Herbert Rauch, the 'Parrot Man' of Chelsea, Speaks
There is a sweet/weird and all too brief interview with 84-year-old Chelsea resident Herbert Rauch in DNA Info today. Aside from being one of those quintessential New York characters, Rauch is a bird person -- we don't truly understand bird people, but we respect their right to be bird people -- and he has a parrot named Eddie who, for 35 years, has walked up and down Tenth Avenue with Rauch (presumably on his shoulder). Rauch and Eddie are close, as well as, clearly, a fixture of the neighborhood.
"He thinks I'm his spouse," said Rauch, a resident of Penn South public housing on 27th Street. "He tolerates my wife, but she has to eat alone in the kitchen."
Rauch, who never had human children, also gives Eddie baths (the parrot says "splash,"), takes him to Murray's Bagels and the 99 cent store, and pets him regularly.