Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Better Life

Yes the title is a song reference. Get to know the song, the band!

Ruby and Ivory were two chickens I rescued from a hoarder in Washington Heights. Washington Heights is not known for being the most friendly part of Manhattan. In fact if you want to get away from tourist in the city you can hit Washington Heights and be tourist free any time of day or night. Unfortunately for me it was night time that brought me to this neighborhood. Susie called me about a frantic woman who had two chickens and did not know what to do with them. I had plans to take another chicken to the farm the next day so I was hoping the lady with the two others would be willing to keep them for the night. No such luck.

Now I’m headed to Washington heights at 10pm on a Friday night. I’m certain to see some action in this neighborhood at that time on a Friday night. I arrive at the lady’s apartment around 11pm. She is stepping out of a mini van that is filled with kennels. I can hear one bird and one dog from the van which is driven by her friend. The lady I am to meet also has a kennel in her hand with a cat inside. We walk into her building and she leaves the cat under the stairs as we head to her third floor apartment. By the time I am on the second floor I can smell animal feces. As we step to her door I see roaches scurrying from her apartment. The walls are completely black from two feet down and the smell is horrible. She tells me to wait outside, this is a warning to me as if the smell and roaches were not enough. I think to myself, “count the cats, count the dogs”. She has trouble accessing the kennel and finally asked me to step into her apartment.

If you have seen the movie Seven picture the room with “sloth” in it now, minus the smell good trees from the ceiling.

I am now standing in a room 10 feet by 12 feet with kennels about 5 feet high lined around 3 walls. I can’t count the cats, too many, but I estimate over 30. I can count the dogs that I see (4) but I hear more in another room. Above the kennels are paint less walls covered in dirt from animals walking on top of the kennels. The floor is bare down to the slatted sub-flooring, a few scraps of newspaper lie in a few areas. Empty cat food cans lie everywhere including the inside on the kennel containing two chickens. The chickens kennel has two kennels on top with two cats each. A cat is lying on top of these two kennels and he is missing an eye, part of his ear, and his tail.


I remove the two kennels and lift the kennel with the chickens from the floor. Roaches are everywhere, on the chickens in their food, running from the kennel. I quickly take them outside and run down the stairs. I stop at the door buzzer as I leave to photograph the ladies apartment # and her name, then out side for fresh air and to get to my car. I turn the corner to see a cop and about 5 teen age kids. One kid face down on the ground. Further down the street 2 more cop cars are racing to the scene which is across the street from my car. Before the other cops arrive I hear two gunshots and the teenagers are laughing. All the while I am trying to clean the roaches from these chickens and remove all the trash in their kennel. It seems impossible to remove the roaches. They just appear from under the birds feathers like water from a faucet. I get the chickens into the car and fly down the road. I don’t think the cops are going to care too much about me speeding when they have other things to occupy their time.

I get home, take the chickens out of the car and begin to feed and water them. They are obviously relieved to not be in a den of cats and dogs not to mention roaches.

Ruby & Ivory

So into the house we go. A new puppy and now two chickens. I’m very afraid of what these chickens may have and could give to the puppy so they are isolated in the bathroom unlike Henry the Turkey who was able to sleep in the bedroom with us.

Ruby & Ivory

They appear calm and are eating well. After some reorganizing to make them comfortable we all go to sleep.

I drive to Westchester the next day to pick up another chicken, then off to Farm Sanctuary .

Now many months later I am at Farm Sanctuary to leave my car for the next two weeks so that I can ride my bike with the rest of the Walk For Chuck Team . As I approach the newly renovated turkey barn two chickens are out of the fence and approach me. I have the most difficult time photographing chickens so for them to approach me is a shock.

Ivory & Ruby

I quickly recognize these two as they pose for the camera repeatedly.

Ivory & Ruby

It’s Ruby and Ivory. My ONLY friends from Washington Heights.

So they are very happy in their new home and are waiting for everyone to meet them when visiting Farm Sanctuary






Take care of my car Susie, there’s enough vegetable oil to get to California in the trunk.


Monday, July 13, 2009

How much is too deep?

How much trouble can one person get into?
I seem to be counting the days until my past, present, and future of being frustrated with the way things are going in this world catch up to me.
With that said I open another complex situation which I have been sitting on for many years.
I have nightmares, visions while wide awake of these photos, these memories, these times when unliberated, testosterone driven humans were a large part of my everyday life. These people are educated to exist for one purpose and one purpose alone, they are driven to stay angry, to kill in a single click, to fight and fight for what they think of as "Freedom, Democracy, the only way".
These people are not open to suggestion or education other than what is fed to them as correct by a system that promotes itself as the biggest, best and leader of the "free" world.
Not sure how long these photos will exist on here, they maybe removed by either myself or sources we have yet to take control of. We must experience the good and bad in life so that when we reach our community of enlightenment we can say. "I'm so glad we are all here today, I am so glad we can now share. Share our cultures, our bounty, our lives without the strife of indifference."
It's been a long night, morning and the day has just begun.

My predictions

My prediction for the November 6, 2012 election is that Sarah Palin will indeed win the election.
Thankfully we have the end of the world on December 21, 2012 to look forward to.

Just a weekend

Arthur of Gorilla Biscuits fame and now of PETA fame has set up shop with Katie and is protesting the Circus in Coney Island. Can anyone explain to me why it makes sense to bring an elephant around the world to show it off with unnatural acts in areas of the world where an elephant would never travel. Seems to me we have gone to far with our "dominion".
Tour de Queens
Tour de Queens! Awesome weather, great people.
Rawstar cafe recently opened in Brooklyn and it's presence will be felt with good feelings to everyone who eats there. Best food I have had in a long time. Service, atmosphere, food all tops!

Snow Bike begins!

Profile Single Speed Disc. Thanks Matt!
Vicious Cycles 80mm!!!
Vicious Cycles 80mm!!! and Speedway Cycles 50mm

In order for Aaron to start the Snow bike frame we had to get the wheels built!