Too close of a call.

This morning I went to Macy’s downtown to purchase my necessary lip gloss (Supernova.  Worth every penny.) when I walked out the Smithfield Street exit door, headed to the Fifth Avenue corner and stopped dead in my tracks for two reasons.

First, the sign said “Don’t Walk” and unlike the dude pedestrian who earlier shook his head in dismay at me because I dared drive through a crosswalk when the traffic light was green forcing him to wait until I passed before crossing (asshole), I believe in doing what the signs say.

The second reason I stopped is because there in front of me, across the walkway, gathered in mass numbers on the sidewalk and the ledge of the old Lord and Taylor building were what I estimated via quick head count to be approximately 120 demon pigeons.

I swear on my two new tubes of Supernova that I am not making this shit up and if I’m lying I’ll eat some Casu Marzu, yo.  I couldn’t take a picture because the PittGirl Cell Phone Camera of Suck was out of power.

While waiting for the sign to give me the go ahead to walk, I debated my options.  Do I avoid the pigeons completely and cross to the other side of Smithfield, walk down one more block and then cross back, looking silly, or do I just cross the street and kind of hug the edge of the sidewalk as I tiptoe past the quiet flock of birds who were just milling about, shooting the breeze, smoking, and not doing much of anything?

Not wanting to let the pigeons force me to backtrack steps just because they’re THERE, I marched my cute little brave self across Fifth Avenue and people, again, I am NOT MAKING THIS SHIT UP …

The second my boot hit the sidewalk, every single pigeon took flight and circled over my head with a few of them raining down near misses of poop bombs.  I stopped my brave walking, screamed a little sissy scream, put my hands over my hair, and kind of hunkered down a bit (so much for not wanting to look silly) for about six long seconds, after which the pigeon flock quit terrorizing me and headed with some speed down Smithfield.

I’m pretty sure I heard cackling.

I have no idea what just happened, what they were planning to do, how I managed to escape un-pooped on, why my purse-mounted robotic falcon didn’t faze them, and most importantly why they didn’t just snatch me right then and there.

Watching over 120 pigeons fly down Smithfield Street, I started walking again, not so bravely, not so purposefully, at which point a kind old man who had seen the whole nightmare unfold stopped me and said, “Wow.  Pigeons don’t like you, do they?”

No, old man, they really really frickin’ don’t.


  1. Kelli
    November 1, 2007 11:44 am

    Those are the trained pigeons. I swear there is an old lady in that area who trains the pigeons to be insane. Like, purposefully insane. Not random pigeon insane.

    She got me one day. A friend and I were waiting to cross Smithfield when the little old lady approached. She suddenly threw down double handfuls of bird seed at our feet, then took off.

    Suddenly, we were engulfed in pigeons. We couldn’t walk or run away – they were everywhere. A giant insane pigeon rally.

    I swear, if I ever see that old lady again, I’m taking her bird seed away. She is making the pigeon worse. How is that even possible?

  2. plexxer
    November 1, 2007 11:46 am

    Just the other day, I saw a pigeon in the Apple store on Walnut perusing your blog. He was forced to leave the store when he started pecking out fake Craig’s list ads…

  3. NY Luvs Pitts
    November 1, 2007 12:09 pm

    Poor PG. I hope the rest of your day is a lot better.

  4. Lisa
    November 1, 2007 12:54 pm

    Dear Pitt Girl:
    I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your fear of pigeons. I once had a freak out when the rats with wings started swarming around me that I actually kicked one and some homeless dude started screaming at me. I have since retreated to the suburbs and no longer work in the city. I feel your pain.

  5. Guy Hogan
    November 1, 2007 1:05 pm

    In some high end restaurants (This is what people tell me. I don’t eat in high end restaurants.) pigeon is on the menu. Of course it’s not called pigeon. It’s called squab and it’s suppose to be very good. Which gives me an idea. I wonder if there’s a black market in…

  6. Pensgirl
    November 1, 2007 3:10 pm

    PittGirl, I don’t mean to out you, but at this point it’s just too easy. You’re Tippi Hedren, aren’t you?

  7. Pensgirl
    November 1, 2007 3:12 pm

    Guy, my Italian family loves squab (me, not so much). It’s not exactly the same bird as a pigeon, but I guess it’s a close relative. It basically tastes like any old game bird to me.

  8. Nellie
    November 1, 2007 3:13 pm

    Remember that guy from last year who caused the whole downtown area to be locked down? Turns out he was shooting pigeons from the top of Highmark building.
    Get his number and put it on your speed-dial.
    Either that, or start praying to Bill Burns.

  9. curtO
    November 1, 2007 3:50 pm

    Freakin pigeons tried to break my windshield once…flew right into me. But did that kill it? Nope, he/she just kept going looking more POed because he failed to make me crash or crack it. I sold my car a few days later knowing that he would seek revenge on the black, tinted out Cutlass…

    *please note, I will never reveal my current car in fear that the pigeons are reading this, or those big black birds, (I’m not sure if they are crows, but they scare me) that always stare me down, HARD.

  10. Jess
    November 1, 2007 4:50 pm

    You may want to consider suggesting this to the town council/city officials.,2933,307357,00.html

  11. Allison
    November 1, 2007 5:01 pm

    That happens to me. A lot. One time, one made a beeline for my head.

    I hate pigeons.

  12. Trish
    November 1, 2007 7:02 pm

    Hate me now because I just laughed my ass off.

    PS–I have a scar on my hand from where a goose bit me when I was three and I killed a $2500 parrot because someone put it on my arm when I specifically told them not to. The only birds I like to see are dead, plucked, roasted and on a dinner plate.

  13. PittCheMBA
    November 1, 2007 7:57 pm

    That Supernova is a nice shade of lip gloss.

  14. DeutschtownFrau
    November 1, 2007 10:41 pm

    PittGirl, Pigeons are delicious! Eating them is the only way for you to conquer your (reasonable) fear.

    WIth admiration for you foremost in our hearts, my husband and I ate several of your foes this summer at a Portland, OR, restaurant called, yes, “Le Pigeon.” He even bought the restaurant’s signature t-shirt, which features a pigeon posed like the familiar Bald Eagle, with forks in its claws instead of laurel branches, and the slogan, “Eat Squab.”

    Oh yes we did. And it was good.

    Turning pigeons into a local delicacy might be the solution both to your immediate concern about impending attacks and my concern about over-priced entrees, pigeon being such an abundant resource.

    In the meantime, be sure to dust all the crumbs off your coat prior to exiting your Dahntahn parking garage.