From where I was staying in Brooklyn it was quite the long-haul all the way out to the Bronx.
I went to check out the New York Botanical Garden, which was absolutely gorgeous. Normal admission is $20, but it’s totally free on Wednesdays to enter the grounds (also on Saturdays between 9-10am). This doesn’t grant you admission to any of the exhibit buildings, but gives you plenty of time to wander the forest, check out the small waterfall, and the rose garden.
The native plant garden was one of my favorite spots. It was a beautiful little pond environment with buzzing bees and dragon flies. Though the autumn is nearing, there were still dozens of colorful flowers in bloom and many carnivorous water plants.
Then I dropped into Thain Forest, a lovely, albeit small remainder of the native forest that once covered all of Manhattan. Once upon a time this old-growth forest was the expansive home to the Lenape Indians; now I could cut through the entire thing in roughly 15 minutes of walking. Insane!
While the rose garden wasn’t in its fullest bloom, I think, there was no reason not to stop by and smell the roses. Which I did. What an intoxicating smell… I used to hang out in the Rose Garden north of USC and smell the roses there too. I often wonder how many people have literally done it (not to mention figuratively).
I don’t really know what possessed me to visit the Bronx Zoo as well. It was probably because the zoo is right next to the botanical garden and happened to be free that day as well. I went and almost immediately regretted it.
Zoos are places for children and this one was absolutely crawling with them. I visited a few animal enclosures, but became so overwhelmed and annoyed at the sheer number of loud little people that I called it quits.
It’s fun to see animals, but there’s something intrinsically disturbing about imprisoning other animals and putting them on display for our own pleasure. Granted, many zoos play important parts in breeding and conservation programs, but I still hope I live to see the day that forcefully caging other living creatures is seen as a thing of the barbaric past.
Not crossing my fingers, we’ll destroy everything with the impending environmental disaster… Regardless, the Bronx Zoo wasn’t my cup of tea even if I did like seeing this tiger taking a nap and doing its best to ignore the hundreds of screaming midgets.