You mostly hear New Yorkers complaining about pigeons, but there are many people whose love for the birds runs deep. Even former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson called pigeons his first love, having grown up surrounded by them in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Today, Tyson races pigeons. His passion for the sport even spawned a reality show on Animal Planet called Taking on Tyson. But as you’ll hear on this edition of Cityscape, pigeons have a polarizing influence on New Yorkers. They either love 'em or hate 'em… Some interesting pigeon facts:

• Although pigeons are considered by many to be dirty and disease-ridden, there’s little evidence linking pigeons directly to infections in humans. The New York City Department of Health states only contact in high exposure with pigeon droppings can pose a small health risk.

• Despite common perception, there is no law that prohibits pigeon feeding everywhere in New York City. That said, the Parks Department posts notices in many areas prohibiting feeding. So it’s OK to feed the pigeons as long as there are no signs saying you can’t.

• Paul Julius Reuter founded the Reuters news agency, which got its start using pigeons bearing news and stock prices between Berlin and Paris. Carrier pigeons were much faster than the post train.

Direct download: cs130629.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:30am EST

A mental illness is a medical condition that causes mild to severe disturbances in thinking, perception and behavior.  Recovery is possible. But there are many misconceptions about mental illness, which can lead to a variety of problems, like troubling finding work or housing. 

As part of WFUV’s Strike a Chord campaign, this week’s Cityscape is focusing its attention on mental illness and efforts to combat the stereotypes. 

Direct download: cs130622.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:30am EST

They collect our garbage, and plow our streets after a snowfall – but New York City's sanitation workers often don’t get a whole lot of appreciation. On this week's Cityscape, we’re focusing our attention on the city’s sanitation workers, and we'll learn why it’s not okay to call them garbage men. Our guest is Robin Nagle, the sanitation department’s anthropologist in residence. She'll join us to talk about her new book Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City. We'll also dip into the Cityscape archives for segments with the city’s first female sanitation worker, as well as one with the late Andrew Macchio, a sanitation worker who loved to sing behind the truck.

Direct download: cs130615.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:30am EST

Walking around the streets of New York City, its usually hard not to peer into the windows of the apartments and brownstones you pass and comparing the space to your own.

Connie Rosenblum was the author of the "Habitats" column published in the Real Estate section of the New York Times. She used real estate as the gateway to telling the stories of New York City residents, of all boroughs and backgrounds. She's put together expanded versions of a selection of the "Habitats" column in a book called Habitats: Private Lives in the Big City. This week on Cityscape we hear some of those stories.

Direct download: cs130601.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST





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