I woke up this morning to a flat rear tire on my bike. That’s not a good way to begin the day, but I got a new tube this afternoon and took a long bike ride around town, from Uptown, through Central City to Broadmoor, over to the CBD, through the Quarter and then to the Marigny. I saw a lot of things–a broken-down public pool on Earhart, the new Sav-a-Center being built where the old Winn-Dixie stood abandoned for years on Claiborne, a collapsing building with the furniture still inside on Chartres, and countless facades failing to hide decay. But what caught my attention when I left the coffee shop to head home were were the birds. So many birds, lining the wires, flying back and forth and chattering in the sky. It was kind of eerie. Who called the meeting? How did they all know where to come? Are they planning something? Do they know something I don’t know about the weather? Or is this just bird happy hour? There’s a lot of man-made disaster in this place, but there’s also natural beauty, like this sky and these birds who surely have their own experience of this place.