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Cans of 'Boiled Parrot' ruffle feathers in San Francisco

By Ben Hooper

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A display in the front window of a yet-to-open San Francisco store is ruffling feathers of animal lovers with cans purporting to contain "boiled parrot."

The display, in the window of a future North Beach retail shop called Terrific Street, features several cans bearing the image of a cartoon parrot and purporting to contain "Colorful Sky Rat Brand Boiled Parrot In Gravy."

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Some of the cans are labeled "local & organic" and offer "Cherry Conures In Their Own Syrup." Brady Baltezore, one of six partners behind the Terrific Street store, said the display was meant to be humorous.

"We thought, 'How funny would it be to create an installation that made it look like we were going to open a hyperlocal, hyper-sustainable business that was using the most hyperlocal food item?'" Baltezore told Hoodline. "We wouldn't harm parrots. We love parrots ... In this era, there's a little too much emphasis on what people's reaction is to art, rather than enjoying it on its own merits."

A photo posted by Colby Thompson (@colby_versacrumdesign) on

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Resident Julie Herrod was among those who failed to see any humor in the display.

Herrod took credit for leaving a note in the store's mailbox reading: "Your window display is a disgrace. Not at all funny, if that's what you think it is. You're in the wrong neighborhood. Shame on you."

The store responded by posting Herrod's note in the window along with a new sign reading, "Terrific Street: In the wrong neighborhood since 2015."

Baltezore said the partners posted Herrod's note because "it tweaked our nose, so we tweaked it back."

"Scribbling an anonymous note telling someone they don't belong in a neighborhood is unpleasant at best and hateful and intolerant at worst," he said.

Mark Bittner, who was featured in the 2003 documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, sided with Herrod.

"It is supposed to be concept art," Bittner told KABC-TV. "But to me I just thought it was like little boy humor."

He said the partners want to move past the window controversy -- but they have no plans to remove the display.

"We're big champions of artistic expression, inclusivity, and making people's days more interesting, not so much about going toe-to-toe with our neighbors," he told the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Baltezore said Terrific Street is aiming to open by the end of the year.

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