A bird-loving woman living in a rent-stabilized apartment on one of Manhattan's most luxurious streets is being sued by a landlord who claims the woman is attracting pigeon poop and driving away customers from a boutique in the building.
Margaret Lee, who's lived in a rent-stabilized unit on Bond Street in NoHo since 1979, is being sued by landlord Saada Roberts. Roberts wants Lee to stop feeding pigeons from her fire escape, and claims the birds are bothering people walking into the chic OAK boutique just below.
"Bird feces continue to pelt the front of the building and the entrance to the commercial tenant's space," Roberts' attorney David Brody wrote last month, according to The Daily News.
The lawsuit argues pigeon waste is dangerous to humans because it carries disease. Brody told News 4 his client has repeatedly asked Lee to stop feeding the birds but she refused -- and they had no choice but to sue.
Lee acknowledged that neighbors have complained to her about her pigeon-feeding habits, but told the News she couldn't resist when George, her favorite pigeon, "recognized" her and flew to her apartment, looking for more birdseed -- along with his friends.
She told News 4 Friday, "It's sad because pigeons are an underappreciated group. They are New Yorkers."
"My lawyers advised me: 'Look, our priority was keeping you in your place. We achieved that. Be happy that you're safe and secure in your place and stop feeding the pigeons,'" Lee told the News. "And there's George, still looking in my window, and I'm thinking, 'What do I do?'"
The judge has issued a temporary restraining order, and for now, Lee can't feed birds from her window or near her building. She's due back in court in the fall.