My wife and I visited the park on a recent trip to New York. Little did we know that we would run into park celebrity William MacLeod. Although he doesn't like the title, he is often referred to as the Pigeon Guy. That's him with my wife, Karen, in the photo. MacLeod rescued two baby pigeons from the park several years ago and nursed them back to health at his nearby apartment. When they seemed well enough, he returned them. It was too late, though, for by then their homing instinct had developed and they were able to find their way back to his apartment. The pigeons now go back to the park during the day and he visits them during his lunch. That is how we got to meet him. We saw this guy walking through the park with a pigeon circling around his head. He was nice enough to stop and talk to us as he fed the pigeon that was now perched on his shoulder.
I suppose their are a number of lessons that could be gleaned from his story. Compassion for all creatures and a willingness to do something different are two that come to mind. It also seems to fit the park's past and present. The day after meeting Mr. MacLeod we saw a guy playing piano for tips in the park. I have no idea how he managed to get the piano there. While our pigeon experience doesn't rise to the level of poetry, (speaking strictly for me, I wouldn't have died then and there) it is a memory that we'll cherish, just as we do New York itself.