Little Big Apple Story, Part 1

All illustrations for this story were developed in vector software and painted in Essentials.

PART 1, Life at the core

The little Big Apple story took place on the west side of Manhattan. It began in a small, 4th floor walk-up atop an old apartment building near Tenth Avenue. This was my home for five years. Half a mile northeast lay Central Park. The park had an important role; the little Big Apple story ended there.

Life in the city consisted of school during the day and a job at night. I was off work two nights a week. Schoolwork, maintaining a social life, or catching up on sleep took care of the first night. The second night found me at the Brooklyn Museum attending art classes.

Late one afternoon I packed my art supplies and headed for the subway to Brooklyn. A display of parakeets in the window of the neighborhood pet store caught my eye. This caused me to stop and spend a few moments enjoying their bright colors and playful behavior. Clinging to the side of the cage was a blue budgie gazing at me. Admittedly, it was love at first sight. But my knowledge of these birds was limited. Limited also was time. I hurried to the station.

I arrived as the train pulled to a stop at the platform. Squeezing into a car among the rush-hour horde was not exactly the highlight of my week, but it was the best option. A taxi to the museum was too expensive, bicycling was too far, and walking was out of the question. Besides, the subway ride would give me time to think about the tiny blue bird with the dark eyes.

At one time I had considered keeping a bird. Falcons had caught my interest a few months before moving to New York, but there was no time to pursue the idea. It would remain in limbo at least until school was finished and the city left behind.

My preference for animals leaned toward those with active lifestyles. This included several large breed of dogs and horses. A congested city was no place for these. But it could accommodate a small budgie whose entire world would be a 3-room apartment.

At that time I was unaware the little Big Apple story had begun. Its narrative would span a year; its example, a lifetime. It proved to me that perseverance must meet dire circumstance head on. In this story, survival depended on it.

That Saturday I biked down to Greenwich Village...(My girlfriend Dee, cont. in Part 2)