birthday post…?

August 20, 2008 at 7:57 pm (Uncategorized)


Today is my birthday, so I very happily took the day off – I really needed to just chill out, get out of the house a bit, and have some fun, so the timing was just perfect. But we had the great idea of going to the zoo for the day, which would have worked well… except…

Today was the “pay what you want day” which, at the Bronx Zoo, equates to “pay nothing day” (it was really weird – we walked up to the attendant with money in our hands, not the full $15 you would normally pay but we were willing to give them something since we were going in to look around, and the attendant seemed utterly unprepared to handle/collect money and not a single other person was offering, so we put our money back). Which means that the zoo was mobbed, with every mom and child in the tri-state area flocking there. The kids inevitably screamed out the names of whatever animal caught their eye for two seconds (“Lion!!!” “Giraffe!!!!” and so on) and the parents basically barked back at them their first names (“Dmitri!!” “Madison!!!!” etc) for some reason.

Ok, not exactly the chill day that I had hoped for. And what’s more, any animal that could possibly be considered “cute” by any definition had a crowd in front of its area, so that it was next to impossible to get close to any of the animals to really hang out with them. Except in two exceptions:

The birds of prey. What, no one wants to bring their adorable tot over to see the vultures? Apparently not, because it was pretty empty over there. So we got close to the vultures, the condors, the eagles, and so forth, most notably getting there right after feeding. The birds all had a variety of small, dead, white mice laid out for them that they could snack on, and the definite highlight was watching the eagle rip the head off of his mouse and suck its brains out. Totally amazing. (I tried to take a picture with my camera phone… ahhhh, I know, it’s not the best.)

The gorillas. Ok, the line for The Congo exhibit was out of control, so we bailed – walking around the long way, past the outskirts of the fenced off exhibit which was lined with a bamboo wall that you couldn’t see through. However, strangely enough, you could hear through it, and somehow I noticed (certainly wasn’t looking for this when I found it) while walking by that there were the unmistakable grunting noises of a gorilla coming from directly opposite the fence, like less than a foot away from where I was. Which means that while I couldn’t actually see the gorilla, I got probably a hell of a lot closer to a gorilla than I ever have in my life, and it was pretty amazing to just stand there and listen to this creature grunt and coo on the opposite side of this fence, just barely hidden from me.

Anyway. Back to work tomorrow.

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