So, having recovered from my incarceration in Eastbourne stuck under a bridge with the world’s dullest pigeon, I’m back to business.
Had a couple of emails from Joey in NYC. He says life in New York is calming down a bit now Banksy has nearly finished. It’s also the reason why Gary, Joey’s ex-pat street artist pal – see last post, has been so hard to get hold of. He’s a massive fan, apparently, and has been trying to follow Banksy around to see what he looks like.
Unfortunately, same as everyone, he missed him every time. However he did manage to leave his own artistic mark near his favourite piece in TriBeCa, which even got a mention in the New York Times in the form of a quote by a local chef called Mr Mears:
‘…some of Banksy’s pieces were “poignant,” but [Mears] expressed disdain for Banksy’s followers, some of whom he said sat in pigeon droppings to pose for photos alongside the TriBeCa piece…’
New York Times, Oct 28th 2013
Apparently Gary was disappointed it didn’t get more of a mention as he’d worked hard on the placing and distance from the piece. He was also disappointed someone had sat in it.
He clearly knows his stuff though.
Joey sent me this. It’s a picture of him and Gary on the ‘Pigeons Do Art March’ back in September. It’s where pigeons from all over New York get together to discuss and practice art.
Gary (right) was running a workshop called, ‘Graffiti Matters’:
Yesterday Gary sent me a brief email. He’s obviously not as adept as Joey on the tablet. Typing was all over the place. Guess you can’t be good at everything. Still, I worked it out in the end. He says he’s going to send me a picture of a piece he did a few years ago called ‘Flight Control’. He also said it was his first departure from using his own shit. Exciting stuff.
Nice one, Gary. Look forward to seeing it.
Last week I mentioned that a pigeon from New York got in touch. His name is Joey Peroni, as in the beer. His family were also originally from the Italian quarter in Chicago, which is how he knows Rocco (see last post).
Anyway, we’ve had a few emails backwards and forwards. Top pigeon. Seriously. Great sense of humour and likes a drink, unlike most other American pigeons, according to Joey.
Here he is:
It’s a good look, pose aside.
Turns out Joey has always wanted to come to London. He even tried to kick off a Pigeon Exchange Programme a few years back, but there weren’t enough takers. Not surprising seeing as I was one of the only pigeons online at the time. I’d have done it if I’d known you back then, Joey.
I’ve learnt loads about NYC. It does sound like the dog’s bollox of a place to be. I told him I’d had dealings with the people over there that organise National Pigeon Appreciation Day. Said I’d tried to get the ball rolling on one in London, but didn’t get very far, largely due to pigeons not being appreciated by anyone, not even the weirdos.
I told him about all the anti-pigeon activity that’s been going on over here the past few years. The feeding ban, increase in the use of spikes, serial killer hawks etc. I also told him that there was a huge protest fly-by back in 2009. It was genius.
Pigeons from as far afield as Northampton and Bedford.
Click on the link below for more, and work your way up from the bottom for the full story.
It was also round about the time I had my Operation Stop The Squirrel going on, but that’s another story.
He replied saying it’s the same over there with the rise of the anti-pigeon vibe, and sent me a photo of a sign:
He said nearly all the squares have them now.
So, me and Joey are going to keep in touch. Also, knowing I’m a bit of an art fan, he’s going to hook me up with another pigeon. A ex-pat street artist called Gary. Looking forward to that one.
Another interesting bit of lowdown is that Joey uses a tablet. Much easier than a keyboard, apparently. I’ve never given one a shot. All he has to do is tap his toes on the letters on the screen. He said it’s the way to go, apart from the scrolling which can be a pain in the arse, literally.
May have to give it a go.
In the meantime, big up to my new American pals.
Email really is a genius invention, especially for pigeons. In the old days it was us that transported messages. Millions of them. The day to day life of a pigeon was nothing but carrying around small bits of paper with writing on. We were the original Internet.
Nowadays, we don’t need to go anywhere near the message. In fact, I haven’t seen an actual message for years. The messages come to us, online. What’s even better is we get to send them too, providing the whole jumping around on a keyboard thing has been mastered of course (see previous post).
The story I’m about to tell you is the perfect example of how well this works. A pigeon got in touch from Chicago recently. Kid you not. All the way from across the pond in Chicago. The name’s Rocco. He actually called himself ‘Big’ Rocco. Not sure why. He doesn’t look very big in the picture.
He’s the one on the left with the slightly odd neckerchief going on:
He said he’d been reading Pigeon Blog for a while and thought he’d send me an email. How simple is that? There’s no way I’d have got that message before the Internet came along.
Have to say, Chicago sounds like my kind of town. Big history of gangster pigeons back in the day, apparently. One in particular, weirdly also called Rocco.
Rocco discovered how to make alcohol out of cat piss. He had a thing going on in the Italian quarter where he’d kidnap pigeons from other parts of town and offer them up to the local cats in return for their piss, which he’d then turn into alcohol. Total genius. Apparently it’s where the term ‘get pissed’ comes from.
This is where he lived. It’s also where Rocco and most of the other uptown pigeons live now. Plenty of ledges and pretty central:
He’s not wrong there. Never seen so many ledges. Unfortunately he did say that most of the buildings these days are ledge-free. I’ve told him the same thing is happening in London. Ledges are a thing of the past.
Anyway, Rocco and me are going to stay in contact, and he’s also going to put me in touch with a couple of pals of his in New York.
Good times. Here’s to the Internet.