“New York City Nature Scene”: Street Art Celebrating…Pigeons

Usually it’s easy to ignore the fact that this city is crawling with pests. Rats, cockroaches, ex-boyfriends, stand-up comedy ticket sellers: creatures we hope to never encounter at close range. I’d like to deny their entire existence, thank you very much.

One afternoon walking through Union Square, my denial bubble came crashing down. Nope, nothing like running into my ex on New Year’s Eve, this was much more delightful. And bizarre. I stumbled across the crossroads of art, New York cliché, and vermin.


A sign proclaiming “New York City Nature Scene” was placed in the middle of the sidewalk. A swarm of pigeons crowded on the right, a family of pizza rats on the left. Nothing moved. It took a moment for my brain to process exactly what I was looking at. Fortunately I figured it out before any scream escaped my lips.


This is installation art, folks. Every one of those pigeons and rats was created by the hands of artist Tina Piña Trachtenburg. You can find her at her website http://motherpigeon.com. Oh I am not kidding. That is every bit the URL! Visit motherpigeon.com and it become very clear that this art work is not a satire, not a critique on urban existence. It is an ode to pigeons.


“As soon as I moved to New York City in the late 1980s, I fell in love with the pigeons,” says Trachtenburg. “Look at a pigeon the same way that you would look at a rose, or a bed of wild flowers. They are beautiful and unique, with each one being different from the rest. It is a privilege to have them around us.”


What a character. Only in New York, amiright? According to her site she’ll be in Union Square more Mondays and Fridays through Christmas Eve. So now you’ve been warned and the options are clear:

  1. Run to Union Square to see for yourself the strangest installation art pieces I’ve ever seen. Even meet the artist!
  2. Avoid the area at all costs.


Unbridled passion is pretty amazing to see. You know what I mean? It’s inspiring to see someone pour their heart and soul into something they believe in- even pigeons! This woman is crazy passionate, it’s plain to see in every one of her creations. She certainly go me thinking about pigeons more than the fleeting thought of “gross” when one flies to close.


I’d love to know what you think! Can you get over the “ick” factor? Does this art squeak you out? Amuse you? Inspire you to follow your secret passion for black mold?

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

3 thoughts on ““New York City Nature Scene”: Street Art Celebrating…Pigeons

  1. I’m really used to the pigeons although I do call them “flying rats” . The rats bother me more but only if they are on my property not in the street. To be honest I’m more afraid of raccoons, they’re the devil.

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