Tuesday, May 29, 2012


City Bakery is located within range of many fabulous parts of the city: we're footsteps from lower 5th Avenue,
two blocks from Union Square and Greenmarket, a few blocks away from neighborhoods of Chelsea [to the west], Gramercy Park [to the east], and only four blocks to architecture as exquisite as the Flatiron building. The bakery is also 10 short blocks from Washington Square Park, where for the last seven weeks, a family of red-tailed hawks has been perched on a window ledge 12 stories above the park, as two baby hawks were hatched.
This was a sight to see from the park itself, but more so, up-close-and-personal through a "hawk cam" set up inside the window ledge of the NYU building where they've resided.

I'm one of those whose kept close tabs on this incredible chance to watch a hawk family life unfolding [it has been chronicled in great detail by many]. In the morning, every morning for nearly two months, I've checked in to see that all is well. In rain, I've checked in to make sure all was well. Through nearly every day for last 50 days [the day the the baby hawks arrived] I've checked in a few times to keep track, watch them eat, watch them grow [with amazing speed], and wait for them to fly.

Yesterday morning, the baby hawks Boo and Scout [so named by the community of hawk watchers] were flapping their wings and running back and forth along the ledge with big energy. Their first flight seemed very near [according to me, an utter and  complete hawk-know-nothing]. But this morning, when I checked the ledge, it was an instant realization: they were gone. As it turns out, they flew for the first time last night. Seven weeks ago, they were tiny, odd, fuzzy, prehistoric-looking creatures. Today, they're into the wild of New York City. Or, not quite...

Boo and Scout were spotted on the east side of the park this morning, on the balcony of a different NYU building. I went to have a look in person around 8am. Then, an hour ago, I went back to check in, but a crowd inside the park got my attention first, and for good reason. Sitting only about 6 feet off the ground, and bizarrely close to the sidewalk, was the mom, Rosie [above]. I've watched Rosie these past seven weeks with daily devotion. I've seen her flying over the park, sitting on flagpoles, feeding the baby hawks. NEVER, did I imagine I'd be so close, and she was a remarkable sight.  She is a true New Yorker - no matter the crowd assembled on the sidewalk around her - she seemed completely disinterested in her own celebrity and the buzz that surrounded her.

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