Pigeons

Pigeons and Protests: The Battle for Tenants Rights at 79 Lorimer Street

Councilman Stephen Levin Speaks at a protest outside of 79 Lorimer Street. Photo by Lucie Levine

At a press conference today in front of 79 Lorimer Street, a multiple-dwelling loft building in South Williamsburg, Councilman Stephen Levin Called the situation “truly Kafkaesque”: three and a half years ago, the building’s tenants were evicted from their homes and workspaces with 24-hours notice. Since that time, they have not been allowed back in the building, but their possessions remain trapped inside. Meanwhile, the property’s spiteful owners have knocked out windows, turning what were once  functioning homes and studio spaces into pigeon roosts. Today, everything the tenants own is covered in pigeon poop.  Continue reading

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Pigeons Smuggling Cubans – Duke Riley Show Tonight …in NYC (11/1)

Duke Riley’s Show See You At The Finish Line is opening tonight from 6-8pm at Magnan Metz Gallery (521 West 26th St) all the way in Manhattan – all the way between 10th and 11th St. The incredible journey documented in this solo show will make the measly trip across the East River and hike to the west side well worth it.

The US governement spends billions of tax payer dollars on high tech surveillance of the waters between the US and Cuba, but one thing their fancy balloons don’t detect – pigeons. As a sort of “FU” to the ridiculous “Trading with the Enemy Act,” Duke trained 50 homing pigeons in Key West to make the 100 mile journey from Cuba to smuggle cigars. Mission accomplished.

In a recent NY Times article Duke said, “I wanted to subvert this billions-of-dollars high-tech system with things that were being used in ancient Sumeria.”

Not only did 11 birds successfully return with cigars, others strapped with cameras filmed the journey. The shaky but unbelievable footage below will be shown in its entirety tonight, as well as the actual birds in their loft, their smuggling “bras,” the cigars and other objects. Plus, a pair of birds is for sale for $100,000 – live pigeons sold as artwork.

See You At The Finish Line is on view through January 14th, 2014.

Duke Riley–Trading with the Enemy PREVIEW from Duke Riley on Vimeo.

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(Not) Forgotten Greenpoint: “Taj Mahal For All The Birds… & Elvis!” – Beverly’s Memories & Karen None Of Your Business

When I first took over Greenpointers, Beverly, an original Greenpointer who now lives in Florida and stays connected through the website, wrote me one of the most inspiring messages about her mother’s Irene’s Social Column that was in the Greenpoint Gazette in the 70s.

Her warm wishes made me feel that I’d made the right decision to work on this amazing blog and serve Greenpointers who don’t even live here anymore – but still love it and want to keep up with the neighborhood.

She recently wrote me to ask a favor, to fulfill her birthday wish by doing what I do best, photography! She asked me to send her a photo of the building she grew up in, which happens to be the home of Acapulco Restaurant on Manhattan Ave and a house her parents owned on Clay St.

With Beverly’s permission I share her special email that gives us some great insight into Greenpoint of the past:

I was born at 1116 Manhattan Avenue on January 20th, 1951. As you are standing on Manhattan Avenue facing the building, I was born on the top floor left apartment and lived there until I was 12 years old.

My Grandparents had the apartment next to us and on the first floor where the other two apartments are (even though it is one flight up), lived an Aunt and Uncle in each apartment.

Although we did not own the building, at one time it was only rented to family members of mine.

There use to be a Bar & Grill downstairs that closed up very early in the 50’s and stayed that way well past the 60’s and if not mistaken into the 70’s.

One unique thing about the apartments in that building, the apartment one flight up and on the left hand side has a unique thing within it. From the kitchen into the bedroom and parlor, you actually had to walk up like 2-3 steps and then walk down 2-3 steps.

My Dad raised Pigeons there and had a huge Pigeon Coop on the roof that he and my Grandpa treated like it was the Taj Mahal for all the birds. Continue reading

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