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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bronx zoo...

...or, I was thinking of titling this blog "Four Boroughs in One Day," or, "Sorry Staten Island, I just didn't have time." But anyway, I had wanted to go to the Bronx zoo for some time so when my cousin told me Friday night that her parents would be in town Saturday and wanted to go, I said yes, right away. It's something I've avoided because of the potentially two hour long subway ride from Sunset Park to the central Bronx area. And for once, I'm off on a Saturday. Something that'll probably be happening more, now that there's another freelancing employee at NY 1. More on that later.

I met Flip (his real name is Phillip) and Cheryl (my aunt and uncle) and Katrina at Katrina's place in Astoria and we hopped in their car and headed straight for the Whitestone bridge. They had seen the traffic on the Tri-Borough Bridge going the other way and said that it was way out of control and therefore, not worth attempting. Hence the detour. It didn't take us too long surprisingly to get up to the general area where the zoo is, though, but it did take a few turns to figure out the way into the park.

When we arrived, we parked in C parking up on the southwest side of the park and immediately sat down to eat and hydrate as, yes, it's finally gotten above 90 degrees up here. Flip was set on the Africa exhibits and I was just along for the ride, so we wandered in that direction, passing the polar bear exhibit first (something I've never understood is zoos not doing a better job to simulate the polar bear's natural environment; they have to be burning up down here). It's hard to remember what exactly we saw except by looking at pictures and that's much more interesting than me giving a blow by blow. I did take some video though, mainly because it makes much more sense when an animal or group of animals is moving to take video rather than try, with a non-SLR digital camera, to take a good picture. So here's the album:

Bronx Zoo

Some highlights that I videoed were the two black leopards we saw in the Jungle World exhibit, the sea lions, (always love these guys) and of course, the monkeys. One of my favorite aspects of the park is that they let Pea Hens and Peacocks roam freely throughout the park, and they will walk right up to you. Here are the videos:

Black Leopard

Sea Lions

There were more videos and they're up on my youtube channel, so check them out too.

Afterward, we took a rather scenic accidental tour of the Bronx from the expressways while we tried to find our way back to the Tri-Borough Bridge. Just off the expressway in Queens, and really close to both the N train and Katrina's place, is this little place called Neptune Diner where we decided to go for dinner. A little Greek run diner with a pretty massive menu and incidentally, a fairly cheery staff. Our waiter was doing tricks, flipping over our full water glasses too quick for any water to spill out, just to keep us on our toes. He brought me a lot of butter for the bread when he saw I had eaten most of the first basket by myself. (Hey, I was hungry.) Cheryl got clams stuffed with crab meat and Flip got the lamb, which came with a soup (a fantastic looking Manhattan clam chowder). Katrina and I both had the Pasticio, which was pretty awesome. Nice, light fluffy custard on top (that the waiter explained to me exactly how to make...water, eggs, milk, nutmeg, etc.), and nice minced lamb and macaroni underneath. Heavenly. Either because of the amount of time spent in the heat or because of the long time up on my feet and not having eaten much for lunch, I was starving so I almost ate the whole half pound portion on my plate and half of the Greek salad that came with it.

So stuffed, satisfied and a little tired I said goodbye and headed back on the N train all the way home to Brooklyn and just crashed and watched the rest of Zodiac. Great film, by the way. Overall, a pretty good day. It preempted my original plans to head to the Rockaways to spend some time on the beach like a bum, but I'm okay with that. I think I'll do that next weekend because a new friend of mine at church today was giving me pointers on getting out there from my area. More on my adventures today after I get those pics up.

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