It finally feels like spring. In the words of George Harrison (whose song popped up just as I sat down to write- the Pandora gods are smiling at me), “it’s been a long, cold lonely winter.” Ask any New Yorker, you’ll hear stories: I wore my winter coat through April! It was 40° nearly a week ago! Longest winter ever! What is this
bullshit lack of spring? At last the wait has paid off, the sun is here. Spring Fever is taking the city by storm. ‘Tis the season for romantic park strolls, for candle lit dinners at sidewalk cafés, for sharing ice cream cones and holding hands. Love is in the air, it’s everywhere. Even at the Bronx Zoo.
One glorious spring morning I found myself in the Bronx with one free ticket for the zoo! Thinking only, “Awesome! I get see some animals and pay nothing!” I set off to explore the 265 acres of the Bronx Zoo. It soon became clear I was an anomaly, stranger than an albino alligator. No one goes to the zoo alone! I was surrounded by couples and families. Even those of the animal kingdom were paired up. I have a boyfriend now, I thought that meant my days of being the only single at a party were over! Really, I should’ve known better- especially at a zoo in the throes of spring time. Oh well, I felt a bit like a freak, but there were so many distractions to keep me from feeling lonely. Like lions!
A celebrity couple, the king and queen of the zoo. At first glance, they kept to themselves under a tree. Suddenly, they became aware of the crowd watching them and ran towards us. For a moment I felt the feeling of being approached by a powerful predator. It was exhilarating, even with the score of safety measures in place.
A goat fight! When I came home from the zoo, my roommate asked me what my favorite exhibit was. I said, “The goats.” She looked at me like I was nuts. These fellas really put on a show for us. Clearing a display of masculine strength, trying to win the attentions of the nearby lady goat.
She played hard to get, keeping her back to them the whole time. Only the turtles and a large crowd of humans appreciated their efforts.
Peacocks! The Bronx Zoo, like many (all?) zoos, gives peacocks free reign to wander. It’s wonderful, especially to a New York inhabitant. Normally, the only birds we get close to are pigeons. Such close contact to a pigeon creates a feeling of disgust, the reverse is true with a peacock. Nothing short of awesome.
While the male peacocks have admirers where ever they go, with pointing fingers and flashing cameras, the female peahens are usually ignored. Not this one, she clearly has a secret admirer.
Having no one to talk to, I started making up stories, even staging plays and casting the animals exhibited…I nearly clapped with delight when I saw the tale of Romeo and Juliet unfold before my very eyes (and camera lens). I wonder if the zoo keepers put the giraffes and ostriches in the same area hoping a Shakespearian drama would unfold.
The giraffes are the Capulets, the Ostriches are the Montagues. You think I’m just projecting this onto two different species? You think I’m a crazed theatre nerd who got so bored wandering around the zoo by herself she started making up stories? Maybe. But I saw it with my own eyes!
These two are in love! Their families don’t approve! Someone is going to die in the third act!
Okay, enough with the dramatics. The seal lions are just trying to get their friend, who was recently dumped, to stop moping and come out for a swim.
The tigers are that homebody couple who never goes out or does anything fun anymore, even though they’re super attractive.
And here I am with the flamingos! These pinkies aren’t all coupled up! These birds stay far way from the edge. Alas, I couldn’t catch them in all their flaming glory but you can still sorta see them.
Needless to say, I had a blast at the zoo. Even by myself! I highly recommend it whether alone, with friends, or on a date!
When was the last time you were at a zoo? Ever make up stories about the animals?