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Peter the Mint Eagle and Bird Watching

tomahawk's picture

I want to go visit Peter the Mint Eagle and go bird watching in Philadelphia. I became interested in Peter shortly after watch the John Steward clip in which he argues that NY pizza is better than Chicago pizza. Although it seems as if Peter and pizza are not at all connected, they are. Both are/were symbols to a large group of people at one time. As we have discussed, cities encompass vast groups of people that do not always interact and rarely agree on the importance of one thing. However, most people in Chicago are willing to argue that their pizza is pretty damn good. Pizza transcends all of the city's internal boundaries. It is not only a source of pride; it is a source of agreement. I guess what I'm searching for is a better understanding of why Peter the Mint Eagle is important to a city, or pizza is. How are people able to settle differences over a bird or a type of food? I'm essentially curious about the production of meaning in cities.

When I say I will be going bird-watching, I mean that I will be sitting on benches outside of the mint and watching birds. I think this could lead to deep or critical play. Bird watching in a sense is a risk. You are risking complete boredom. I can think of many times that my family went to search for the famous quetzal in the Costa Rican rainforest and did not even see one of its tail feathers. I want to go and look at birds, but also to allow myself to just see the city, to see the city without demanding anything from it and accepting boredom. I think I have seen the most interesting things on the days in which I have given little thought to seeing anything and just sat down on a park bench.