How many people do you know who visit New York City and say that what they want to do is go to the zoo? Last month my brother Jeff came to visit and that was one of the things he said he’d like to do. I told him that in all my years in NYC (almost 30 now, sheesh!) I’d never been to the Bronx Zoo.
Jeff has always been the outdoorsman of our family; we used to call him Mark Trail — after the daily comic strip character for those of you old enough to remember – because of his propensity to strike out on his own adventures in “the woods,” admirably learning to hunt and fish all on his own. So while the zoo wasn’t on my host list, I thought hey, why not? It sure beat the heck out of the standard tourist jaunts like schlepping up the Empire State Building or waiting for the boat to Liberty Island (which, truth be told, Jeff and his kids had already seen in prior visits). Plus, I’d be guided by my own friendly, family, self-made mountain man brother to answer questions.
It was a delightful time, despite it being an overcast winter day with most animals kept inside. And afterwards I wondered why I don’t go more often. Why don’t people ever think of going zoos, except mostly when they want to take the kids somewhere fun? I did find some great answers to why people do visit zoos in this NY Times article last weekend. And it was a good reminder of what it means to be a human being, and to appreciate all the other beings in our world.
Oh and thanks, Mr. Trail!
BTW, here are some videos from that trip to the zoo, and from the day before, when after walking along the Coney Island boardwalk, Jeff spied the Aquarium there and insisted we check it out. I’m glad we did. Another eye-opener for me. The Aquarium jellyfish are amazing!