Kevin — January 10, 2010, 3:48 am

The Owl of Bryant Park

Well I’ve been in LA for just over two months now. The weather is out of this world – it’s 72F / 22C every day. At night when it gets “cold” it dips down to a frigid 53F / 12C! MAN! Some night I have to put on a JACKET!

Bananas.

I’ve spent most of my time settling in – only a couple of boxes left to unpack. My New York furniture – which is a decent size for a New York apartment – looks a little out of place in a Los Angeles sized apartment. When the movers left and all the furniture was sitting in here, it looked like someone had chucked a load of furniture from a Barbie playhouse on my floor. I’ve been trolling Craigslist for more appropriately sized stuff and I am happy to say that this weekend is the first weekend that I have an entire functional living room! Huzzah!

Anyhow, here’s a fun little story for you.

So before I left New York, I wanted to leave a little something behind. A little trinket, some part of me that would remain in that great city. I could say my heart’s still there, but that’s only a figure of speech, and while it’s figuratively true, in reality my heart is right here in Los Angeles, and it’s currently moving blood around my circulatory system. If I had indeed left my heart in New York I imagine it would have been a pretty unpleasant flight to LA, because I would have probably been dead by the time I hit New Jersey.

So I gazed around my cramped studio apartment looking for something to offer to the city – some part of me to leave behind.

I wandered down to Bryant Park – which was just a few blocks from my pad. It’s a wonderfully tranquil place in the middle of the city which has skating in the winter, a carousel, and a great restaurant (the Bryant Park Grill) which has a killer patio bar on the roof. Bryant Park also sits in the shadow of the mighty Chrysler Building, which is, and always be, one of my favorite structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is great, but Spider Man doesn’t hang out on it, peering down at the city from atop a gleaming metal Gargoyle.

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It was here, in this tranquil stretch of greenery amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City, that I left something from my past, something that would stay in New York and keep a lookout for me; a set of eyes and ears to afford me a remote connection to my dearly beloved city. A part of me that might remain there in my place, so that a tiny bit of the energy, passion, and beauty of New York might stay with me forever.

So, to be my New York eyes and ears, I chose my watchful spirit daemon:

Mister Hooters.

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Mister Hooters has been my friend and confidant for years; he was given to me by the RENOWNED artist Colin Beadle. A true original, Mister Hooters began his life when he was painted onto a Vancouver river stone, and since that fateful event, has spent the majority of his days inside my medicine cabinet.

Inside there, Mister Hooters kept a watchful eye over my toiletries and personal effects. When the available supply of Q-Tips began to run perilously low, Mister Hooters would hoot softly from the confines of my cabinet, letting me know it was time to acquire more delicate swabs. When I was down to my last few precious allergy pills, Mister Hooters would send a warning hoot when I opened the cupboard, gently reminding me that I needed to visit the nearest pharmacy before visiting the domicile of someone who kept a cat.

He was a grand friend, Mister Hooters. And I decided to reward his years of service with his biggest adventure yet.

I wandered to Bryant Park on my second to last day in New York; a grey, drizzly Saturday. I strolled the park amidst the rain, peering up at the glowing spike of the Chrysler Building, listing to the endless toots of the taxis on 6th Ave. Would he toot back upon hearing their calls, mistaking them for a female painted river-rock owl which he might hope to woo? To do so would risk discovery, and if that happened, my connection to New York might be severed.

It was a risk I was willing to take.

I wandered the park until I found the perfect spot for Mister Hooters. There, at the base of a tree, I delicately placed Mister Hooters, perched atop a root, gazing out at the hustle and bustle of the city through the protective cover of a thicket of ivy.

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I bid Mister Hooters farewell, reminded him of his task, stood up, regained my composure, and made for home (which at this point was entirely empty, as the movers had come in the morning).

The next day I was winging toward Los Angeles, no longer a resident of New York City.

So, if you travel to New York and happen to visit Bryan Park, try making some soft hooting noises as you wander around. If you hear a faint hoot back, odds are it’s Mister Hooters, saying hello from his secret location deep inside Bryant Park.

Rock on, Mister Hooters. Your service is greatly appreciated, and I shall forever be in your debt.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Comment by JJJENNNNN @ January 10, 2010, 8:45 pm

    This made me want to cry.

  2. Comment by Loki @ January 22, 2010, 5:31 pm

    Awwww. See, that’s just awesome 🙂

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