(This post is dedicated to my neighbour who isn't always pleased with her 'unofficial' pigeon collection and with whom we get along famously!)
So you have pigeons on your roof eh? .... Congratulations!!
(seriously not being sarcastic, keep reading...)
A while back I posted about the then upcoming series Taking on Tyson. I was finally able to watch episode 1 through a site I subscribe to; Pigeon Racing Pigeons and I must say, I rather enjoyed it for the most part. The whole celebrity hubbub surrounding Mike Tyson aside, one of the things that most surprised me and that piqued my interest was what I'll call the rooftop-loft subculture of the greater New York area. I had heard about rooftop lofts before, (as I'd heard about rooftop chicken coops & beehives) but it renewed my interest and got me to looking...
In a world where record pigeon purchase prices now reach as high as $200,000 (according to a January 2011 Wall Street Journal report, a Chinese buyer paid this for a well-pedigreed Belgian racing pigeon), the New York rooftop lofts point back to a much simpler time in the hobby.
Why do I like them?
Because many a time when I search the web for pigeon loft ideas, I land on sites where pigeon keepers have elaborate structures built on foundations, with running water and electricity. Many times they even have paid staff to look after their birds. This is just not reality for most people... and I tend to think that some of the enjoyment in the hobby at that level is monetarily driven and heavily competitive.
Many of these New York rooftop guys have modest lofts and their enjoyment is derived very simply from time spent with and caring for the birds. Don't get me wrong, there can also be a heavily competitive aspect to it as well (I'll do a post sometime on the Brooklyn Pigeon Wars).
So... have you figured out yet why I congratulated you for having pigeons on your rooftop?
If not, let me make it plain:
When you're tempted to bemoan the fact that you can't get rid of the pigeons on your rooftop... embrace them! Worse, if you're afraid that your neighbours are bemoaning you for somehow attracting them, explain to them that by having them there, you have become connected to a major New York City subculture of the 50's and 60's (minus the drugs :), and have joined the ranks of legendary pigeon-men like Vinnie Torre (Mike Tyson's team coach in Taking on Tyson)... you could be making your way to your OWN reality TV show! How cool is that? ... and you thought it was a bad thing to have pigeons on your roof!! (Now all you need are plans for your own rooftop loft! LOL!)
I'm going to do more posts in coming weeks on the NYC rooftop pigeon loft phenomenon. You'll see a few videos introducing some of these guys, you'll see a sampling of the art of Zina Saunders, and you'll hear about the unofficial headquarters of many of these rooftop pigeon guys and you hear about the Brooklyn pigeon wars...
Thanks for reading... check back soon!