Saturday, January 17, 2015

Wallet Card: The Owls of Herald Square

James Gordon Bennett Sr. was publisher of the New York Herald, one of the city's most nativist, racist and anti-Semitic newspapers in the nineteenth century. He was also obsessed with owls. Some say the sound of a hooting owl saved his life when getting lost while sailing in the dark. Others claim it was the symbol of a secret order like the Illuminati.

There are a bunch of owl statues in Herald Square. As promised a few days ago, here's a picture of Donnie with one of the owls. As you can see the card is already starting to get beat up from going in and out of the wallet.
 My favorite Herald Square owl is easy to miss - it is stamped on a maintenance door on the back of the large statue of Minerva (a Greek goddess associated with the owl). Bennett's personal motto is featured on the emblem - the French expression "La Nuit Porte Conseil", which means to "Sleep on It" (literally "The Night Gives Counsel").  The five stars and the moon with the owl, some say, are indicators of Bennett's secret society.

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