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While Not at the Zoo April 1, 2018

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Tomorrow marks seven weeks since my shoulder replacement surgery. It is definitely a very s-l-o-w recovery (it seems there are a lot of moving parts in one’s shoulder). I am working on lifting my SLR camera that I use at the zoo but in the meantime I am using my phone and documenting my zoo gang of three at home. Enjoy some of my recent photos of One-eyed Jack, Audrey and Roberta. Wishing all a very Happy Passover and Easter.

Grandma and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Tragedy March 25, 2018

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Much has been written about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy that happened 107 years today. 146 lives were lost. It was the beginning of a strong labor movement in NYC and many laws were changed to protect workers.

My grandmother, Anna Osipow Goldberg worked at that factory.  She did not go to work the day of the fire.  Why, you may ask?  I never got a straight answer to that question.  By the time I was old enough to understand the consequences of that tragic day, my grandma was consumed by what we called in those days, ‘senility.’  It was probably Alzheimer’s Disease, but that word was not in the lexicon way back then.  My grandma was a tough, stern, unsmiling, woman.  She did not want to talk about her childhood in Czarist Russia, she did not want to talk about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory – in fact – she did not want to talk of much at all.  Whenever she wanted to speak, it seemed to me as a child, that she spoke in Yiddish.  I think I assumed she did not want us ‘kids’ to know what she was speaking about.

All these years later – I wish I had asked the right questions.  I sure would like to know why she never smiled.  Maybe she was thinking about all of those lives lost – I do not know. The photo shows Grandma holding my mother along with my Grandfather and Aunt Katie.

Go Eagles! March 18, 2018

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Remember the Super Bowl? About six weeks ago, right before my shoulder surgery, we drove south to Philadelphia the day before their Super Bowl victory parade. The Philadelphia Zoo  was all decked out in green and white ‘go eagles’ banners and while the crowd was sparse (it was a bitter cold day) everyone was jubilant over their victory.

Green is the Color of the Day March 11, 2018

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This week is St. Patrick’s Day. It is customary to wear green clothing, shamrocks or an accessory; which is called the “wearing of the green“. Many of our Central Park Zoo animals sport green everyday.

Walks with Jack February 25, 2018

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I have been recuperating from shoulder replacement surgery these past few weeks with the help of some amazing friends and family. The biggest restriction I have is not being able to walk One-eyed Jack the dog. My good friend and zoocation buddy, Mary Schwalm helped out for the first 10 days. While dog walking, cat sitting, cooking, shopping and general nursing she managed to create a fun video about her ‘walks with Jack.’ Volume up and enjoy!

Valentine Tails February 18, 2018

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Last Sunday’s fun photo Valentine opportunity at the Central Park Zoo was wet, cold and windy but it did not deter our hearty group of wildlife photographers. Today’s montage includes photos from last Sunday and photos from a much sunnier experience back in 2016.

Year of the Dog February 11, 2018

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February 16th starts the (Chinese) Lunar New Year. It is the year of the dog. I will use as today’s doggie model — my adorable boy, JackThe other zodiac signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. If you don’t know what you are you can find it here. Happy New Year to one and all (and if you have already broken your New Year’s resolutions from a month ago – you can start all over on the 16th). Fond of reliving other years? Click on these oldies but goodies. Year of the Monkey, Year of the Rooster, and Year of the Snake.

Madison the Elder Cat – In Memorium February 4, 2018

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In October of 2001 the superintendent of my building called me up and asked if I wanted a cat. It seems that a kitten had walked into the lobby of my building and just sat down. I rushed downstairs and found a little bundle of fur. And that was that. Fast forward almost 17 years and Madison crossed that very crowded rainbow bridge this week. Truth be told, she was not a very nice cat. That was part of her charm. She harrumphed around the apartment, hissed at her roommates and generally had a bad attitude. All of those aforementioned things made me love her even more. When she came to live with us I had two other cats, whom she learned to hate. A few years later Benny the dog came to live with us. She was not fond of him either. She outlived those animals and then got to share her space with kitten sisters Audrey and Roberta and eventually Jack the one-eyed dog. She did not like any of them either. Do I miss this grumpy cat? You bet.

The Binky Foundation is a private charitable organization (run by good friends of mine) dedicated to the protection of domestic and wild animals and the protection and expansion of their habitats. They have a Remembrance page  devoted to pets we have loved and lost. I have donated in the name of many of my friends’ pets. It helps this wonderful foundation do great things. I thought while you were waiting for the Super Bowl to start you might want to visit some of these Remembrances. All were beautiful animals who are still missed by their human families. I salute them all.
Benny, 
Homer

The Eyes Have It January 28, 2018

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Zoo photography is both challenging and fun. They say the eyes are the window to the soul – I don’t know about that – but I do know if you can capture a gorgeous creature looking back at you – it is a great photo moment. Today’s montage is devoted to those moments. And yes, you will see my Jack the one-eyed dog depicted here as well. Speaking of Jack, while on a walk in Madison Square Park on Friday we met the Dogist. He took Jack’s photo, chatted and we shared some information. The rest is history. As of this morning, his Instagram photo of Jack had 155,000 likes.

Tropical Respite January 21, 2018

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I decided to take a break from this winter’s cold and spend some quality time in the Central Park Zoo’s tropical rain forest. It was a very good idea. Enjoy these warm photos.