About the Book
L E T ' S G O O U T !
A Birder’s Year in the West Village
Text and Photographs by Keith Michael
For centuries, the environs of the West Village on Manhattan island have been a destination: as a Native American Lenape fishing outpost, the sylvan Dutch Greenwjck homestead (meaning green inlet or cove), and the bucolic 18th century English village of Greenwich (far from “city life” downtown). It is still one of New York’s most distinctive neighborhoods.
Birds have always made their homes here. Populations may have changed since 1609 when Henry Hudson first arrived, but avian life still flourishes. Keith Michael’s West Village Bird List has grown to 103 species, garnered during daily walks with his Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Millie.
With humor, curb-side observation, and a relish for adventure in the everyday, Let’s Go Out! captures the avian goings-on of these storied blocks. The feathered rhythms of street-life, family-raising, and urban chutzpah provide a balm to the human-generated anxieties of traffic jams, first nights, and hand-held devices.
"Let's Go Out!" Millie looks up, ready to go!
KEITH MICHAEL is an urban naturalist and photographer, an avid birder and a dedicated explorer of the New York City Parks in all five boroughs. His three previous books "Once Around the Block", "1000 Days: World Trade Center Rising", and "Take Me to the River" have taken both an intimate and a panoramic view of his neighborhood and the city. Mr. Michael leads New York City WILD! nature walks and is a monthly contributor to WestView News: The Voice of the West Village. The promenade of Hudson River Park is home turf for daily walks with Millie, his Pembroke Welsh Corgi, to view the architectural, meteorological, and avian sights. When not birding and taking photographs, Mr. Michael has choreographed "The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies", "GOOSE!" and "The Nutcracker" for New York Theatre Ballet, and is the Dance Production Coordinator at The Juilliard School.