“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

Close Encounters of the Audubon Kind

Dear Ann,
I don’t have much time to chit-chat today (I hate that!), but I thought you would want to know that a pigeon flew into my head today. I was on the West Side doing my usual self-guided tour (i.e., walking aimlessly) while waiting for a child to be released from school. It was really windy. Such that a low-flying pigeon was blown off course, and his frantically beating wings nearly knocked my specs off.
Huge adrenalin rush, for both me and the bird.
Proving once again that Big City Life is not just martinis and glamour and running into Xenobia Bailey all the time.
Here’s hoping nothing flew into you today.
Love, Kay

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Kay:
    As a 10-year denizen of Manhattan, I never once had a pigeon land on me, but I moved to L.A. two years ago, and sure enough, I was eating at an outdoor restaurant and one landed on my head and began flapping wildly. It’s an oddly terrifying experience, no?
    – Dave
    P.S. Also, the restaurant was a “New York Style” pizzeria. Funny, I’ve never once eaten at a place that billed itself as “New York Style” and gotten “New York Style” (read: good) food.

  2. LOL, both of you guys.
    It’s all about the beak, if you ask me.
    When Hubbo and I were on our honeymoon (a lingering event at the end of which we declared ourselves no longer on a honeymoon and simply an old married couple), we spent a week in Florence. It was our most scenic hotel stay, six floors up in a creaky pensione overlooking the Duomo. One morning I awoke to the cooing of pigeons outside on the terrace. So romantic! So nearby! When I stepped out of bed, the pigeon who had been cooing UNDER the bed came out, flapping like a maniac. I matched it flap for flap, a total heart attack. Pensione schmensione, I’m outta there.

  3. See, somehow I knew this would strike a chord.
    And I didn’t even mention that prior to the Pigeon Incident, I had been having one of those New York Days, in which, even after 20-plus years, all seems magical and like a Woody Allen movie (pre-Soon Yi). I snapped a Japanese bride and groom having their photographs taken near the Boathouse in Central Park while the Flower Girl screamed at me: ‘Go Away!!’, I snapped another pic of the ‘IMAGINE’ mosaic in Strawberry Fields, A SQUIRREL CLIMBED UP MY PANT LEG AS I RUMMAGED IN MY PURSE FOR A PIECE OF GUM (I didn’t mention this in the Pigeon Post for fear you would think I was making it up–after all, this is a fair amount of wildlife for a typical NYC apres-midi, even without the squirrel)…To say the least, it was a busy day in the Wild Kingdom.
    xox Kay

  4. A pigeon and a squirrel in one day??!? And in NYC?? Who are you, Marlon Perkins?? Heheh…
    That is beyond coincidence, glad you survived a day in the Wild and Wooly city!!

  5. My dad has proven that if you sit on a park bench with a candy bar in your hand, you can have a squirrel literally sit in your lap. No kidding. Try it.
    Dad’s comment on this phenomenon is ‘The squirrels in Nebraska do not do that.’ We have to remonstrate with Dad to stop him from taking bags of peanuts to the park and feeding them by hand to uppity squirrels.
    When we come back: Kestrels. What are they and why are they nesting on skyscrapers?
    xox Kay

  6. Kay
    I’m going to go back to the log-cabin-quilt-blankie here. It’s been preying on my mind.
    I currently have a few credit notes stashed in my wallet for my not-so-LYS but I was thinking – that a baby size blankie could be something I could knit up as therapy in between cursing colinette 4-ply (- why did I think of it? – my knitalong sweater’s not going to go round me now anyway! & my capacity for post-work knitting has just disappeared – the sofa & a blankie just beckon gently, urging me to fill what is left of my brain with the drivel that’s on telly).
    Anyway, I digress. What size is your finished quilt/blankie? and how many shades did you use?
    Jo
    xxx
    p.s. pidgeons are a weird city hazard. Sea gulls are far more likely to attack you or your picnic here – no need for it to be blowing a hooley either – one swoop, and there goes your pasty…

  7. Blowing a hooley! Love it.
    Kay, a squirrel? Too funny.
    Jo, I’m with you: a nice long holiday stretch of garter stitch suits me fine. And Kay, I like the idea of squares (very quilty) but the ease of picking up stitches in your version would save me from the torture of sewing together all those squares. I may like blocking, but I’m not so crazy about sewing.

  8. kay, it sounds as if you might want to make your own version of “when animals attack.” or maybe you need to hang some garlicky yarn around your neck.
    when i was living in cambridge, ma afew years ago, i was wandering down mass ave up near porter square. as i got in front of a lovely old church, a pigeon flew right towards me and as it did, a HAWK flew out of the belltower of the church and swooped down for the kill…all of this happened less than a foot away from my curly haired head!! urban legend has it that my presence interrupted the workings of mother nature at this moment….the pigeon just got nicked by the hawks beak, blood spattered about, but the hawk flew away empty handed.

  9. Jo–So happy to spread the Log Cabin Fever. The finished blanket is slightly bigger than what I would consider baby-sized–it’s just under 4 feet square. (I’d make it smaller for anyone who is currently in utero–assuming you want it to fit in a bassinet, a stroller, etc., and be easily draggable when Baby becomes Toddler). Mine fits across the bottom of a twin-size bed with a couple of inches of over-hang. It has 32 strips (8 cool colors, 8 hot colors, in a sequence that I repeated once). That sounds like a lot, but you start with a strip that’s only 20 stitches wide (Make this strip short and wide–blanket turns out pretty much square; make it long and narrow–blanket turns out rectangular). Then you start picking up stitches and stop counting them (unless you feel like it), and the strips slowly grow bigger (this is because when you turn the corner, you have to pick up the row ends of the strip you just finished, and then pick up the stitches of the adjoining strip–so each time you turn you add a couple of inches to the length of the strip). If you start with straight needles, at some point they get overloaded and you need to switch to circulars with a long cable. But only the last rounds of strips on the outside of the blanket, in the size I made, start to get close to taking a whole ball of the DK Cotton (by the Way, Elann.com has tons of DK weight cotton, mercerized and un-, going for super cheap right now). I liked the fact that each strip only had 2 ends to be woven in!
    For Noro fans (and those who feel they are not spending enough money on yarn), I think this blanket would look super in Kureyon. The colors would change all by themselves,.
    When making my Gee’s Bend version in Denim & ecru, I got a different look by picking up the stitches on the wrong side–the color change shows in a neat dotted line of purl bumps. I liked this effect with the denim and thought it worked with the ‘work-clothes’ quilt concept. (At first I thought it looked untidy, but Lis quite correctly forbade me to do it any other way.)
    Ann–I think your skeins have the yardage to do the blanket the one-patch way. You are right that having to sew squares together might spoil the zen for you.
    Cabin on, girls! xox Kay

  10. I hate to chuckle at pigeon in the head incident, but I keep thinking “Tippi Hedren” and “Alfred Hitchcock”. But isn’t it supposed to be good luck when a pigeon flies into you?