My own private East Village

I know of two .... one is on 10th Street at Second Avenue on the west side, right in front of St. Marks Church where 10th turns off onto Stuyvesant Street.

The other is on 7th Street between 2nd & 1st Ave, smack in the middle of the block on the downtown side, right next to that kitsch shop owned by Brandywine and her boyfriend.
T2 Park still seems to be able to work some of its ageless juju.

Sitting there on Saturday drumming as usual when a big parade files in. Its the Marijuana March complete with mobile stage, vendors and a long list of presenters and some bands. Who happens to sit down on the bench across from me but the wife of my former employer who I haven't seen in years.

Some usual mayhem ensues of course with the cops arresting assorted pot smokers.

So it comes time for Oya Olatunji to speak to the crowd. She doesn't say anything at all about marijuana but things like, "We know your biological family doesn't understand you. So join us! We care about you and we are accepting of all people."

I haven't heard anybody say anything like that around the neighborhood since before Dinkins shut the park down.

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So nuff standing on chairs screaming. I keep seeing a mouse or mice! Having had a problem like this since big time construction in the area... I really wanna go Hunter S Thompon on these fuckers (I know Madge Madison wants me make wendy houses for them and walk to the part and free em) I am ready with a hammer or my bare hands. I am trying a new method - Peppermint oil and it SEEMS to work... anyone else ever used this...Advice please... one thing I can't stand is vermin (and before u ask I don't leave food out and we sweep/clean all the time)>
So I was just about to pop into the Associated Supermarket on 14th St (nr A) at 10am this morning when a huge hawk (or eagle???) swoops down fast and grabs a pigeon and takes it up into the tree. Me about about 3 other folks who were outside were just freaked watching this bird just kill... it was just raining feathers as the bird was being plucked as it was being eaten. I watched, stunned for a while went in an shopped came out to what looked like a sidewalk of an exploded feather pillow and the birds dissapeared.
What's the difference between Hawks and Eagles? (This was HUGE and brown with hooked beak an big shoulders). And do they usually eat such big birds as pigeons? I was amazed it could carry it up so fast.
Anyway... that was my east village morning
How ominous! I wonder what the augurs of the Caesars would say about that one?

Eagles are hawks - not all hawks are eagles . . . that is eagles are in the hawk family. I'm not a bird expert, just a dilettante, but hawks are typified by a number of identifiers: talons, beak type, wing shape, flying/gliding behavior ability etc. (Oh goodness, I'm a bird nerd!)

Most of the hawks found in NYC are Peregrine Falcons - which were reintroduced to the area few years back. They were almost killed out by DDT pesticide. They feed mostly on smaller birds - though they also eat small mammals.

A friend of mine saw one swoop down and grab a squirrel in Washington Square Park a couple of weeks ago. There was a story in the news a few years back about one grabbing a Chihuahua in Bryant Park a few years ago! Oh dear.

I have noticed a lot more Peregrine Falcons perching in the EV lately . . . I suppose its all these new tall buildings? They like tall buildings. But I never saw one swoop and kill.

The tripiest falcon (hawk) that you will see in the area is the Sparrow Hawk. It is about the size of a sparrow or a robin and yet they have the signature beak and the taloned claws . . . they look a bit like little owls (owls are also hawks) so small and cute -sort of like the Chihuahuas of the hawk family. I've seen them out in Jamaica Bay at the wildlife refuge The place where sea turtles still go to lay their eggs, believe it or not.

Pretty sure that the sparrow hawks go after the baby turtles on their way into the ocean . . . very Cabeza del Vaca (Suddenly Last Summer).
Well the word in Thompkins Square Park is that this falcon is the offspring of the famous one that perched in the Dakota (or the other apt. building next to it, I forget the name. Diane Keaton's building). They are very territorial and this one rules the East Village. I have also seen him take a pigeon for lunch.
Fierce!
Pall Mall is his daddy's name. Hawks will attack and kill animals as large as very small dogs-- if they are unleashed and far enough away from a larger human.

One morning I found a single bloody wing in front of the door at Rapture. Talk about augeries!
Hattie r u sure it was left on your door by a passing bird and wasn't 'left' there by some failed Soprano wannabee?

I love it in NYC that even the local birds have to be 'famous' ....Pall Mall... relatives... Luv it...

Sick as it was to see it did make me feel alive to see 'Nature" as opposed to taht fuckin mouse in my building that I can't wait to hit over the head with a hammer as he lays on the gluetrap gasping for his last breathe

(NOTE TO ANIMAL LOVERS ...Please ignore last paragraph... i had the devil in me when I wrote it).
Not overheard on Ave. B all last Saturday night: conversation in the English language.

The bar mall was populated solely by foreign tourists cashing in on the dead US dollar. Thousands of them. No joke, you could not hear one person who was local.
Well now we know what the Europeans felt like (since the 1920s through the 80s...)
with Americans all over the place
grabbing up everthing with their fat American dollars. Treating Parisians and Romans
like personal slaves...

Now it's our turn to be their slaves.
It is a person's mind turned into a studio efficiency apartment on Avenue C. !
Complete with view of some incidental civil unrest down the block.

I forgot to add a Yoruba proverb I hear people in the neighborhood share:
"The people who SAY they are teaching you to be tall are the same people who are teaching you to be small."

But since this is My Own Private East Village nothing here has to make sense to anybody else.
Not the old woman who has been living in the cracks too long who gets God Stuff from things too simple for you to notice -don't step on that candy wrapper, rare as a blind pigeon.
Not the Pentacostal girls who wear dowdy sack dresses but paint their faces like Celia Cruz. Not the virgins with closed eyes who, in white dresses, are led through the streets by old women laughing at the men.
Not the three year old asking, "Can you run from B to Clinton and beat the cars on Houston?"
Not the landlady who climbs five flights of stairs to knock on your door, flash her .38, and tell you that as far as the rent goes the building owner in Jackson State Prison, Detroit, wants CASH.
Not the one person you finally reach on the phone, after calling ten different people, who tells you it feels like their head is going to explode so they can't talk now.
Not the 386 Hydra Shok hollow point Plus-P that bounced off a twelfth rib, jellied a liver, and is caught in the corner of the Corona Girl's smile pasted up on a bodega door.
Not the firemen who are down the block dowsing a smoldering mattress while they help themselves to the teevee, camera, and jar of pennies.
Not the one-armed 15-year-old who finds it easy to get in to the building front hall to catch a little sleep thereby showing you how a formerly right-handed youth can teach you how to get something simple and available as a dream while the building complaint inspecter you called claims he is not able to locate your building on the block.
Not the sad face drawn on the bank clock.
Not Bimbo Rivas' daughter in whose dark eyes the notes of songs resist their intervals of silence to respond to Loisaida with the valiant continuation of the life of her father.
Not the ghost of Lucky Cien Fuegos softly singing, "Mi casa esta en la Avenida C, yo nunca espero oir de ti otra vez."
Not any of that.
How's this for an affront.
This morning I'm drumming in Tompkins Sq. around quarter to ten.
And fucking Sesame Street tries to have me kicked out of the park.
No joke.
They were filming in the park and came over to say, "We're picking you up on our audio."
I asked for a fee to go away and the director accused me of trying to extort them.
Then she went to get a park worker who, thankfully, was very appreciative and courteous, just asked if I would move but by that time I told her I only had about ten minutes left before I had to leave so she just said O.K.
It just kinda hurts that a film crew can come to exploit the marginal community for a resource and they think they have more priviledge than me who lives there.
People can be soooo arrogant and conceited.
Next time keep Big Bird in the dog run.
Outside your 5th floor window at 11PM.
Your tax dollars at work.
And then when you are on the roof -just human nature to find out what is going on, right?- the local goon squad member comes up to flash his badge and nine millimeter telling you to keep off your own roof, like he is unaware you were one of the 8 million people it took to pay for the flying police station.

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Tonight's shootout on your block sponsored by 600 years of racial oppression and only 8 years of a Federal Idiocracy plus their economic collapse which is also why two homeless people now sleep in your building's entryway every night this summer. Welcome to literally backward progress to the goodoldbadolddays.
Next? How about the TNT squad with their machine guns and flak vests. The only time city services get delivered promptly here is when they themselves are getting shot at !

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