The Irony of Birding: An Interview with Peter Dorosh

Peter Dorosh

Peter Dorosh

I met the amiable Peter Dorosh – where else? – on a birding walk in Prospect Park. Dorosh would seem to have some strikes against him as a birder, living in the decidedly urban habitat of Brooklyn, New York and being severely hearing-impaired, unable to hear many of the birds he sees.

Yet Dorosh is a top local birder, having just stepped down after 12 years as president of the Brooklyn Bird Club, and running the Prospect Park bird sightings blog. We sat down in Prospect Park to talk about his story, the accessibility of birding, philosophical differences among the birding community, and, of course, how best to get the birds. Continue reading

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A Moment for Peggy Mermelstein

Our old family friend Peggy Mermelstein died early yesterday. Smartass, artist, transplanted New Yorker, knew I was queer years before I did and didn’t give a shit, devoted mom to Kelly and Brian, great ally and mentor to both me and my sister. Thinking fondly of all our good times in that cozy house around the corner.

Picture: Peggy Mermelstein with her kids Kelly and Brian, December 1991.

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Jerry Nelson, 1934-2012

Muppeteer Jerry Nelson died yesterday. I’m very sad. In addition to being one of the main Muppet performers for over fifty years, a master at vocal versatility, singing chops, and bringing puppets to life, he was also a master at enjoying life and having integrity, one of the most kind, respectful and fun people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being friends with. Too sad to write the obit right now — Toughpigs has a nice one. And here’s the interview Jerry and I did in 2010.

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Honoring Richard Hunt

Today would have been Richard Hunt’s 61st birthday, and as a treat I’m sharing his rare in-person Sesame Street cameo, aired November 1981 in episode 1576.

In 1981, the 30-year-old Hunt had been with The Muppets for a decade. Jerry Nelson, also known as The Count, says that in the early years, “Richard was like a puppy, bouncy and overeager. We had to sit on him a lot.” We see Hunt’s irrepressible glee in this clip, where he and Madeline Kahn play a hilarious pair of bird-brained birdwatchers. Continue reading

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A Whale of a Time!

Last week, while visiting my dear old friend Dawn and her partner Janell in Victoria, B.C., a charming town with a wide, thriving waterfront, I had the pleasure of whale-watching in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The experience was so transcendant I had to share. Continue reading

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