat population under control.

I like seeing the hawks and I have no issue with their preying on squirrels and pigeons - the only animals I've seen them eating in Madison Square Park.

Both of the articles I link to here talk about the problem. There are rat poison boxes scattered around Madison Square Park.




This from the Gothamist in early 2012.

And more recently this from DNAinfo New York.
I believe this article refers I this hawk. Sad.
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

People posing for someone . . . no. 4




Three out of four of these, taken last fall, were posing for someone else. One posed for me, but at that moment, I think I must have been someone else.
Three of these were taken in Madison Square Park. Don't tell anyone who doesn't already know, but it is one of the best places in Manhattan. It feels urban but puts the noisiness and crowds of the city at arms length. The surrounding neighborhoods include residences, offices, retail and a few small, just hanging in there factories. Some tourists seek it out but I think most of the tourists who wander in find it by accident and have to take out their guidebooks to find out if it's a place they should be visiting. Well, the private me wants to say "No! Stay away! Cranky people inhabit these acres!" but I don't because there aren't so many of them to be annoying an enough of them seem to appreciate the place that even the heroic statues of Chester Alan Arthur, Roscoe Conkling, William Seward and David Farragut have stopped frowning their objections and look down on them with benign curiosity.

The park has a dog walk divided into two parts: one for small dogs and one for all dogs. The woman in the red leggings is a professional dog walker. It says something about the emergence of new professions that most of the dogs are brought by the dog's employees rather than by their humans.
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Yawn: Is NYC boring or exhausting?

Location: Madison Ave. and 35th St.
The time: A weekday afternoon in the fall of 2012.

I think they are tourists. Certainly they look like they'd been hiking around the city for awhile and could use a break. I hope they had a good time.



Monday, June 17, 2013

Posing for Someone - 3: Father's Day 2013

Passing through Grand Central Terminal on Sunday afternoon, I saw this happening, and I felt for the father in this picture, forced to wear a cardboard crown. What were they thinking? Where were they from?

I think he saw me, and was hoping I might rescue him, but the woman has her hand on his wrist and that guy's not going anywhere.
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mysteries of Madison Avenue - I

Mysteries of Madison Avenue


Sometimes I don't know what I've got except I know I've got something. A story emerges where I didn't expect one, but I don't' know what came before  or comes after the moment.

I walk those streets, camera in my hand, the nicety is my subject, and in the city there are eight million stories. These are two.





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Friday, June 14, 2013

Red Tail Hawk 1 - Pigeon 0 (Madison Square Park, June 14, 2013)

There's a new, young red tail hawk hunting in Madison Square Park. I spotted it this afternoon, in a tree, with a dead pigeon. Soon it was the remains of the dead pigeon. There were a few other people looking at it, some of whom had no idea what sort of bird they were looking at or what it was doing. I explained.

There was one young woman from Indiana, walking someone else's dogs, who was pleased and astounded to see it. She left muttering about seeing wildlife in Manhattan. All she had to do was look around.

Another person asked if the hawk was eating a dove or a pigeon. I explained that they are the same. She begged to differ and left exclaiming we'd have to disagree. I told I didn't disagree, I told her I was right.*

Here's three photos.
*From the Wiktionary.org definition of "dove": 
  1. pigeon, especially one smaller in size; a bird (often arbitrarily called either a pigeon or a dove or both) of more than 300 species of the family Columbidae.


Monday, June 10, 2013

The Acker Awards 2013 in NYC - Part I which is really Part II

The Acker Awards 2013 in NYC - Part I which is really Part II

I got the notice a couple of weeks before the event, and I thought to myself "Acker? is that what you'd call someone who did what Bill the Cat of Bloom County fame used to do - go 'ACK!'" Or is this someone's idea of a half a joke, that something that might get almost hit by anti-aircraft fire would have been acked rather than ack-acked? I didn't think it had anything at all to do with the late poet Kathy Acker, which just goes to show you how wrong a fellow can be. Clayton Patterson had a lot to do with making this thing happen.


I was able to attend the first hour or so of the NYC event on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, where I got to see the awards given for Lifetime Achievement to Fred Jordan and Barney Rossett (posthumous, award accepted by his widow); Editorial to Ron Kolm and Jim Feast; Poetry to Bob Holman, Steve Dalachinsky, Eileen Myles, Jim Brodey,  Patricia Smith, Harry Nudel, Lionel Ziprin (Posthumous), Dorothy Friedman (not all of them were there) and Fiction to Carl Watson, John Farris and Janice Eidus.

Then I left.

Part II, which is really Part I, which are photos I took during the time when people hung out and talked to each other, will show up here eventuality

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Bubble Man's got no home

Pity the poor Bubble Man. I don't know his name, but I know he brings a bit of entertainment and wonder to kids and adults in some corners of Manhattan.

For months I'd see him near the southwest corner of Madison Square Park with his buckets of soapy bubble juice and his bubble makers: several sets made of two wooden handles joined by a couple of feet of clothesline. He'd dip the clothesline in the bubble juice and create six-seven foot long bubbles. People, including parents and children would join him in the wonder of creating ephemeral rainbow bubbles.

Then I didn't see him anymore. I asked one of the park rangers I'm friendly with and he told me that some people complained - though I can't imagine what they were complaining about - and he was told he couldn't do it anymore. I guess some people can't stand seeing other people having fun.




Last weekend I spotted him in the plaza on the western side of Union Square Park, bringing joy and wonder once again. I spoke to him for a moment about his Madison Park problem and he told me he was having a different but similar issue at Union Square that would prevent him from using the plaza. He was moving to Washington Square Park, and was hoping with a small addition of equipment, a tarp, he would soon be back at Madison Square a couple of afternoons a week.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Clayton Patterson's “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side” release reading and celebration

Friends and fans of "Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side,” edited by Clayton Patterson, gathered at the redesigned and renovated Bowery Poetry Club on Manhattan's Lower East Side, on Sunday afternoon, 6/2/2013. People talked, drank beer and wine - whiskey was not available - read from the book(s - it's three volumes wide) and listened. Most of the reader's were associated with The Unbearables.

Clayton Patterson
The books are terrific and can be bought at such local shops as The St. Marks Bookshop, or if you aren't in the mood to support your local bookseller, Amazon. 

Clayton Patterson
Clayton introduced, Jim Feast was MC, and the readers were Sparrow, Bob Holman, Eve Packer, Ron Kolm, Tsauah Litzky, Tom Savage, Sue Yung, Dorothy Friedman, Steve Dalachinsky, Bonny Finberg and David Hubberman

Jim Feast

Jim Feast

Sparrow

Sparrow

Bob Holman

Bob Holman

Eve Packer

Eve Packer

Ron Kolm

Ron Kolm

Tsaurah Litzky

Tsaurah Litzky

Tom Savage

Tom Savage and Clayton Patterson

Tom Savage

Sue Yung

Sue Yung

Dorothy Friedman


Steve Dalachinsky

Steve Dalachinsky

Bonny Finberg

Bonny Finberg
David Huberman

David Huberman
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