Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Smiles Awake You When You Rise

Ms Hope and I visited the Bronx Zoo this morning, a magical haven that exists just a 45 minute subway ride away. We often find ourselves out in the city wandering in the cold or rain, seeking a place to sit and have a chat.  I thought what an amazing backdrop to just leisurely walk and lay out our thoughts.  I've wanted to go for some time, even felt a yearning to see these animals, smell them and look them in the eye.
The most bizarre zoo creature award goes to this pheasant that you can barely see.  His tale was almost that of a fish and went straight back behind his body about 3 feet.  
It was that but also different and much more than imagined.  The animals seemed very receptive to the visit and many times were just as curious of us as we of them.  The structures are surprisingly beautiful and there is enough empty space in between that you feel like an explorer.  Sure, it's not that at all but it worked for me.  It's a little sad, but in the end, having the animals on display serves educationally and not just for kids.  They may be just as baffled by their circumstances as we are of ours but getting the chance to view them is wildly exciting and special.  If you want the peace of walking through Central Park but more of an intimate experience, I would highly recommend the zoo in the winter.  There were some groups of kids and on one hand you're happy that a family can share in the experience for free each week but I do wish there was more training on how to respect the space.  I think young children could easily be taught how to visit the animals properly.  How taunting or yelling in their presence could truly stress them out day after day if confined to a small cage.  It's easy to imagine.  It could also teach them how to live in the moment, to really stop thoughts and be observant of another amazing life form.  And to spend the entire day doing this with hundreds of species could change a child, or an adult.

The Brown Bears chose to face away from everyone.  We could totally understand that behavior.  I would most likely be in that cave all day.  We did see the big one on top walk across that bluff and you could imagine seeing him in the wild all majestic and glorious. 
Seeing a lion poop is a first especially since he was looking at me.  I'm pretty sure this was life-changing but trying to figure out how. 

Giraffes are under-rated.  They are certainly incredible, unbelievable specimens.  I've always had the eeriest feeling seeing them with the painting behind of the vast Sahara but this time, it felt very peaceful.

My personal favorite is the African Wild Dog. They follow the leader all day in some heavenly, oblivious bliss

A grilled vegetable panini and fries from the Dancing Crane Cafe.  I loved it, just the right amount of cheese, sauce, freshness.  This is a well thought out sandwich.  The fries were the good kind, crunchy on the outside, well salted, hot and flavorful.  

The tiger walking right towards Hope.  Seemed all the animals gave us a little personal touch of love that day. 

Best moment!  When the lion stood facing us and acknowledged our presence. 

Seal feeding time.  Circus-like which could be sad, but they seemed to enjoy it and what else have they got to do anyway.  They probably invite the interaction. 

The Rhinos in this Cathedral like room, quite and gigantic. I suppressed my inner 14 year old by not sharing the enormous morning wood on display as well. 

Seconds after this peaceful setting of monkeys quietly foraging for food, this giant caped Baboon comes running over the hill as if in slow motion, complete with full long-hair coat and performs the fastest rape on record.  Before we can get out all our jokes about him being the asshole, we see him getting banged by another smaller monkey by force moments later.  Confused, we moved on.
The indoor exhibits were very special as well, finding all the hidden creatures tiny and not so tiny.  
At home 8 hours later reflecting on the day, I enjoyed a huge plate of linguine with meat sauce.

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