Let’s Zoo-It

It’s Labor Day weekend, so it is the perfect time for a hurricane to come and mess up everyone’s plans as they want to send summer off with one last hurrah.

On Saturday, two crazy friends, my mister, and I headed to the Bronx Zoo since we were not sure what kind of weather to expect here in NYC as Hermine headed up the east coast on Sunday and Monday.

DSC_1929I’ve never been to the Bronx Zoo. In fact, it was the first time I’ve taken the subway up that far into the Bronx. It’s certainly a different world from the one I live in in Manhattan–ahem, not as pretty. I’m sure if you actually got away from the subway tracks, there are some nice areas of the Bronx. However, from the subway car, I saw just very industrial, graffiti-tagged brick buildings and crammed apartment residences with the occasional trees to provide a burst of green. I found the architecture to be definitely lacking and thought it was quite interesting that a lot of the signs were in Spanish rather than English or a mix of both.

After getting off the Pelham Bay Parkway stop, we walked about half a mile to the Zoo entrance. Thankfully, we had herds of parents pushing strollers to follow because there was a definite lack of appropriate signage to point people in the right direction to the zoo from the 2 subway line.

DSC_1931For the largest zoo found within a city, the Bronx Zoo surprisingly was surprisingly much more nature-y than I expected. There was a Bronx River that greeted you near the entrance, which who knew existed? Definitely not this Manhattan-ite. I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of trees and foliage within the zoo itself. Oftentimes, it was like entering a secret world (or a nightmare filled with strollers and children) as you exited the main walkway to see each animal exhibit that was tucked out of sight behind massive trees and other dense plant life. For the sake of the animals, I’m glad that there were so many trees that helped create a sound barrier since it definitely could get loud–hello sea lions! Can we say “arf, arf, arf?” The trees also provided a luxurious amount of shade so that I surprisingly did not get overheated as we walked over 6 miles and still didn’t see the entire zoo. Here are some of my favorite pictures, though I sadly didn’t get to see the lions before they were tucked away for the evening.

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Would I recommend people making a visit?

Yes! The only real negative I had about this zoo is the bathrooms (not the most modern, clean feeling facilities), and the fact that the poor tiger and polar bear seemed very unhappy. It wasn’t a terribly hot day (low 70s) but they were pacing and pacing with their mouths open. The other animals seemed okay with their captivity. I thought it was pretty amazing that a lot of the birds were not even closed up inside some of the building exhibits–they could have technically flown out of their exhibit into the darkened viewing area, but they had no reason to do so (no food, water, perches, etc.) Later on,  when visiting the Congo gorilla habitat, a gorilla got pretty ticked off and banged on the glass wall, so of course the human animals on the other side started banging back in an effort to get him to do it again. That truly annoyed me since it is beyond rude to provoke an animal. If I ever had a child, I hope he would turn out like this little boy who had a conversation similar to the following with his parents:

Little Boy: Can gorillas kill people?

Parent: Yes, they can.

Little Boy: I think the gorilla should kill the people banging on the glass.

Me thinking to myself: Yup, we’re the animals. I totally agree if it wouldn’t get the poor gorilla killed.

The zoo definitely had a different feel from my home town zoo of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, which is very nice but had a lot more concrete as a whole I felt like around the animal exhibits. It also gets quite hot in the summer heat. If you ever think about visiting the Bronx Zoo, I would definitely recommend buying the “total experience ticket” if available since a number of buildings and the shuttle required you to have this ticket if you want to avoid paying extra to see exhibits like Jungle World, home of the black leopard. You can get an extra 10% off of the $34 total experience ticket cost if you purchase ahead of time online.

I hope you enjoyed this post and the pictures. Comments are always appreciated! However, please don’t take photos without permission. Thanks!

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Labor Day – A Day You Celebrate Working by Doing Nothing

The other day, my husband made a comment wondering why we celebrate Labor Day. It just seems like a time that people go to the lake or beach to party and enjoy the last warm days of summer. Although that seems like the most common reason, Americans and Canadians created Labor Day to serve as a tribute to hardworking men and women. Labor unions first started celebrating the day as early as 1882, when the first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City. I had no idea until I started doing some research on the topic that labor unions specifically chose the first Monday in September because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.

As we celebrate Labor Day here in America, I am thankful that I am an American that is physically able to pursue a career that I love–one in publishing. I am even more thankful that I have a husband who works hard to support us (and our kitties and birdie!) while I am pursuing my dream job. I seriously have the best husband ever and am so thankful that he worked hard in South Carolina while I moved up to NYC this past summer to earn my publishing certification at NYU.

Now I am off to fill out a job application before getting back to the new book I just started reading. No worries, my cat, Caesar, is working hard to make sure my book doesn’t go somewhere until I pick it up again. Someone should seriously hire him to check book binding durability.

Caesar with Victoria Bylin's "Until I found You"

Caesar with Victoria Bylin’s “Until I found You”

Anyways, here is to being able to celebrate Labor Day next year as an employed woman! :raises root beer:

Credit goes here for the Labor Day info.