I am older and colder. I can feel it. Every time I stepped on the subway, I could feel myself toughened up. Every time I heard a homeless person begged on that train ride, I could feel the sympathy slowly drained out of my blood. It is an unspoken rule on New York subway. If you don’t already know the person before boarding the train, you don’t talk to them when you are on the train. You should not even make eye contact. If you board the train and you casually chat up the person near you as if you are flying on planes, we’ll know right away you are a tourist. If you clap for the break dancers or singers on the train, you are a tourist. But sometimes a little change wouldn’t hurt anybody.
This morning, I saw a lady playing with her hair while sheepishly talking with a guy in safety construction vest. She giggled and he bended down to listen to her clearer. It was 8am and they already looked happier than anyone else on the train. She reached out to grab his arm to pull him closer to her. It was always noisy on the train. Hey, do you want to give me your number? The guy smiled from ear to ear. He panicked a little tapping all over his shirt looking for a pen. Use your phone, silly. He realized and pulled his phone out quickly. It was only 8am on a Wednesday morning but I already could tell nothing could make my day better than that. It was little moments like that that made people believed in the magic of New York City.
Do you like pigeons? Have you ever wanted a scene like in the movie in which you run toward a bunch of pigeons and they all beautifully fly away? Do you like the symbol of peace? If you do, then you should take a trip to New York City. (Venice is also an acceptable choice, but that’s international flying – pun intended.)
There are a few animals we can see in the wilderness of urban cities: dogs, cats, squirrels etc…but they are all owned by some other people or they would possibly bite you (despite how cute they are). You have to ask for permission to pet them. The only safe-to-approach animals that you are free to come close in a city is pigeons. Also, you can only approach them if you are around walking, not driving and not riding. And no city in the US would force you to walk around as much as New York City.
We have pigeons in every park of this city, from Central Park in Manhattan to a small little community park in Queens. For some reasons, pigeons love New York City. Many of them would stay in New York City even in the winter. They are still around as long as you are. To quote Danny Castellano from the Mindy Project: “I like pigeons. They are free to leave but they choose to stay here in New York all winter long. Unlike those other coward birds.”
Not all pigeons are the same. Genetically speaking, pigeons in different places have different genetic makeups. They may look similar enough to each other that they are recognizably pigeons but on a genomic level, they are not the same. For example, though not too far apart, NYC and Boston’s pigeons do not share the same genetic makeup *. Pigeons are homebodies. They tend to stay within a hundreds feet of where they were born. Just because they can fly, doesn’t mean they would fly far away from home. That’s why NYC pigeons are signature to the geographic limits of NYC and the Virginia and Connecticut region.
According to no scientifically accurate source, NYC pigeons are most often unfraid of people and chubby. About the chubby part, it’s hard to avoid when they live in a city that is famous for their pizzas. I can say with an almost guarantee that if they are street animals in New York City, they have tasted pizzas. For some strange reasons, people threw away their pizzas on the street and into the subway quite a bit in NYC. Pigeons and rats are not particularly picky animals. They eat what they can find.
About the part of them not being afraid humans, they are truly not. Do you know how in movies, when you casually walk towards a bunch of pigeons, they would panickingly fly away? Yeah, not in New York City. As long as you don’t dash towards them like a crazy person, they will casually walk next to you and won’t even bother avoiding you. If you don’t want to step on a pigeon, you have to avoid them. They are the kings of the parks. Just like New Yorkers, NYC pigeons just don’t give a damn.
Things go both ways here. Pigeons are not afraid of people and some New Yorkers love pigeons (the rest are just not bothered by them). There are quite a few pigeons whisperers in NYC. It doesn’t have to be one of those “famous” people that you heard about through the internet but when you visit the city, you would never see them. The whisperers are actually everywhere, especially during summer. You just need to go to a big park and you would see them casually sitting on benches and surrounded by a bunch of pigeons.
One of the most famous pigeon lovers of the city is the NYC pigeon lady. If you want to find a true advocate for pigeons, she is the one.
That was a lot of reasons for you to like NYC pigeons. So, how about a trip to New York City to see our chubby pigeons eat pizzas?