Tuesday, August 10, 2010
August 7, 2010: New York - Animal Antics At The Bronx Zoo, Human Antics At The Gotham Girls Roller Derby
Since Heather and Jenn live in the Bronx, we decided to visit the Bronx Zoo, which is one of the bigger and older zoos in the country. Our friend James, who we used to see on vacation every summer when we were kids, drove in to the city to meet up with us, bringing his wife and young baby. It was quite the reunion - we haven't seen each since we were teenagers, which was half a lifetime ago.
It was a great day for visiting the zoo - cool but sunny (only about 25 degrees Celsius), and the paths were shaded by lots of big, old trees. The baby slept most of the time, although we all made out like he was entertained by the animals (I think he's still a bit young to recognize them as alive but fascinatingly different from humans). The highlight was probably the brown bear enclosure - four bears frolicked about, chasing each other on the rocks and splashing in the water. All made much more fun by watching my sister, who has a phobia about bears, who stood still with an appalled look on her face.
In the evening we went to Hunter College to watch the Queens of Pain compete against the Bronx Gridlock in the Gotham Girls Roller Derby. In preparation Jenn had us watch the movie 'Whip It', which was feisty and cute. And, just as expected, the roller derby was feisty and cute. It was a sold-out game, with an enthusiastic crowd, and just as many kooky personalities and punny names as I'd hoped for. Some favourites: Dainty Inferno (wearing flame-patterned socks) whose number was 9th circle, and Hyper Lynx (with cat ears on her helmet) whose number was 404.
On the way back to the train we walked past a building with an amazing green wall inside - turns out it was Phyto Universe, a salon. This was a bit surprising - I had imagined it would be a landscape architecture firm.
Photos: Heather, James and me; James with his wife and son; a kosher vending machine (I've never seen that before!); giraffes framing an ostrich; zoo animal gargoyles; a polar bear with geometric floating "iceberg"; bears frolic; a camel, whose expression is strangely familiar in the next photo, a peacock; the Bronx Gridlock team skates past the Queens of Pain at the start of the roller derby; the Queens of Pain bring out their mascot; a cheer routine from both teams; Bronx Gridlock's Dainty Inferno and Luna Impact; the medic Ace Bondage; Phyto Universe.