THE CITY is proud to announce the latest addition to our growing flock: Nellie the pigeon.
Nellie — an ode to the 19th-century groundbreaking, muckraking journalist known as Nellie Bly — won our name-the-pigeon vote, edging out Scoop by a beak.
Paloma and Carrier, alas, proved distant also-rans.
Overall, about 5,300 ballots were cast during the last week. The finalists were culled from the suggestions of nearly 5,000 subscribers to our free daily newsletter (sign up here!).
Nellie – and multiple variations, including, Nellie Bly, Bly and Nellie Fly – was among the top submissions, suggesting journalism history buffs are among the growing fan base of THE CITY.
Nellie Bly, born Elizabeth Cochran Seaman, rose to fame in 1887 when she got herself thrown into a mental institution on Blackwell’s Island (now Roosevelt Island) and wrote an expose for Joseph Pultizer’s New York World.
The next year, taking her cue from Jules Verne’s “Around the World in Eighty Days,” she set off on a trip spanning the globe — returning in 72 days, six hours and 11 minutes. After the feat, The New York Times noted in Bly’s 1922 obituary, she “landed in New York a national character.”
Brooklyn residents of a certain age might remember a modest amusement park named after Bly near Caesar’s Bay.
We see the pigeon-naming as another local honor — one in line with our mission to serve New Yorkers.
The most New York of birds is gritty — and unafraid to let its presence be known, sometimes in the bluntest of fashions. The scrappy pigeon is everywhere, watching over us with an under-appreciated tenacity and nobility.
We’re trying, in our own modest way, to look out for New Yorkers.
So now, in spirit, will Nellie.