ICME: The Pigeon Man Off The 101

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Last weekend, the fiance and I were on our way north to the 2. From home, this requires going up Alvarado until it turns into the Glendale Freeway. And just on the far side of the 101, a panhandler caught my eye. Not because of anything written on a cardboard sign, but because he was being followed by a flock of pigeons. And two of them were actually riding on his arm and shoulder (vaguely visible at right – I took the photo from a moving car)

Pigeons are basically vermin – flying rats – to me. But they’re still technically wild creatures, like anything else living undomesticated in the city. So it amazed me that they were actually perched on this man, like a parrot on a pirate, like pets. It was like seeing a Pied Piper of pigeons. It was just so strange, and I wondered – does he talk to them? Does he have bread crusts in his pockets?

Has anyone else seen the Pigeon Man at any other offramps or stoplights?

8 Replies to “ICME: The Pigeon Man Off The 101”

  1. Great post. You are correct “Rats with Wings” is my definition. They were there waiting for him to drop something so they could pick it clean.

    Big PS…thanks for keeping the ICME alive! It’s catching hold and we at B.la can take credit for it. Can’t wait for it to show up in Websters new word list.

  2. Why all the pigeon hate? Squirrels do more damage – and carry rabies for gods sake – but nobody calls them “rats with big tails.”

    Give the poor birds a rest already.

  3. I like squirrels. They don’t shit on my car. They don’t shit on my patio. They don’t tear up my eves building nests. I will give you one use, if you get them young enough you can call ’em squab.

  4. This guy is almost always on Alvarado, at the bottom of the exit ramp from the 101 north. Sometimes you’ll catch him walking up and down Temple as well. He’s actually trained the pigeons to do a bunch of tricks. My gf calls him “The Pigeon Whisperer,” and she’s even made a painting of him.

  5. Fraz’s pigeon hate is canceled out by the pigeonman’s love. Balance is restored.

    As to whether they’re vermin or not. It takes a vermin to know one and there is none greater than us humans.

    And one more thing. We don’t have much of a pigeon /dove population where I’m at because the redtails and the Coopers hawks keep that pretty much in check, but I’ve got a rogue-ass band of squirrels in the trees above my backyard that do shit all over the patio and do drop half-eaten and fully rotted persimmons all over the place that they’ve pilf’ed from a neighbors tree, and they dig up the yard and they taunt and they chatter and they act like they own the place. But I don’t hate ’em. I don’t hate anything except hate.

  6. And Squirrel’s taste like chicken too. Of course I don’t like chicken so that’s not a selling point for me.

  7. PS…I never said I hated them, that was the accusation leveled. I said I disliked them. To say I hated them would imply I loved them at one time which is incorrect. It wasn’t until they dumped on my car daily did I learn to dislike them.

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