These days there seem to be innumerable ground hogs giving conflicting forecasts about how long Winter will last. Punkxsutawney Phil is losing his grip on the franchise, and the field has become rife with amateurs. How hard can it be to be a ground hog, you ask? But there are hazards. Last year “Chuck” (actually Charlotte) gave a correct forecast. But it made no difference. He/she paid the ultimate price for the privilege, tumbling into oblivion from Mayor DeBlasio’s arms. It’s a dirty job.
I meet the 5BBC at City Hall for the trip. I’m only one to show up. The weather may have something to do with it (it’s about 25˚). But veteran leader, Ed DeFreitas is undeterred.
Our mission is two-fold: to visit the museum - and to encourage them to put up bike racks (once a cyclist in NY, soon an advocate). It would be better if there were more of us, but it doesn’t matter, because the museum is unexpectedly closed.
We make our way back along Bay Street, which gives onto Richmond Terrace taking us northwest around the coast.
To be honest, this isn’t the most beautiful time to visit Staten Island, which seems bare and industrial along its edges.
As a childless female, I’m typically a great animal lover and hence never big on zoos. No matter how much room the animals have, it never seems enough. And although they may have it better in terms of being adequately fed, few it seems live according to their true nature.
But the Staten Island Zoo treats their animals well, keeps their environments clean, debunks some common myths...
There are lots of reptiles, birds and primates, but all I have is my camera phone and since using a flash would be cruel, many of my photos are not blog-worthy. These are the ones that came out (don’t judge the zoo’s variety by this):
A convex fish tank where the fish appear to be swimming in the air.
Our trip back is via Clove, left on Cheshire.
As for Ground Hog Day, we stopped by Staten Island Chuck’s “house” while we were at the zoo, but saw no sign of him (probably in the Green Room). I learn later, that he’s going out on a limb this year and contrary to Punxsutawney Phil’s more experienced forecast, predicting an early Spring. Really? Does anybody believe this? We have snow. We’re getting more snow – and ice. Chuck is cute but let’s face it: Phil is the Walter Cronkite of ground hogs. He has credibility. He has gravitas. He has white whiskers. Like Cronkite, Phil is a brand I’ve come to know and trust. When it comes to weather forecasts, I’m not messing around. When it comes to weather forecasts, I’m leaving it to the professionals.