I’ve Become A Bird Watcher

And so can you. When we went to the Galapagos in 2018, I watched a group from California, who were traveling with us, jump up and down when they spotted rare birds. I thought they were nuts. I have to admit, I enjoyed watching them get so excited.

Being a city kid, I never thought I would be interested in what flew by me when I walked down the street, or sat on a park bench. Somehow, somewhere, I read about the app “Picture Bird.” All you have to do is take a picture of a bird and post it on the app. Less than two seconds later, a full description of what you just saw appears on your screen.

I’m not saying I’m a full time bird watcher, but you can be sure I’m taking photos of most of the birds I see with my iPhone. I’m learning a lot, and all of a sudden, I am aware of these flying objects. I’m so sorry I ignored them for so long.

Eliot took the photos of the birds below when we were in the Galapagos in 2018.

Last Night’s Miami Sunset. Photo by Eliot Hess.

Last Sunday our girlfriend Katerina Cozias, along with her boyfriend Aristotle, climbed all the way to the top of Mount Bierstadt, 14,000 feet up. That’s the hikers way of quarantining. Congratulations!!!

For The Birds 

Ever since we put our NYC co-op up for sale, a flock of birds have been landing on our window sills for a few minutes of rest. In all of the 40 years we have lived here, maybe this has happened once or twice a year. 

Now, it happens several times a day. The birds brush up against the window so it sounds like they are knocking to get in. The trouble is that the windows got so dirty from the rain, that I can’t see them as vividly as I would like. 

Sometimes we get two or three birds at once. Eliot and I just stop what we are doing and watch them until they fly away. Some birds hang out for a while. I started to tape them so I can see a replay when I don’t live here anymore.

The new buyers of our co-op unit were just interviewed by the board of directors, a procedure done before the final purchase. We are getting closer to when we hand over the keys. I’ve taken digital pictures and videos of everything when this apartment was filled with furniture, and then without. It’s nice to know that my memories are in my camera roll.

For The Birds

This video was viewed by over two million people. It’s almost too strange to believe. Music composer, Jarbos Agnelli of Brazil, saw a picture of birds sitting on electric wires in a local newspaper. He thought it would be totally awesome if he put notes exactly where the birds were located. This is the melody he created. Unbelievable!

Thank you Marsha Levine for bringing this to my attention.

Miguel Elias

My friend Miguel Elias died last week while I was at CES. He was in his mid 50’s. He learned a few weeks prior that he had stage four liver cancer. He declined faster than anyone could ever have imagined. His long-time partner, Joe Nass, has been hospitalized with a complete breakdown. Their dog Buddy suddenly died days after Miguel and Joe just couldn’t cope.

If it wasn’t for Facebook, texts, and emails, most of Miguel’s family and friends would not have been informed so quickly about his condition. His interior design clients live all over the United States (with a focus on Dallas and Minneapolis) and his family in Rio. Those closest to him immediately flew in to be at his side.

Miguel was a very special person. Not only was he very handsome and talented, he was a very good friend. Eliot and I met him when he was the boyfriend of one of our employees, Andrew Scott. Miguel took impeccable care of Andrew when he was drying of AIDS. He did the same thing for his next partner, Bob. There are few people on Earth who would devote their lives to take care of others as he did for these men.

Eliot and I witnessed Miguel at the lowest of low and then the highest of high. Miguel’s last partner Joe contracted cancer (nothing related to AIDS), so he spent two-plus years nursing him back to life. He basically gave up his career to be a devoted caregiver.

That was just a few years ago, Miguel was finally enjoying life, doing what he loved the most, making people’s homes absolutely spectacular. He just finished one major assignment on Central Park West. I am talking to the owners about showcasing one of his last masterpieces.

Eliot, Whitney and I were very close to Miguel. He and Joe even employed Whitney when they first opened their home accessories retail store in the Union Square district. Called XYZ, it was right across the way from ABC Carpet.

We will miss Miguel terribly and pray that Joe recovers quickly. None of this makes sense to those who love them both.