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National Zookeeper Appreciation Week – 2021 July 18, 2021

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 The third week in July is when we recognize and celebrate the dedicated zookeepers who keep our zoos and aquariums humming. Zookeeper’s faces may change from year to year but the hard work, resourcefulness and commitment remain the same. I salute you all and especially the staff at my home base, the Central Park Zoo. This past year was especially difficult due to COVID19 but the hard working zookeepers stayed loyal to their purpose. Thank you for allowing me to take your photos while you perform your tasks with good humor. We are open 365 days a year (except during this year’s COVID shutdown), thru rain, snow, summer heat and all holidays. National Zookeeper Week starts today. How about if you go to a zoo this week tell a zookeeper how much they are appreciated? I have been fortunate to stay in touch with many of our Central Park zookeepers who have moved on and it was fun to look at my past Zookeeper Appreciation Week photo montages to see all of those beautiful faces again. If you want to take a photo adventure back in time check out these great years. 20202019 2018
20172016 – 2013

Remembering the Blizzard of 2016 July 11, 2021

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 It has been a hot, humid, very rainy summer in NYC. For me – it is always a bad hair day. Since summer is a time of reruns I thought remembering other weather events might be fun and in this case…cooling. It was on January 24-26 of 2016 when 27.5 inches of snow buried NYCThe NYC blizzard kept most of us close to home (little did we know that four years later we would all be staying close to home due to the pandemic). Here are a few wintry photos from my neighborhood outing at the time. A citywide travel ban was in effect. It was eerily quiet out there except for an occasional snowplow. Our NYC zoos were closed for two days. Hope you all are ‘weathering’ this crazy summer and staying safe.

Red, White and Zoo – 2021 July 4, 2021

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Summer is a time for reruns. Accordingly I share last year’s post since July Fourth actually falls on a Sunday this year. This was a fun montage to create. I didn’t realize how many animals could be included in this red, white and blue themed photo montage. Wishing you a safe, happy holiday and keep those pets inside as most are afraid of the noisy fireworks.

Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest June 27, 2021

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 I am a big fan of public art. Public art is visually and physically accessible to the public; it is installed or staged in public space or the public realm, usually outside. Public art seeks to embody public or universal concepts rather than commercial, partisan or personal concepts or interests. It is not commercial and is usually temporary. Madison Square Park is my neighborhood park and has been exhibiting public art since 2004. I have adored most of the previous exhibits and was usually sad when they left but I knew another project would be coming our way and looked forward to that. Architect Maya Lins Ghost Forest is a grand success. She explains it much better than I can in this four minute video and shows us how she conceived and built this new work. It is on thru November 13. 2021 and I encourage a visit. You can also have a Shake Shack meal in the original Shake Shack in the park. Eataly is directly across the street and the new Harry Potter shop is one block away for you non-Muggles. Another public art project is happening the city in August. Yes, the Cow Parade is coming back to NYC from August 18 to September 30.

Happy Father’s Day 2021 June 20, 2021

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 While most caregivers in the animal kingdom are mothers, there are some fathers who join in the role as caregiver. I salute some of those fathers out there in today’s photo montage. Coincidentally – tomorrow is also National Martini Day. Why not celebrate that special day today? The photo above today’s montage is of my father, sister and me (circa – the beginning of time).

Southwick’s Zoo June 13, 2021

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Last month’s fun trip to New England included the always terrific Southwick’s Zoo. It is a 300-acre, privately owned and operated, zoological park located in Mendon, Massachusetts. It was opened in 1963, and remains family-operated to date. We usually visit around Halloween time but due to last year’s COVID restrictions we missed our annual visit. It was good to be back and also good to see even more improvements to this ever changing facility.

Little Island June 6, 2021

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 I have been a fan of this idea since inception and was not disappointed when I visited the opening this week. There’s a lot of info here about the design, concept and people behind this new NYC space that is close to High Line and Whitney Museum. “In 2013, Barry Diller, in partnership with Hudson River Park Trust  leadership, embarked on the unique opportunity to envision a solution for the repair and reactivation of Pier 54,  damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Diller chose to reimagine an entirely new type of public space for New York, one that would create an immersive experience with nature and art”. It is easy to find and is entered via West 14th Street. From my perspective, NYC is coming back better than ever. Here is a sample of one of the glowing reviews about this new public free space. Please go visit and enjoy.

Kusama – Cosmic Nature at NYBG May 30, 2021

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 Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama  at age 92 is still going strong. This fun, colorful exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden is on through Halloween – which makes sense since she has a great admiration for pumpkins..as do I. ‘Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with the natural world, beginning with her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery. Her artistic concepts of obliteration, infinity, and eternity are inspired by her intimate engagement with the colors, patterns, and life cycles of plants and flowers’. Along with the fun installations in the Conservatory, there are several walk through immersive installations throughout the garden. We had a great time and the beautiful weather day was like icing on the cake. I highly recommend this to all.

Franklin Park Zoo – May 2021 May 23, 2021

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 After almost 18 months sticking close to home due to Covid19 I finally packed a suitcase, boarded an Amtrak train and headed off to Boston to visit good friends. We had a grand reunion, visited some of our favorite places, ate, laughed and generally felt normal once again. First up…the Franklin Park Zoo. I hope that your lives are also slowly returning to normal and those smiles are broad.

Library of Congress May 16, 2021

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This photo folder has been on my desktop since January of 2014. Not sure why I decided today would be a good time to post this photos…but here they are. All I remember about our day at the Library of Congress was that it was a great tour with truly interesting facts. Sadly I remember nothing that I learned that day. Sigh. However – thanks to the internet I was able to link some fascinating info for you here and here. That same trip we also went to the National Zoo to see baby panda Bao Bao. For those that need an animal fix each Sunday here is the link to that photo montage.