Racing homing pigeons is a pastime long forgotten, or perhaps never remembered, by New York City residents.
And though you might be picturing street rats with wings waddling after 50 yards of hot dog–bun crumbs, think again. The pigeons are tagged, transported 100 to 600 miles away and released to find their way home. We hope.
Annie Heringer's documentary, "The Pigeon Game," which screens tonight at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, shines a light on the disappearing culture of this bird-racing sport -- and the people involved in it. This would include longtime pigeon flier Martin McGuinniss, who will be speaking tonight at the Tenement Museum.
"These pigeons are trained, bred-to-win, pedigree pigeons," McGuinniss tells Asylum. "If we took care of ourselves like we do the pigeons, we'd live forever."
While McGuinniss continued his rebuttal, seemingly aimed at PETA, he also had a chance to show the bond that forms between fliers of this subculture. "Some of us are black, some white, some Puerto Rican. But we're also all pigeon fliers. We got that one special thing in common. It's a great thing," he says.
"The Pigeon Game" screening and discussion begins at 6:30 tonight at the Tenement Museum. Check out a clip from the film below.