Meet the Upper West Side’s friendly “Larry” Poppins. For months now I’ve been hoping to run into the Spanish-speaking pigeon-ado with a camera to click him in action. The iPhone can’t hold a megapixel to my previous Nokia or Sony Ericsson phones, but in broad daylight the shots come out quasi-legible.
With a wave of his hand like a conductor the hundreds of pigeons rise and fall to his seeds. He even has cut-out milk cartons with rocks in them filled with water, as a sort of pigeon watering trough. What’s next, a bath station? Lord knows they could use it.
I’ve mentioned it before on this blog. I’m a huge animal lover. I balk at having to kill anything, even spiders, which I detest. What if it’s Charlotte? In my early blogging stages I created “Mona’s Ark” that I hoped to fill with animal news, stories and pictures. That lasted about a month.
So when I see a man who looks like he can barely afford to feed himself throwing food to the third least desirable creature in this city (whether you’re a musophobe or an entomophobe the top two — cockroaches and rats — are probably interchangeable), my heart quivers. We could have reached out and touched the projects, a word that may as well be a synonym for poverty and crime, and that day a man walked in front of them with a smile and a gift for friends he thinks are in need. God, I love New York.