What’s the weirdest thing your roommate ever brought home? Mine brought home pigeons

You know when you find roommates on Craigslist, you never know what you’re gonna get. In this case a beautiful loft in the northern reaches of Bed-Stuy with two artists and two cats eventually became a beautiful loft in the northern reaches of Bed-Stuy with two artists, two cats and two pigeons. Yes, PIGEONS. Pigeons brought inside my apartment, on purpose.

Recently I came home to two birds in “cages” my roommate had fashioned himself, one out of an overturned garbage can and the other made of two milk crates taped together. The birds, he explained, were a male and a female and pigeon, which would be released and recaptured in the name of art as part of a performance piece at his school. Now, I will admit I love most of my roommate’s non-sentient art. I even liked the trashcan as a cage concept, which looked industrial while being utilitarian.

But there’s a part of me, the part that doesn’t like to drink tap water, that wasn’t okay with this. That part of me thought things like “I’m too black for this. There are two pigeons up in here, like dead ass. No lie. True story. PIGEONS” and worried about what would happen when (not if, when) the birds escaped their cages here and the performance piece came home. After all, we’ve got two cats here, and as my friend put it, “Those birds are toast when the cats figure out where the hot sauce is.”

And it’s hard not to feel a little jealous. Seeing as how they’re a male and a female, I’m convinced all that rattling and cooing I hear when they get put in the same cage it is them flirting. Nice to know pigeons can find that special someone, but not me.

Still, it’s not all bad. I can take comfort in the fact that they’re prettier than the regular grey pigeons I usually see. I think that can be attributed to the fact that these birds weren’t scooped off the street, but bred and paid for, like the parakeets and parrots you buy from the pet store. I mean, as gross as it may sound, pigeons are just birds. Plus, listening to them cooing while I fall asleep is like having a white noise machine, but free.

This is what happens when you live with artists I guess, because this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced roommates bringing strange objects home and telling me it’s art, like my previous roommate’s garbage project to complete his portfolio. I don’t mean it was bad; literally it was garbage. Luckily, pretty clean garbage (paper, plastic and cartons) but still, garbage. I know I’m not the only one coming home to surprises like this from my roommate though, right? “Roommate brings inexplicable thing home” is on the Brooklyn Bingo board (which needs to be a real thing) right there with “invitation to illegal warehouse party” and “fleeing rent increases.” So since I know I’m not alone here, what’s the weirdest thing your roommate ever brought home?


  1. David Colon

    I too had a roommate who made a garbage sculpture that was “art,” except he brought each piece off the street individually. I’m looking at a picture of it now. It was a bike frame, a child’s scooter/car toy thing, a toy cement mixer, a couple of branches, a tennis racket and a few pieces of unidentifiable machinery garbage all piled on top of or near each other. His friends loved it, said it really spoke to them.

  2. My old roommate I think was physically incapable of not bringing home a loose piece of wood that he found. Like, it looked like he was stockpiling to build an arc. Every now and then he’d arrange the pieces into a pattern like he was going to do something with them, but then they’d end up back in the pile.

    Then he moved out and left all the wood behind, and it’s finished wood so we can’t even burn it for heat. The point is, if anyone would like to purchase dozens of pieces of wood, I’m your guy.

  3. Madelyn Owens

    We had a room to fill in our Park Slope 4-bedroom, so we put an ad out on Craigslist. Of course we got some weirdos and 40 year old recently divorced men, but the best email BY FAR was the 28-year-old single female who practiced, “Fitness Burlesque” and wanted to be sure that there was enough room in the living space to install her pole.

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