New York – Days 12-13: NYC The Bronx Zoo, Meeting Up With Friends, and Adventures in Midtown

Brittany Swanson   November 17, 2015   Comments Off on New York – Days 12-13: NYC The Bronx Zoo, Meeting Up With Friends, and Adventures in Midtown

The morning of day twelve in New York I worked on my blog some more. I tried to get rough drafts written so later I could edit and post them. Then I took a train and a bus to get to The Bronx Zoo.

After all the natural history museums lately I was really looking forward to seeing some animals alive. I’d always wanted to go to the Bronx Zoo when I lived in the city but I never got around to it, so I was doubly excited. I chose to go the day general admission to the zoo was free, but in line there was a sign saying you could pay $9.95 for unlimited access to rides and attractions. I didn’t know what that meant, but I didn’t want to miss anything, so I got it.

First up with the additional access pass was the Bug Carousel. Yes, one of those carousels, but where you ride bugs instead of horses…

Bug Carousel at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Bug Carousel at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Normally I totally would’ve skipped this, but I paid for the pass, so I was going to get my money’s worth. I chose to ride a grasshopper. It really hurt my butt, but other than that was kind of fun. I definitely wouldn’t have paid separately to do it, but since it was part of the package, it was alright.

I skipped the mouse house. Rodents? No thank you. The butterfly garden was closed for the season. 🙁 Then I came upon another attraction with my pass. Rio in 4D. I hate 3D. I really do. The fourth D does nothing for me, but again, it was part of the pass so I did it so the pass wasn’t a complete waste. As I expected, the 3D gave me a headache. The 4D part was ok except the air machine was so loud it sounded like we were sitting on a Tarmac. Also the little kid next to me kept grabbing at me and there was another kid screaming through the first couple minutes. I guess that’s what I get for being the only adult in the room not accompanying a child…

The weather was really nice for the second day in a row. It was sunny and seventy degrees. When I came to the Congo Gorilla Forest I was glad I’d purchased the unlimited pass, because it was required to see the gorillas. They were a lot smaller than I was expecting. I think the last time I went to a zoo was when Meghan and I went to the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas sometime in the last two years. The gorilla there was huge! The Bronx Zoo did have a really cute baby gorilla that was riding around on its mom’s back, but there were a lot of people in the viewing room, and a lot of screaming children, so I didn’t stay long.

Baby Gorilla in Congo Gorilla Forest, Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Baby gorilla and momma gorilla in Congo Gorilla Forest, Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

The giraffes were also a lot smaller than I remembered the ones at the Little Rock Zoo being. This made me wonder if maybe the animals were smaller because they were within the confines of the city? Maybe animals couldn’t get as big if they lived in New York City? Or maybe they were just different kinds of gorillas and giraffes. Yeah, that’s probably more likely.

Giraffes at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Giraffes at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

I also would’ve had to pay to enter Jungle World which I probably would’ve done, not knowing what animals were in there. There were just a few types of monkeys and the Malayan Tapir, which were not super exciting:

Lounging Malayan Tapir at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Lounging Malayan Tapir at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

The other things that would’ve come with the Total Experience pass were the Zoo Shuttle, Wild Asia Monorail, and the Butterfly Garden, all of which were closed for the season. Lame. Oh well, I would’ve paid $5 each to see Jungle World and the Congo Gorilla Forest so I saved myself 5¢. And at least I did Rio and the Bug Carousel and got my money’s worth…? If you go when most of the stuff is closed I recommend only paying the $5 for the gorillas and skip Jungle World. If everything else is open, then go for the Total Experience pass and let me know how the Wild Asia Monorail and Butterfly Garden are.

The lions and tigers were pretty chill, except when the antelope next to the lions got close to the fence, then all the lions perked up. It was kind of sad because the lions couldn’t go hunt the antelope, but clearly wanted to. The polar bear was depressing. He or she looked so sad and their habitat just looked gross. It made me sad because polar bears are my favorite!

Polar Bear at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Depressing isn’t it? Polar Bear at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

I got to see the Père David’s Deer up close because they were right by the fence, so that was kind of cool. I also got to watch the trainers feed and train the sea lions which was neat. One trainer was high-fiving her sea lion which was pretty funny. Another trainer was having her sea lion clap his or her tail, which was also comical. 

Seal Trainer and seal at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Seal Trainer and seal at the Bronx Zoo, New York, NY.

Then I saw Hedwig, aka a Snowy Owl. Also, right when I walked in to the reptile house I saw an alligator open it’s jaws nice and wide. I also found the Komodo Dragon and some rhinos before I headed back to Manhattan to have a drink with a friend from college.

Maureen, Mo, and I met at The Jeffrey on E 60th St and enjoyed their lovely outdoor back patio area. We caught up and hung out for a while and then I went to go meet my other friend Mo, Simone, for dinner at Siggys Good Food near the East Village. Siggys was delightful! I had a veggie burger wrap and a cider and both were amazing! It was so great to see Simone again, she had been my roommate at Camp Ramapo this past summer and we became good friends. I hadn’t seen her since camp, so it was great to catch up!

I stopped by Juilliard again to meet up with Mary and take the train with her back up to Washington Heights for the night. Back in the Heights we accidentally stumbled on a movie or TV set and some actor asked us if we knew where Noelle was. Umm…no. We don’t work here…just trying to get to the ATM… Awkward.

Crashing a film set while trying to get to an ATM in Washington Heights, New York, NY. Note the green screen - there is totally going to be an explosion in this scene.

Crashing a film set while trying to get to an ATM in Washington Heights, New York, NY. Note the green screen – there is totally going to be an explosion in this scene.

Then Mary stopped to get some laundry detergent and guess what kind she got? Mrs. Meyer’s Basil! That’s right. I’m telling you, that soap is following me everywhere on this trip…

Mrs. Meyer's basil laundry detergent. Classy. New York, NY.

Mrs. Meyer’s basil laundry detergent. Classy. New York, NY.

Had I known at the time that it was day thirteen this might have been a bit more creepy… I woke up on the morning of my thirteenth day in New York and still had a horrible stomach ache. This was the third day in a row, and without getting too graphic for you, let’s just say this particular stomach ache had me running to the restroom frequently over the last couple days. The only things I had planned for this last day was a trip to the Empire State Building and a trip to Uniqlo to but some new leggings because mine were falling apart, and I loved them. It was super overcast and a little foggy so I figured it might not even be worth it to go up to the top of the Empire State Building at all since I might not be able to see much. I worked on my blog a bit but I felt so awful I ended up just reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to distract myself and then took a nap while Mary went and did her laundry. At some point I remembered I had Pepto Bismol and saltine crackers in my car so I went to go get them and then stopped and bought some soup and some Gatorade to help replenish my fluids. Back in Arakansas, after I bought all the Amy’s Vegetable Barley soup they stopped restocking it, so I was super excited they had it at the grocery store near Mary’s place, even if one can cost $6! It was so worth it.

Mary was meeting up with some people at Juilliard at six so we left together and went and got waffles from the Wafels and Dinges truck at Lincoln Center. Before I moved out of NYC I had like eight waffles in five weeks or something crazy because I loved them so much. It was good, just super rich, almost to the point of being gross, which I didn’t remember. I guess I should’ve gotten it with ice cream to cut the fudge…

Wafel and Dinges! Yum! Toppings: Belgian chocolate fudge, strawberries, and spekuloos. New York, NY.

Wafel and Dinges! Yum! Toppings: Belgian chocolate fudge, strawberries, and spekuloos. New York, NY.

Once I finished my waffle I went downtown to Uniqlo. Thankfully they had my leggings, so I bought two pairs just to be safe. I got a nice picture of the Empire State Building all lit up and foggy. Then I walked to Bryant Park to take a picture of the Chrysler Building and was pleasantly surprised to see the Winter Village set up. I wandered the shops and came super close to going ice skating, but then I realized the whole rink was a giant puddle, so if I fell I’d get soaked, not to mention the fact that I was wearing a skirt…

Bryant Park Winter Village ice skating rink, New York, NY.

Bryant Park Winter Village ice skating rink, New York, NY.

I decided to go, against my better judgement, to Times Square to get a cool aerial picture of all the people from the TKTS bleachers. And then when I got there, for whatever reason, the bleachers were blocked off. Lame. Oh well. I went back to Juilliard to meet Mary and go back to Washington Heights for my final night in NYC.