April 19, 2014

Lady keeping chickens in the backyard in her posh NYC neighborhood seems to think the rules don't apply to her...

... because: 1. She bought the chickens from a place recommended by Martha Stewart, 2. These aren't ordinary chickens but a bantam Easter egger (with blue eggs), black copper marans (supposedly loved by French chefs), silkies, and a Belgian bearded d’uccle, 3. The coop cost $2,500 and was built by some Amish people, 4. She feeds the chickens "organic soy-free feed and... fresh vegetables," 5. She believes (and is telling the world) that her daughter Scarlett is "developing faster than her peers" and thus needs a "hormone-free diet" (and the NYT conveys this concern to us without mentioning that that "all eggs in commercial egg production in the United States" come from hens that "are not given hormones").

The New York Times, for all its leftish sentimentalism, panders absurdly to the elite class. The linked article could be a humor piece, but it's not. It's a human (and chicken) interest story for aging, soft-(boiled)-headed female readers.

BONUS: The NYT fawns over extremely wealthy young people.

70 comments:

SGT Ted said...

That woman is a PC hipster cliché. Right our the movie "Serial".

RecChief said...

hahahahahaha

Are you sure this isn't an Onion story that was plagiarized by the Times?

rhhardin said...

Chickens keep the yard tic-free.

That's appealing to women in Lyme.

Chance said...

What do you expect living in an oligarchy?

Bob Boyd said...

Too bad she doesn't have a bunch of friends with assault rifles to come to her aid.

tim maguire said...

There were several chicken coops in my old Brooklyn neighborhood. It was never a problem.

Most of the behavior rules of the Olmssteads were stupid,anti-people, and abandoned. Make fun of this woman all you want, but there's nothing wrong with her keeping chickens.

campy said...

She should claim they're emotional support animals.

Julie C said...

This is all the rage in my little town. A neighbor of ours has chickens AND bees. I know of at least a couple dozen people who are keeping chickens illegally here and there are many more that I don't know. No one has been told to stop, except one moron who was keeping them in the back balcony of her condo. Crazy neighbors complained about the smell, can you imagine?

I've toyed with getting them, because the eggs are amazing (and my two teens eat eggs a lot) but my husband is against it.

David said...

"Make fun of this woman all you want, but there's nothing wrong with her keeping chickens."

Right. Because we need all the absurdity we can get in this world. Spend $3000 to raise hormone free chickens which lay hormone free eggs you can buy for about 1.50 a dozen at the supermarket. (Probably $3.50 where she shops.) Then have America's Greatest Newspaper write it up as a revolutionary act. Wrong? Hell no. Absurd? Where do you want to start.

David said...

"rhhardin said...
Chickens keep the yard tic-free."

My son raised chickens for a while. Had about 100 hens. No tics, apparently. But loads of chicken shit all over the place.

Freeman Hunt said...

I live in the city that chicken built, and chickens are not allowed.

roger said...

First World problems.

I guess, at first blush the question is law and order in society, even if we are just talking about chickens. Because next we will be talking about marijuana and next we will be talking about illegal immigration and after that physician assisted suicide.

roger said...

This is a question of whether the rules apply to all. Roman Polanski comes to mind.

Sam L. said...

It's that old "rules don't apply to me" bit again. I spent 30 minutes looking around me, and I can find NO sympathy for her.

J Lee said...

Honestly, it sounds like a bad episode of "Green Acres", where Oliver and Lisa bring their chickens back from Hooterville to their former penthouse apartment.

sane_voter said...

If Cliven Bundy had chickens instead of cattle, he'd be a liberal hero.

Phil 3:14 said...

Can't she just support some orphan chickens in poverty-stricken Guatamala. She could write to them monthly and get pictures and bio's

Mark O said...

On this topic I quote Thorstein Veblen:

"The possession of wealth confers honor; it is an invidious distinction."

RecChief said...

@Tim -
No there is nothing wrong with her keeping chickens.

I just wonder if she would have tried to keep chickens if they had been your ordinary everyday garden variety chickens, and that the law doesn't apply to her.

Interesting parallel to Cliven Bundy, who I am ambivalent about, but seemingly on the other side of the political spectrum. She probably has friends who called Bundy a terrorist, or at least an exremist

RecChief said...

by the way, in the midwest, never build a chicaken coop northwest of the house.

The coop stinks to high heaven

RecChief said...

@Tim -
No there is nothing wrong with her keeping chickens.

I just wonder if she would have tried to keep chickens if they had been your ordinary everyday garden variety chickens, and that the law doesn't apply to her.

Interesting parallel to Cliven Bundy, who I am ambivalent about, but seemingly on the other side of the political spectrum. She probably has friends who called Bundy a terrorist, or at least an exremist

The Godfather said...

Speaking of chicken shit, the article about the young gazillionaires is also interesting. I've always resisted the argument that we should have high estate taxes to prevent the creation of an hereditary nobility. Now, I'm not so sure.

Marc said...

David at 8:30pm, Probably $3.50 a dozen? Fresh, hormone free eggs were being sold at the farmers' market here in Eugene this morning for $7.

Illuninati said...

"BONUS: The NYT fawns over extremely wealthy young people."

So does the Obama White House:
"On a crisp morning in late March, an elite group of 100 young philanthropists and heirs to billionaire family fortunes filed into a cozy auditorium at the White House."

The Democrat party is the party of the very rich which uses the very poor to screw the middle class.


jaed said...

This is a silly person, but the homeowner's association should invest in an undie-untwister. If the chickens neither stink nor make enough noise to bother the neighbors then who cares? This has already cost various people some hours of time, probably tense board meetings, letters, hiring of lawyers, and eventually (as with all these things) it's headed to court.

What an incredible waste of time and money!

Birches said...

We're allowed to keep up to four chickens in our HOA controlled suburb. We've contemplated it, but haven't yet taken the plunge.

In our much poorer neighborhood in AZ, there were too many chickens to count. The person we bought our house from had four and a coop in the backyard that he took with him. We didn't mind, except that there were often roosters too. The Roosters got started about 2AM, which was a jolt. But between the roosters and the police helicopters flying overhead during the weekends, we gradually got used to sleeping through everything.

The absurdity of the article is that the woman spent an inordinate amount of money before checking with the covenants she signed on to when she moved there. Raising chickens are in right now; so get the board to change the rules, but don't be surprised when they come after you for breaking them, especially when you're flaunting it. I'm sure she (or the rest of the neighborhood) wouldn't be happy with the way my neighbors raised chickens in AZ...

Ctmom4 said...

The piece is unintentionally hilarious. They are not regular chickens - they are "heritage" breeds! They eat soy based feed! Well, I guess that makes it ok, then.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The spirit of Clive Bundy lives on Long Island.

Ambrose said...

Queens ain't posh.

LL said...

She is the Clive Bundy of Queens.

Mary Beth said...

“They’re quiet and not really noticeable,” he said, “and she’s keeping them for healthy living, not for slaughter.

What happens to them when they stop laying?

Freeman Hunt said...

So all those Santeria people will have the NYT's support if they switch to fancier chickens.

George Ferko said...

Fodder for another Hartog Pigs & Positivism-type article

R. Chatt said...

My doctor had chickens. The biggest problem was they thought they were pets. They'd scratch at the door and she felt badly about not letting them inside.

Birches said...

@ Mary Beth

Ha Ha. I read that comment and thought about the same thing. Gosh, these NYers are totally clueless about how long a hen is fertile for. "You mean I might have to kill it?!?!"

giantslor said...

Rancher keeping cattle on federal land without paying fees seems to think the rules don't apply to him...

giantslor said...

Rancher keeping cattle on federal land without paying fees seems to think the rules don't apply to him...

Skeptical Voter said...

I lived on a two acre orange grove in a San Diego suburb when I was in the 8th grade in the mid 1950s. We bought 100 baby chicks--New Hampshire Reds, and when they reached about 7 pounds live weight, we slaughtered them all. Lots of frozen roaster chickens. Lots of chicken feather plucking as well. Fast forward 50 plus years and one of my daughter's friends keeps "heritage" chickens in an apartment off Sunset Boulevard. Doubt that she'd be willing to slaughter and eat her "babies".

David said...

Phil 3:14 said...
Can't she just support some orphan chickens in poverty-stricken Guatamala. She could write to them monthly and get pictures and bio's


Mercy Corps, which actually does great work without too much of the cloying, could have done wonders with her chicken shit $3000.

David said...

Mary Beth said...
“They’re quiet and not really noticeable,” he said, “and she’s keeping them for healthy living, not for slaughter.

What happens to them when they stop laying?


Same as happens to any chick, Mary Beth.

David said...

Marc said...
David at 8:30pm, Probably $3.50 a dozen? Fresh, hormone free eggs were being sold at the farmers' market here in Eugene this morning for $7.


Yes, but they are ripping you off. I'm talking about consumer friendly places like Kroger and Wal-Mart.

(Remember, all the eggs in the US are artificial hormone free.)

I love the west coast, but damn, you guys fall for everything.

Fen said...

Love all the PCBS checkpoints. I guess I can violate my homeowner assoc rules if my new structure is built with "green" materials using gay contractors...

Fen said...

sidebar: is there any mention of her doing this to get a homestead tax exemption? Its all the rage here in MD.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

She said she felt the rules should be modernized to fit the more progressive approach to raising poultry today, especially the heritage breeds that she owns.

Oh yeah. Their shit don't stink like them common breeds.

Get with the program, Lady! Got to be *free range* chickens. Let your grass grow out and get some grass-hoppers in there. Get some real protein into them birds. Don't be feedin' your family no pansy-ass eggs.

Ain't healthy to keep them birds cooped up in that little box there. Don't you know that?

Ann Althouse said...

"Queens ain't posh."

Her neighborhood is Forest Hills Garden. Google it.

Ann Althouse said...

Wikipedia says:

"The area consists of a 142-acre (0.57 km2) development, fashioned after a traditional English village, that is one of America's oldest planned communities. It is modeled after the English planned garden suburb community Hampstead Garden Suburb, located near Golders Green, in London. The layout, with a central "square", and the similarity of many of the street names in both communities was clearly intentional. The community, founded in 1908, consists of about 800 homes, townhouses, and apartment buildings, mostly in Tudor, Brick Tudor or Georgian style, in a parklike setting designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., son of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and partner in the Olmsted Brothers firm. Designed with transportation access in mind, the community's central square is adjacent to the Forest Hills Long Island Rail Road station. The largest apartment buildings stand closest to the station, while more distant buildings are smaller and have larger yards. Although most buildings are single-family homes, the development also includes garden apartment buildings and retail space. Today, the area contains the most expensive housing in the borough of Queens, and some of the most expensive in all of New York City."

Ann Althouse said...

If you live there, you know damned well there are a lot of rules and neighbors who care about them. You don't just come up with your own individualized notions and flog your theory to the NYT as if your idea of the good supervenes the plan of the neighborhood that you chose for its well-known planned quality.

Tarrou said...

Didn't anyone tell the feds that Cliven Bundy raised hormone free cattle? I'm sure they'd have been more understanding.

alan markus said...

Perhaps her parents chose the neighborhood for her, considering that she is living in the house she grew up in. The next generation tends to rebel against the rules of the prior generation - kind of a 60's vibe there.

Hagar said...

Cliven Bundy and his cattle is the small story at Gold Butte, Nevada.

The big story is about the national Democratic Party policy priorities, big politics and big money - "Green" and just green - that Cliven Bundy just happened to get in the way of.

Rusty said...

giantslor said...
Rancher keeping cattle on federal land without paying fees seems to think the rules don't apply to him...


His fees were being for other than the stated purpose. Thus rendering any contract null and void. He simply kept grazing cattle on land that his family grazed cattle on before it was managed by the BLM. You might say his grazing rights were grandfathered in.

Marc said...

David @ 12:56am, You are right that someone must buy those $7 a dozen eggs-- but even here in the People's Republic we some of us retain a modicum of common sense.

But I will admit to having purchased one dozen at that price, one time. Just to see....

Ann Althouse said...

"Perhaps her parents chose the neighborhood for her, considering that she is living in the house she grew up in."

A 48-year-old woman living in an expensive house owns the choice to live there, whether it was a choice to continue living in a place her parents originally bought or whether she found and bought it.

The property can be sold, and it is a choice not to sell it. She's free and it's a free market. Buy something else… or work to get the rule changed.

To her credit, she may feel that it's worth the civil disobedience, and that civil disobedience with the attendant publicity she's able to attract is the most effective way of getting the rule changed.

But I suspect the neighbors don't want chickens all over the place. The discreetness of her little arrangement, photogenic in the NYT, won't carry over to everyone else operating under a new rule.

Hagar said...

And there is a rule against keeping pigs in an urban area, so we will take away your daughter's guinea pig, because a rule is a rule, and a pig is a pig. Right?

Ann Althouse said...

"And there is a rule against keeping pigs in an urban area, so we will take away your daughter's guinea pig, because a rule is a rule, and a pig is a pig. Right?"

Yes, and your male chauvinist pig husband has got to go too.

Big Mike said...

If you have enough money, and the right (meaning "left") politics, the rules really don't apply. Everybody knows this.

Hagar said...

Years ago, I remember reading about a General Motors heir, Motte or de la Motte, I think, who owned a penthouse on top of a skyscraper in Manhattan, to which he had imported 3 ft. of Iowa topsoil, and he had quite a nice little private farm up there, raising his own sweet corn.

cubanbob said...

Rancher keeping cattle on federal land without paying fees seems to think the rules don't apply to him..."

The nerve of that guy Bundy, keeping Harry Reid from getting another golden pay day.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Poor people and their modern, plastic world chickens of no distinctive ancestral lines!"

David said...

Why do both the NYT and Wikipedia feel compelled to tell us the name of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.'s father?

Fen said...

"Rancher keeping cattle on federal land without paying fees seems to think the rules don't apply to him..."

Sure he does. His position is that the Feds welched on an agreement in place since 1871.

Hagar said...

The BLM is supposed to manage the federal lands in its care for the benefit of the citizens (and from that long ago, I would think that largely was intended to mean family farmers and ranchers), which is not what has been going on here, and especially not for this solar power plant mitigation land swap credits deal.

Gahrie said...

or work to get the rule changed.

A different report on this story said she is doing exactly that. IIRC, there is going to be a vote among her neighbors on whether or not to let the girl keep her chickens.

boinky said...

FYI: Several countries, including Indonesia have banned chickens in their cities to stop the spread of bird flu. Ah, but how can organically fed chickens catch bird flu? From visiting birds who come to share their food...
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/01/19/indonesian-authorities-order-mass-fowl-slaughter-to-address-bird-flu-outbreak/
http://www.irinnews.org/report/77193/egypt-new-human-bird-flu-case-raises-fears

The Godfather said...

When I noticed that the chicken lady lived in Forest Hills Gardens, I gave the NYT article to my wife, who lived in Forest Hills Gardens as a child. She had two comments: 1) The head of the neighborhood association is named Cohen, presumably Jewish, whereas in the '50's, Forest Hills Gardens was "restricted", i.e., no Jews allowed. So there's an example of a good change in the rules governing the community (perhaps as a result of court rulings voiding such restrictive covenants). 2) If the homeowner has lived in the house that long, she presumably knew the rules, and if she wanted to raise chickens, she should have moved.

I agree with my wife's comments, and I'll add that there's a difference between those who claim a right of entitlement, and those who are willing to take their chances on civil disobedience in support of a cause that is important to them.

Thorley Winston said...

You know I’m reminded of an episode of “Duck Dynasty” where Jace was fighting with his Home Owner’s Association when they told him he couldn’t have chickens. He showed up at the meeting and gave a big dramatic speech about how he had right to pursue happiness and having chickens made him happy, etc. and then the president of the Home Owner’s Association showed him the agreement he signed which limited what kind of animals could be kept on his property. Jace to his credit said “well if I signed the agreement then I signed it and need to honor my commitments” and that was the end of it.

Robt C said...

. . . for all "its"

Number Six said...

1. Capture some feral cats.
2. Release the feral cats near Chicken Lady's yard.
3. Let the cats solve the chicken problem.

Michael Lorton said...

"It's leftish sentimentalism"?

"It's"?

"It's"?

C'mon, Ann.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, settle down. It's the world's most-common typo. Fixed.