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Wednesday, July 17

My favorite take, from out of Amazon Prime Day 2024.

This one just feels serendipitous to me, yet I can't share on other social media channels, from this hotspot. People have got to try this wacky UFO orb thing out! Yikes! 

Hint: look up "Dorom" on Amazon, whether it's the website, on a browser, or on the app. I had better luck on the web. Then buy one! If you don't see it's then it's probably done, his inventory. But the guy might be one of my buddies, from university days. Neat, huh? There's no deal like it...

My Android YY-35 Tablet's Chrome browser.

Monday, July 1

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #8: Santa Monica Pier and Bluffs Flock, by Day and by Night.


The world-famous Santa Monica Pier Lighted Display Arch, in Santa Monica, CA, USA.
Santa Monica is definitely one of the Los Angeles region's most popular tourist destinations, with many attractions within the city; the Santa Monica Pier, being the most prominent landmark in town, with the sun's setting happening over the Pacific Ocean, each evening, off over the horizon, or beyond Malibu and Topanga Canyon. It's nature's majesty at some of its best, on the west coast. 

Taking a closer, more localized look around the area, we are witnessing a novel animal amusement park beginning to develop, in recent years. The locals might have typically been considered to have been wondering what to do about this huge flock of hundreds of pigeons, nearby the pier? The topic had even made the news, back in 2022, when a man took up the call to action, at a time when the fear of birds, due to the pandemic, had further pushed pigeons, amongst the public, out on a lonely boat, at sea, so to speak. 

Unforeseen, a rich and bustling wildlife scene has become established, with huge numbers of squirrel families now populating the bluffs, and the pigeons show up for a piece of the action, as well. 

Hordes of squirrel families have propogated themselves on the Santa Monica Freeway / Pacific Coast Highway bluffs, neighboring the Santa Monica Pier. The bluffs feature exciting natural ecology for both squirrels, as well as pigeons, to thrive, amongst the tourists and local wildlife lovers, alike.

The pigeons and squirrels make for a lively and dynamic daily foray, amongst the panoramic views of local beach-side ecology and the ocean horizon.

The pigeons and squirrels of the Santa Monica State Beach Bluffs work out who's eating what, out of what I throw out, for the birds. 

An Iranian pigeon checks out a squirrel who'd bossed his way in to getting some of the food, while the other critters and a fellow pigeon look on.
These day time photos were from a recent Day 1: of a weekend, 2-day excursion,in which I'd ended up at the beach, to do recycling. This pigeons and squirrels dynamic is really a new thing, over the past year or two, or so - there definitely had not been so many squirrels. There's really a lot of them, but there's so many tourists, and they seem to all get by, just fine, as is, and I'm sure that the city's Animal Control staff can figure out what to do, if there were a problem about overpopulation, or something. 

The next time I came down to Santa Monica (earlier, last night), I arrived around evening / just past sundown, for my Day 2 excursion. This time, I spotted another pigeon presence novelty - the underneath-the-pier night shift pigeons. A nighttime flock of pigeons who are active, still, is quite rare, here in the Greater Los Angeles area, so - making Santa Monica a stop, in your day, whether it be night time, or sun out, seeing the pigeons out, doing their thing, can fit in to most any tourist schedule.

As I walked along the beach, passing underneath the pier, some of the local pigeons flew down from the rafters, and they decided to check me out, to see if I had any food for them.

Some pigeons from the pier flock, at nighttime, mingling as they discover a prospect for a meal.

I had some bread, so I gave them what I had, and the birds were happy. 
The next time you're out in Santa Monica, perhaps you'll encounter these pigeons, along your path, on and around the beach and bluffs.

A pigeon pursues a potential companion, or young one, as pigeons will do.

 Recipes: iPigeon Udon Noodle Soup - a Curry Ramen.

 I do this one, here and there, as a fancier take on noodles (at least), compared to a standard bargain ramen noodle soup. This one will rate more around a standard Asian restaurant's offering of "some kind" of noodles; I just threw this dish together, with some influences from Thai food, and their hot and curry soups, with Udon noodles, hoisin sauce, which is Chinese, and a splash of vinegar, of your choosing, or selection (I had malt vinegar, which I purchased from Whole Foods, separately, but the rest of the ingredients for the soup are available at my local Ralph's - perhaps yours, as well). 

(Most of) The ingredients in iPigeon Udon Noodle Soup.


1 pack udon noodles (2 in pack)
Golden Curry: 1/2 slab
Soy Sauce: 2 Tbsp.
Hoisin Sauce: 2-3 Tbsp.
Green Onions: 3, finely chopped, whole bulb and stalk
Cilantro: 1/2 bunch
Jalapeño Pepper: As desired, for spiciness 
Kara Coconut Cream Powder: ~ 1 Tbsp. (Work out 4 servings, per package)
Lime Juice: 1/2 lime, squeezed
Butter: 2-3 Tbsp (I used butter, which works fine, although toasted sesame oil would be more fitting)
Malt Vinegar: 2-3 splashes

It's fairly really simple, just follow the instructions on the udon noodle soup package, i.e. throw the noodles in boiling water, give it a minute or two, while you slice of scissor your greens, break up some curry solids and throw them in to the boiling water, put some coconut cream in there, throw the greens in (note: by this point, you'd want to stop cooking, nearly immediately, so that the greens still have some substantive form left of them), then, add in vinegar, soy sauce, lime and hoisin sauce. Perhaps some salt and pepper.

That's it! 
A tasty late night soupy meal.

Wednesday, June 26

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #7: Universal City / Studio city Metro Station and Bus Hub.


The Universal City / Studio City Metro Station flock of pigeons is an extra-special flock to see, along the Metro Red Line (B Line).

Wow, what an exciting flock of birds! For years, now, I'd been coming to visit the Universal City / Studio City flock of pigeons, here and there, and the birds never let me down, in offering an amusing and interactive birdwatching and bird-feeding session. Today, right before the beginning of summer, was no different. 

This time, I came with Hawaiian burger buns, since I was making burgers, later on, as well as pastries. For refreshments, I brought Sparkling Ice brand flavored water.

A sprawl of pigeons, amidst the street surface level of the Universal City / Studio City Metro Station and Bus Hub.

A baby pigeon seeks out some food, in the planters at the Metro Station. 

An adult pigeon follows the baby pigeon around, in the planter.

The adult pigeon chases the baby pigeon around, in an effort to socialize the baby pigeon, appropriately. 
Here, we have a flock of birds at its best - the birds are away from the civic center of Los Angeles, and there's fewer criminals who try to catch the birds. Hence, the birds are much more comfortable, and in their element, and they're more willing to interact with their human caregivers. On this day, the birds had a bountiful feast of Hawaiian buns and pastries.

The pigeons, here, at the Universal City / Studio City Metro Station, often congregate off to the side, nearby the planters.

I made sure to offer the birds a dish of cold water, since it was a hot day. They took to it, just fine!

The birds started to get wise, as to where the food was, and they raided my large pastry that I brought for them. 

Soon afterwards, more pigeons began to flock to the pastry, and they ate the whole thing.

A delicious meal, for these birds. 
I recommend this spot, for bird-loving tourists, for an optimal bird-feeding experience (they're much more lively and friendly, once they're fed). 

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #6: North Hollywood Metro Station and Bus Hub.

North Hollywood is known for its arts, and the Metro Station, here, is typically a lively, bustling marketplace, featuring food and performances by musicians. 

 I recently started making trips out to North Hollywood, having garnered some gig work, out in the valley, so naturally, I would check out the local bird-feeding scene, being that the station features some shade and shelter for wildlife. 

Although there aren't many pigeons, out at this station, there is a growing population of sparrows, and they're attractive, in and of themselves. 

On my way out, though, I encountered some pigeons within the station, at the platform level. Station-wandering pigeons are always a lovely feature. I tossed them some bun crumbs, and the pigeons had a nice, quick meal. 

A pair of station-dwelling pigeons, at the North Hollywood Metro Station.

The pigeons had some bread, while I was here. 

A look at the station's platform, with the station-dwelling pigeons in frame. 

Thursday, May 30

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #5: The USC Dumpster Pigeons.

 This flock of pigeons hadn't always lived here, which is curious, because I could trace back to days of pigeon-feeding that I'd done, where I knew this localized flock of birds, from somewhere else, namely, The Hoover Recreation Center and Public Park. At some point, however, I suppose that the birds possibly were mistreated, or, for some other reason, they found greener pastures - here, at a transit thoroughfare peninsula parking lot, to be succinct. I call them: the USC Dumpster Pigeons, since the spot is within the University's grounds, more or less. 

The USC Dumpster Pigeons (left), alongside the famous dumpsters of the place.

This flock, although slightly out of bounds of Downtown Los Angeles (I figured that these flocks hotspots would perhaps, someday, become more well-populated with people, as well as pigeon watching and feeding sites, along the lines of a tourist day time attraction, which would, in effect, encompass a series of viewing locations, in sequence), is one that I'd known, practically back to the beginning of my pigeon-feeding and pigeon-blogging ventures, which had started around the summer of 2017, at which point, I had decided to try and participate in Tumblr's Inktober annual illustration blog bash and celebration; me, starting out with an ink brush, and some drawing paper.

This flock, itself, is rather charming, in their naivete, being that there's so many young ones, and, for the most part, their daily fare is tack bread crumbs, thrown out, by one of the businesses (I guess that the fact that they are given regular regard, of any sort, by the neighboring businesses, is appreciable). This flock is eager to nibble and munch on some tastier far; soggy fare, as I'd have it, for them, since there's no water source, nearby. 

The USC Dumpster Pigeons, eager to have a tasty, fresh meal served to them, with the thoroughfare parkway in the background. 

The USC Dumpster Pigeons are sort of "young" acting, I'd say. I'm not sure what had happened to them, to see them migrate out here; perhaps it was lack of care, or mistreatment, in which case, perhaps some adults were lost, from the flock.

I had some aspirations to landscape the nearby thoroughfare parkway, since it's currently just weedy grass and hay, with some drought-tolerant freeway-adjacent plants. I'm currently (late May, 2024), sprouting some seedlings, ostensibly to carry out that task, for this growing season (it's a really humbling thing to consider, but there's more rewards in it, if the project is seen through, in this way, and the whole block of parkway could be adopted, and seem regular, as landscaped parkway, at some point, I figure).

The major highlights and takeaways of this flock are that they're so set on taking the first bites of food, over each other, that they're nearly willing to be picked up, and held, by the caretaker / feeder, which is relatively rare. I'd suppose that, since this flock is somewhat remote from other flocks, there's less of the large-scale socialization establishments of fear and timidity that is seen in the DTLA-proper flocks. 

Some notes on this flock: the parking lot is situated east of Figueroa, on Adams, and west of the 23rd Street / Orthopedic Institute for Children Metro Expo E Line Train Station, although the birds are also sometimes found at the 23rd Street at Figueroa gravel peninsula and bus stop / 110 Freeway overpass. 

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #4: Downtown Los Angeles' Inner-City Window Ledges.

I had just recently moved in to new housing, after so many spats of housing that was, unfortunately, in various ways, hostile, unprofessional, or outright unfriendly and discriminatory in nature, at times. This being the case, I'd oftentimes move out, or I'd be ordered to move out, which happens to be a legal premise (it's called a self-help eviction, when there'd been no paperwork filed for eviction). 

In any case, now, in the spring time of 2024, I'm housed somewhere I can really appreciate: they serve three meals a day, and they're fairly relaxed about any sense of micro-managing tenants and their belongings (my belongings, in other words). The security of the home is well-done, and I can let up off of many stressful burdens of my material possessions having formerly been at risk, on a constant basis. The charm of the place is akin to movies that most of us had grown up seeing, which depict inner-city lifestyles - for example, windows that face each other, with an apiary center space, between the facing rooms of the building (I have a view, from my window, though). The windows thing became a curious point of focus for me, when I encountered a new pigeon friend, while at the restroom. I call him "Sleepy Pigeon."

Sleepy Pigeon typically shows up, across from the restroom, where he perches, for the afternoon, or evening. Here, he finds peaceful rest, and, since I met him, he also gets fed here, at the window.

The spot is apparently a social magnet for other pigeons, once they find out that food's being served at the window. Take a look at what happens when the other birds show up. 

A crowd of pigeons flocks to the window on my side of the building, since they'd discovered that there's food here, sometimes. 

On top of that, there's also a similar ledge, outside my window, and there's a pigeon that shows up there, as well (I can't show the photos, in this case, for privacy reasons). 

This paradigm of pigeon perching and resting places really gave me an impression of that this style of living is how these urban environment pigeons situate themselves - I'd not been sure, previously, all this time, as to where the birds go, at night, in general. It was almost like a Hollywood movie moment for me, in fact, especially since it featured pigeons ☺️. That aspect really did it for me. In a different sense, it really makes the place feel like home, for me, and since I'm housed in downtown LA, now, it's like I'd come full circle (I used to rent a loft, out in DTLA, back in 2010-2012; then I became homeless, after some acute psychiatric emergencies, amidst a failing tech services business that I was running).

Perhaps, if folks happen to show up in town, on a touristy basis, they might, also, find some lodging that features a pigeon friend, just outside the window.

Saturday, April 27 Local Botanical Item Spotlights - Mitica brand honeycomb, from Gelson's.

Update, and quick note: yipes! This product could potentially cause severe eye irritation! Be very wary about using the product described in this blog article, as far as cosmetic use goes. 

 One of my more recent fragrance fascinations was with the raw material, the honeycomb. I'd once had a great sample of Beeswax Absolute, which I highly enjoyed, and, which I'd mixed in to some fragrance compositions, with some slight attainment about them. I found the material very overpoweringly dominant, in what I felt, at the time, were small portions (I was just beginning to investigate and experiment with perfumery materials, having come from a background in making fragrance compositions with essential oils and absolutes that are more commonly found in local retail stores. 

In any case, I was fascinated by the physiological, or psychoactive (bioactive, perhaps, at least), effects of Beeswax Absolute, and, once I had run out of my sample product, I'd sometimes obsess over the ingredient, and I'd spend a lot of time, here and there, trying to find out new things to know about the product, itself, and I also developed a fascination with producing the absolute, myself, as well. 

Recently, I came across a great retail product beeswax honeycomb, by Mitica brand, which I found at Gelson's grocery store. I made sure to pick one up, since I had lots of money on my Food Stamps account, still. The item comes in its own frame and plastic box (which, for aroma chemical extraction, might not be the best material, but this is just my first try at producing my own agricultural fragrance ingredient from this material).

A top view of Mitica brand's honeycomb box, which includes a frame that the beeswax and honey, contained within the honeycomb, is built upon.

A diagonal view of Mitica's honeycomb box and frame. I felt that the product was ideal, over other choices in retail honeycomb availability, particularly on account of that a box and frame are included with the product.
I had not much knowledge base to work from, as far as discovering literature in regards to the chemical and molecular composition and form of honeycomb and beeswax material, so I had to do some looking up, of things. I had some notion that I could try to produce an alternative product to an absolute, using regular cooking vinegar. I tried it out, by soaking the honeycomb frame, in the box, and I felt that it could take weeks, or months, or more, perhaps, for a full extraction, as limited as with vinegar, solely, as the extraction fluid, although evaporation would be fairly reliable, I figured, and there could be useful compounds produced, with acetic acid thrown in to the equation, given that I be patient. 

At this point, it's been a few weeks, or so, and I noticed some slight changes - almost of that the beeswax seemed almost alive, in and of itself, even under vinegar, since I felt that some of the beeswax seemed to have creeped along, further out, on to the frame's top edges, where I don't remember seeing beeswax establishments, previously. The vinegar solution, itself, slowly became yellowish, but there wasn't a whole lot of action, in this instance of experimentation. 

Upon investigating the solvency considerations of the material, it was learned that the extraction would be best done with a polar solvent. I don't have any of the standard solvents, on hand, but, at one point, I became reminded that I have dimethyl octenone on hand, of which, I'd had previously employed a similar (somewhat) product, in doing an extraction and production method, as an experiment, with 3-octanone, as part of the extraction. Dimethyl octenone has a fairly relative olfactory scent profile to 3-octanone, and I figured that it is a polar solvent, in and of itself, perhaps as a scarce fraction of some other, more gross product of some other agricultural crop, in being separated, for qualitative purposes.

With a 15 mL bottle of dimethyl octenone, I was capable of pouring around a third, or less,  of the bottle out, in to the vinegar solution, and still cover the entire top surface area. Immediately, I noticed that the two layers didn't immediately mix; it was like oil and water, so I felt that my decision to employ dimethyl octenone was justified. This was yesterday. The liquid in the box became very vaporous, so I felt that perhaps a timeline of an extraction, in this experiment phase, would work along a much quicker timeline. If you'd notice, in the first photo, some of the honeycomb cells are destroyed, over on the top left. There are also some "breathing holes" that had developed, as a result of introducing the dimethyl octenone to the solvent solution (I shook the box, so the liquids became a more thorough solution). I figured, dimethyl octenone, pungent and musky solvent-smelling that it is, it'll eventually evaporate off; I should seek to establish more generalized visible similarities between what I produce, regardless of what it is, specifically, and if the viscosity, or consistency, in terms of the product's thickness, or solidity, becomes a familiar and standard sort of outcome, it would be easier to sit and wait for this type of portion of patience being necessary, being that dimethyl octenone might only dissipate over several weeks, or so, perhaps. 

Part of the challenge would be discovering what becomes of the wax, itself. I would typically take a "hands-off" approach to playing with my extraction experiments, and just stick to observation, and just the slightest of mixing, or disturbance of the solution, but, in this case, I touched the corner of the beeswax, and it melted like cake frosting, so I knew, then, that the extraction would be successful, from here. Only time will tell, as to what the outcome of this experiment will produce.


This honeycomb / beeswax project continues to reveal delicate mysteries about its form, within the acidic, polar solvent liquid At this stage, 4 days later, following the original post, the Mitica honeycomb's plastic box proves to have taken on acid damage, bearing leaks, and penetration, through the outer layers of plastic, whereas the now emulsified lipophilic liquid, which has incorporated the beeswax, as liquid beads, as an outer phase of emulsifier, wherein the solvent layer acts as the inner phase, with the dimethyl octenone / acetic acid, perhaps mixed with the plastic, somehow acting as a surfactant, to make the emulsification fairly molecularly small. Have a look! 

This (not so delicate) bulge is pretty resilient, in fact - almost like a rubbery latex, in texture, but definitely bendable and flexible, with the plastic walls having disintegrated, due to the particular nature of the acidic polar solvency of the solution. I'd suppose it would be a perfumer's hand at pulling off this trick; some of it is just gestural artistry, since I didn't know that this would happen - although if you did the same extraction, it very well could happen for you, also. 

Friday, April 26 Local Botanical Item Spotlights - Pasadena Pink Peppercorns

 One of Southern California's most well-adapted agricultural crop trees (aside from citrus) is the peppercorn. I come across various peppercorn trees, in my travels about town, but I felt that my most recent encounter, in Pasadena, is situated in a central-enough location, with (somewhat) untended trees, along a highway road, over a bridge, or something like that. My phone, which I'm typing this on, runs location history slowly, so I'm having some trouble recreating the Maps location, for the time being. 

Regardless, the pursuit of fresh peppercorns, whether they be for culinary or fragrance extraction purposes, are a notably invigoratingly-scented botanical product, with a stimulating, warming effect that is well known by herbs and spices enthusiasts. Peppercorns, in my fragrance compositions, for example, are an essential spice note that I commonly employ - I like the effect of pepper oil, in combination with adding vanilla - depending on the mixture, it could act as a base note, or it could be part of a larger floral and spice bouquet, and it blends a seamless texture in to citrus woods, if spices are desired, in a case such as that. 

We all know peppercorns, from the store bought ground or whole peppers, and if you'd ever tried peppercorns in grinders, you'd know the difference, in both culinary and fragrance contexts. 

"Pink" peppercorns, (I'd estimate), procured from a lonely side road pepper tree in Pasadena, CA.

I hadn't studied much on peppercorns, as far as their constituent aroma chemical components, but, I believe that some of the components are a primary building block in TiHKaL molecular compounds, with some of the effects of my volatile and fast-decomposing fragrance compositions tending towards dimethyltryptamine sorts of psychedelia resonance experiences, an effect that was coupled with the compositions broader context in being an anti-inflammatory topically-applied fragrance compound, made with isopropyl alcohol, rather than ethanol, with the skin-permeable effect as my goal for the fragrance compounds. There had also been some light to moderate feelings of drunken euphoria, although this portion required stimulants, in and of their own right, and the fragrance compounds acted as a prodrug, I would suppose, with so much anti-inflammatory effect, from the fragrance spray, that further extents of physical exertion and traveling, around town (which had also been done in Pasadena, by the way), during which times I'd become more particular, in discovering agricultural specialty plants that the city hosts.

A peppercorn-specialty fragrance-affected "Tripping Pigeon," as rendered by Google Labs' ImageFX.

Having fresh peppercorns, as a culinary or fragrance specialty product, is an easy premise to work from, with a maceration of the product, if it is entirely fresh, (the outer shell, as well), it will easily mash in to a pasty peppery oil mixture, which can be employed directly on dishes that call for peppercorns, or, the product can be sieved off, and drained directly in to a hydrosol or a natural fragrance composition, in the works. Having a fresh product is typically a bit more special than using dried product, especially in cases in which some of the volatile compounds are preserved in the raw natural material, until dissolved in solvent, for extraction, or, disturbed, and activated, by maceration, for example.

Update - important!

I taste-tested this particular peppercorn specimen, on a hard boiled egg, yesterday, and I found it to have some strong elements to it, which resembled eucalyptus-type oil, which I'm not really in to, comparatively. Eucalyptus trees have gotten a reputation, around my general aesthetic periphery of annotations spoken upon my travels and activities, of being a urine-processing tree; meaning, essentially, that the plant specimen had adjusted its metabolism to a more primitive purpose, rather than a better agricultural purpose. I suppose that I ought to find some other fresh pepper trees, somewhere, or, perhaps, spend some of the time I have, when I go out to Pasadena, to see if this problematic issue could be resolved, with some care to the tree(s), over time. I just felt that this note was important to make known. 

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #3: The Central Library High-Flyers Flock.

Downtown Los Angeles architecture is one of the primary lures for tourists and sightseers, and, for bird lovers, the Central Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library has a neat, al fresco pigeon flock, which, just in recent years, discovered a perch, atop the Library's titling signage, on 5th, nearby where the Library's main entrance lies, just up the street. 

The Richard J. Riordan Los Angeles Public Library (Central Branch) flock of pigeons, perched atop the outside of the apiary, as well as on the ledge, where they find shelter from the sunlight, during the day.

The street is lined with young Magnolia trees, of which feature a delightful floral fragrance;

Check out this amazing deal on Amazon, where you can sample the lovely fragrance of the Magnolia tree's summer blooms.

at the time being, the trees flower very sparsely, or not at all, just yet. They're being grown to shape them properly, for their full adult tree form, I figure. There's also some classic street lamps, a former pond (I think), which has been filled up with dirt, and which feature dwarf natal plum shrubbery - it makes for a nice (maybe not the nicest - wood chips?) feeding pen for the birds. 

An exciting meal, with the Central Branch LAPL High-Flying Pigeon Flock. Many of the birds present, on a daily basis, here in the spring time of 2024, are babies - there's perhaps 10, or so, young ones, whom had just this season come out, in to the public, for the flock's daily fare, outside the Library's facade.

For people, the ledge surrounding the feeding pen makes for a suitable spot to sit and feed the birds: it's an exciting spot to visit, with gorgeous architecture across the street; various sides of the street - there's the U.S. Bank Building, the Gas Company Lofts, The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 444 Flower, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, and, the Library, itself, features notable architecture, itself, for that matter. 

Back when I had my iPad Pro, I caught some great video footage of this flock, from the bird-feeder's perspective, as they spot me, preparing a meal for them. 

This flock is a somewhat closed form flock of pigeons - the location, despite being quite nearby other flocks of birds, doesn't typically get a lot of newcomers and transient port birds, although there is some mixing and mingling around, of other birds, here and there. I'm not sure where the birds nest, either. 

Check this flock out, when you're in town! They're great birds.

Pigeon-watching hotspots to see around town #2: The Pico Metro Station Parking Lot Refugee Flock

I don't get on (or off) on this Metro train station all that often, but recently, I spotted a refugee flock of pigeons hanging out, here, at the parking lot across the street. Since I was stocked up on bread (some of it was bread with butter), I knew that I couldn't let this flock of birds down; they hadn't always been here, and they may have been on their way in or out of town, to have gathered here. 

The DTLA Pico Metro Station parking lot, featuring a large flock of pigeons. 

Now, I know Downtown Los Angeles' various flocks of pigeons fairly well, to say the least.  I've been coming here to feed the birds, going on 7 years, now. I've spotted some pigeons here, in other recent trips, but nowhere near this many birds have I seen, in this location. It was a notable gathering. I wondered, "are they new? A transplant? (port)? They must be hungry, to be in an unfamiliar spot, gathered like this." I take it upon myself to make sure, (typically), that every bird I come across gets fed, but this was a notable challenge. Most flocks of birds aren't quite this large, in Downtown LA. 

In any case, these birds, some of them a localized flock, whom had been spotted perching atop the luxury highrise buildings across the street, potentially had an advantageous view of the terrain, while they perched, and they could have seen other nearby flocks that had been gathering in other micro-locales of DTLA. Pigeons are made for socialization - the more, the merrier, so to speak. When the flock flies off, sometimes it's a "high-flying" motive about them, where they swoop and swing around, in spirals and in circles, or in figure 8-style, for the sake of quickly drawing attention to themselves, high-flying, as it were, so that nearby and known perching flocks, of a different micro-locale, can catch them high-flying, as a signal of that something exciting is going on, around this commotion, such as meal time. The other nearby flocks would be the ones by the Olympic at Olive Shell Gas Station, the 26th Street / Orthopedic Institute "USC Dumpster Pigeons," and, also, perhaps, some birds from around 7th at Metro Station. There's a chance that these flocks had become neglected, and the newcomers wanted to try out this location, on account of so much foot traffic at the Pico Metro Station. I made sure to look out for this flock again, the next time I rode by, but they weren't there, so I'll have to figure out their schedule, and try to fit them in, sometimes, during the course of a week.

This flock would be an ideal one for sports fans to visit, being that L.A. Live, the Sports Arena, and the Convention Center are all very nearby attractions for pedestrians, which have frequent and regular events happening. 

The birds are a fairly standard flock of Downtown LA: they're not completely shy, and they know that some people will toss them food, if they're visible to passersby. 

The Pico Metro Station Refugee Pigeon Flock, enjoying a meal, on April 19th, 2024, at 3:43 p.m.

This flock would be a good one for people to patronize during the springtime (now) season, throughout summer and in to fall, I suppose, being that it's light out, and pigeons in this area will, most commonly, stay out until 6:30 p.m., while the sun is still out. I just recently found out that pigeons love peanuts 🥜, by the way, so that's a nice and convenient snack food to have on hand for them (or, if you hadn't prepared, beforehand, there's a CVS right across the street. 


Thursday, April 18

The Sticker Time art, illustrative, and photography miniatures collection, with annotations.

Welcome to the online slight exhibition and annotations for the Sticker Time sticker collection.

The Sticker Time art miniatures are an ongoing and updating collection of images, illustrations, photographs, and digital renders of (mostly) pigeon (or “bird,” in general,) images, as well as images that have, or have become, contextually, seasonally, or otherwise, relevant, in terms of content, research, and development.

Sticker Time comes out of best practices in branding. My experience, in working with the circular form, comes mainly from an exercise I went through (which I can’t find, online, at the moment) which was hosted by Google, similar to this article; the essential concept being that some essential message of the brand could be delivered through symbolic, illustrative / graphic, or alphanumeric form. Here, with Sticker Time, the same theme as a branding logo is employed, yet the form of Sticker Time takes a more lax and lighthearted approach, given that the brand is already established (the brand has its own sticker, as well, for that matter). 

Here, in this online collection, I feature the entire set of Sticker Time images, with annotations. Enjoy! 

One last thing, though: a how-to for printing out the stickers, if you'd like to do so, at home.

Using a standard graphic design app will invariably cause off-center prints. The paper and interface template that I use for this project is Avery 22807. 

To start, visit the website, and search for 22807, to get the 2-inch, 12 per page label template. 

The search page, after querying 22807, in the search box. 

You can make a login for the Avery website, at this point, and you'll see a page pop up, featuring different design templates, for the round labels (stickers).

Here's the page you'll see, after logging in to the Avery website (you can also log in as a guest, I believe).

Here, we're going to be using the blank round label template (the first option, at the top left). You'll see the design interface pop up,after selecting this template. 

The Avery 22807 round 2-inch label template.

What's great about this template is that you can standardize the entire sheet, based off of one single design input - or, there's also an option for inputting a different design on each numbered sticker. Just select "Add objects" at the bottom of the page, and center each sticker around the edges of the circular template. You'll want to perhaps have some bleed, surrounding the template's edges, in order to ensure that the eventual printed sticker does not come out smaller than the actual paper cut size. 

Once the template page is finished, you can export the the project to a photo or pdf file, and, if you don't have a printer, like myself at the moment) you can visit FedEx Office, or some other print shop, or office store, and you'll be able to print the page(s) out. For FedEx Office, for example, you can send the prints over to "," which is the online way to transfer the project data over, for when you visit FedEx Office to do the print job. Their printers make nice stickers out of these prints.

A bunch of stickers that I printed, using FedEx Office's printers and professional paper-cutting tool.

“Golden Tropical” glitch line art pigeon, rendered by Vector Q app, (2023)

“Sprightly Sparrow,” glitch version. (2021)

“Flattened Rat,” glitch version. (2021) 

“Poppin’ Pigeons.” 2021 brand logo for Pinterest. 2021

Baby Sparrow at feeding time. 2022

Curious baby pigeon in Pershing Square. 2022.

Chimera Sparrow. Created with Chimera Painter, a Google AI project. 2021.

Injured winged pigeon, kaleidoscope glitch version. 2023.

Baby Fruit Bat, glitch version. 2021.

Navy Stripes Cheetah pigeon illusion (masks). Rendered by Vector Q. 2022.

Preening pigeon (triangles). Rendered by Vector Q. 2021.

Wired lighting fanciful bird caricature. Rendered by Vector Q app. 2023.

Vanilla planifolia vine, Harajuku Doll version. Rendered by Vector Q app. 2023.

Ernst and Young Plaza, Downtown Los Angeles - Curious over a Fried Egg. (Artist unknown - George Herms?). Rendered by Vector Q. 2023.

Cute baby pigeon in hand, Tarot version. 2023.

Originally from:

2023 California superbloom wildflowers.  

Romantic pigeon, glitch version. Poppy flower adapted from Dior artwork. 2023.

Romantic pigeon, standard version. Poppy flower adapted from Dior artwork. 2023.

Common pigeon x The Matrix. 2023. Background from

birds restaurant, Hollywood, CA. Rendered by Vector Q app. 2023

Scientology Celebrity Center, Hollywood, CA. Rendered by Vector Q. 2023.

Sketching exercise, primitives of pigeons, glitch version. Glitch by SCN app. 2023.

Broken-winged pigeon, tropical poppin’ glitch version. Line art by Vector Q. 2023.

Ashy rover beetle. 2023.

More to come! Stay tuned, for updates!

June 24th, 2023 - Baby pigeon imagines Pizza Party!!! rendered by PinksCam app, by siyuan Lin.

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