Coronavirus Journal: Day 25 – #coronavirusUSA mascot?

So, I was sitting at the dinner table, trying to get some remote work done and I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye, out the window. I looked over and saw a black bird, a crow, standing on the antennae of the neighboring building.

Ok. Great. A crow. I felt like it fit really well with the current mood in the city and the country. We are the new Italy. We are the new global epicenter of death and coronavirus related destruction, so a crow seemed really appropriate. Hell, the scientific name for a crow is even “corvus”. Coronavirus.

But then he turned and looked at me and I realized the fucker was holding half a hotdog in his beak.

He hopped around, turning this way and that, as if he was gloating over his prize. He must have realized I was watching him because he stopped and starting eyeballing me. He tipped his head back and forth and then decided to move to safer ground, just in case I felt inclined to go out the window after him to challenge him for his hotdog.

The crow turning and preparing to take flight, like the number of coronavirus related deaths in the US.

The fact that the crow was holding half a hotdog in his beak just made the imagery better for me. Here was a representation of death holding a hotdog and chilling outside, the American coronavirus mascot.

I could almost hear him screaming, “HOLD MY BEER! USA! USA! WhooooooOOOooo!” as he flew up and away, out of our control.

A Day at the Bronx Zoo

Last June, my wife and I took a trip up to the Bronx Zoo. Prior to moving back to New York City in 2010, I’d lived here as a kid, or visited numerous times, but I don’t know that I had ever been to the Bronx Zoo before. Anyway, we showed up about two hours after opening and, after some deliberation, went ahead and put out the extra money for the all-access passes instead of paying a-la-carte as we went through the zoo. The zoo has a large amount of free “content” but if you want the “premium” experience, you have to pay a heftier fee.

I think it was worth the money. We almost exclusively visited the premium areas, but ran out of time before seeing everything. Of course, some of the stuff we wouldn’t want to see anyway, because it was geared towards kids, but basically the Bronx Zoo is a two day experience, at least. There’s so much left that we didn’t see that we’re definitely going to have to go back again.

My favorite photos from our trip:

If you’re thinking of visiting the zoo, my only suggestions are to bring water, food (inside prices are out of control), a hat for shade and comfortable shoes for standing in lines for access to some of the premium areas like the Asia Monorail and the Dinosaur Safari, which we didn’t ride, but saw the line for while walking towards the butterfly garden.

The Hawks at Washington Square Park

Washington Park Hawk 1

The last place I expected to see a hawk for the first time was at Washington Square Park, in the middle of New York City, but that’s what happened.  My wife and I were passing through and saw a crowd of people gathered with their phones and/or cameras out.

Washington Park Hawk 2

Part of Washington Square Park is fenced off because it’s still being renovated.  Because of that, it’s free of people, which is probably why the hawk chose that area to hang out in, though it might also have had something to do with the squirrel that was on a nearby tree.

Washington Park Hawk 3

I asked a guy near us if the hawk showed up in the park often and he said that it, along with three siblings, lived in the area and had grown up in a nest on a window ledge on a nearby NYU building.  He said that when the hawks were young, there was a 24/7 webcam set up above the nest.  He took a moment to show me a video he had on his phone that he’d saved.  I guess people were allowed to go into the building and look at the hawks from inside.

It’s nice to see that people are supportive of wildlife returning to the area.  There are places in the world where birds like this would have been poached, or hunted just for kicks.  Some people are sick.  I hope these hawks stay cool and don’t make a nuisance of themselves, or you know someone will cry about it right away and want them removed.

For more info about the hawks, you can visit their ‘homepage’: WP Hawks.

For more pics I took of the hawk, see my Google+ photo gallery, or do a Google search.

The Original Angry Birds? – AMNH Exhibit

The Original Angry Birds?
The Original Angry Birds?

A few weeks ago my wife and I went to the American Museum of Natural History here in New York City.  I’ll post more about that later, but I just wanted to share this image first.  When I saw it, the first thing I thought of was the Angry Birds games.  I think Rovio (the makers of Angry Birds) is based out of Finland, or at least that’s what their site says, but maybe the person who came up with the concept was thinking of this display window in the AMNH.  It has the whole idea in one scene:  broken eggs, angry birds, and the hogs (pigs) who are responsible.

Ostrich - Wart Hog
Ostrich - Wart Hog