Suddenly, everyone’s preoccupied with the "Occupy" movement. The whole world (or at least 99 percent of it) seems to want a piece of the Occu-Pie.
Which brings us to the squirrels. It always comes down to the squirrels. (Or perhaps it comes up to the squirrels, depending upon how high their tree may be.)
Squirrels Occupy New York. (That makes their piece of the Occu-Pie the pecan pie, presumably.) Though many other U.S. cities presently have gatherings similar to the protests near Wall Street, only New York has this special collective of Professional Gatherers.
Theirs is not a protest, however. And it’s not even anything new. Squirrels have always been a part of the city – accosting visitors in the sprawl of Central Park or maybe trailing any other well-meaning, nut-bearing humans in places as small as the city’s numerous vestpocket parks.
Squirrels, it seems, have almost always Occupied New York in a more concrete (or bronze) fashion as well: Their likenesses are carved into the facades of buildings and you can find their distinctive forms immortalized in bronze statuary in green spaces.
Across the city, architects and artists seem to love them too.
And now there is a catalogue of this occupation: A most wonderful blog, "Ephemeral New York," celebrates the metropolitan bond with bushytails in its Nov. 17, 2011 post about these ubiquitous likenesses. Best of all, there are photos. Artists’ interpretations of squirrels adorn bank buildings and flank apartment buildings, accompanying the post, called “The squirrels that decorate New York buildings.”
Rest assured, these figurines are more than merely décor. They are New York acorn icons.
Ah, there is much here to dig through – an action our tiny heroes would clearly endorse engaging in. And there is perhaps even more to be found, yet to be unearthed.
Worry not: the squirrels will get around to it, even if we don't. Right now, however, it’s autumn and they’re a bit preoccupied here in New York.