On October 26, 2021, I wrote an article about walking to Manhattan with a friend to see the August-September 2021 New York City Cow Parade. That article included three photos of Cow Parade cows. The last cow parade cow I saw was at the Herald Square Macy’s in 2021. The 2021 Cow Parade wrapped up and has not since returned to New York City (to the best of my knowledge). Little did I expect that I would happen upon a cow parade cow in Manhattan on May 30, 2024:

A cow statute in a small front yard in lower Manhattan. The cow statue is about 6-7 feet long and has horns. Its torso is painted witha  white and yellow sky line under a bluew cloud. Its face has patches of green, blue, maroon, and orange.

I was curious when this cow participated in the Cow Parade. New York City has hosted two Cow Parades, the first being in 2000 and the second 2021. (I do not remember seeing any of the 2000 Cow Parade statues but the cow parade sounded vaguely familiar to me when I heard about the 2021 edition.) Before doing any research on the cow I came across on May 30, I suspected that it came from the 2000 edition (assuming arguendo it was from one of the two New York City Cow Parades). One could venture that it is a bit worn in some places – suggesting that it is not new. But the reason why I ventured 2000 is because the cow’s aesthetic, from the colors to the shapes – feels very late 90s-turn of the millennium to me. I was a kid when the 2000 Cow Parade hit, so I have enough of a frame of reference of New York City urban aesthetics at the time. I dare say the bull made me think of the classic Metro Card machine aesthetic.

I found a full list of the cows of the 2021 New York City Cow Parade and noted the absence of the bull I photographed in May 2024. This resolved clearly and beyond doubt that the bull was not part of the 2021 Cow Parade, but not that it was part of the 2000 New York City Cow Parade. I had to do a surprising amount of digging to find the full list of 2000 Cow Parade participants before coming across a YouTube video by Mr. Douglas Andersen which consists of a slideshow of all of the cows (or in some cases, bulls). I recognized our bull at the 1:09 mark of the video. I felt a moment of self-satisfaction for having discerned that the bull was part of the 2000 Cow Parade from its turn-of-the-century artistic design sensibilities.

Unfortunately, I was completing what turned out to be an 11-mile round-trip walk, so I did not note the precise location of the retired Cow Parade bull. I recall that my good friend and New Leaf Journal colleague Victor V. Gurbo noted when we had walked past City Lore not long before or after I saw the retired cow parade cow, so you can search the general area if you want to find it too.