05/07/2013 05:26 pm ET

The Pigeon Queen Of Riverside Drive

Jill Freedman

Long before the ten-million-dollar condos and the big box stores, the Upper West Side was home to Phyllis Bodyn and her pigeons.

I met Phyllis Bodyn on Riverside Drive in 1985. She was eighty-two then, “a maiden lady,” she said. She had been feeding pigeons for thirty years.

This was back when New York was still New York, when there were still neighborhoods. In the '60s, '70s and '80s I would walk the streets of Manhattan and take pictures, even when I wasn’t working on a project. It was people like Phyllis who made New York what it was.

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