Monday, February 22, 2010

The Object of My Desire: Rise and Shine

As Veli and I were walking through Manhattan's Lower East Side this weekend, we encountered a a noise that reminded me of my childhood -- one that sounded completely out of context among the rumble of the city. I heard it, but it didn't quite register. What in the world was it? "A rooster," he replied very matter of factly. "No it wasn't," I insisted. "How could it be?" As soon I discounted his observation, I heard the mystery sound again. And yes, in fact, it was a rooster crowing right in the middle of New York City.

As we rounded the corner of the M'Finda Kalunga public garden, I spotted the noisemaker, just hanging out with his friend in a space that is more commonly home to pigeons and sparrows. Apparently, the two birds had been dropped off at the park before winter and had decided to stay put through the winter where they live in a coop built for two. They leave their luxury digs on occasion for jaunts around the confines of the garden, but they never pass through the gates even when they're left open.

These barnyard sites and sounds instantly reminded me of my Grandma Churchill's farm where it seemed like there was always a rooster crowing, whether it was three in the morning or three in the afternoon. Grandma kept chickens in the hen house at all times -- ones that produced fresh eggs every day and an occasional Sunday supper. During the summer, my sister and I would get so excited when Grandma would bring home card bard boxes filled with new chicks for her own chicken coop. She let us play with the fuzzy little creatures and carry them around in shoe boxes as if they were playthings, but eventually, they were placed back in the farmyard with their poultry pals.

So the next time I hear a rooster crow, I will not doubt the familiar sound. For whether its down on the farm or in the middle of New York City, that familiar cock-a-doodle-doo will always remind me of home.

The Elegant Thrifter

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!


  1. i was raised in the city but we had chickens in our back yard. I have missed them all these years and when we moved to the UK I could hardly wait to get some hens. We now have six red hens, fresh eggs every day, and that sense of home that makes my day to day life a little sweeter!

  2. I bet that was surreal hearing that crow! What a great memory it inspired.

  3. eggsellent! crackin'! as usual!

  4. What nice memories! Love that they're living right there. Saw you in Flea Market Style...always fabulous indeed!!

  5. Fresh eggs what a luxury....smiles.

  6. I love my rooster! He adds such an air of confident elegance as he struts around our property looking regal and keeping the hens in order.

    I would love to hear a rooster crow in downtown NYC! Hilarious!

  7. Some of my most vivid memories are attached to sounds and the sense of smell... how amazing that a sounds associated with the barnyard would be in New York city...I'm sure you thought your ears were playing a trick on you. A pleasant surprise and a pleasant memory of childhood...I hope you trip to the city was a lovely one...

  8. what a great story! we had chickens growing up, and now it is great to see my kids enjoy raising them too.
    thanks for sharing!
    oh, and i love the cover page on your book. i am off to order it!



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