Sunday, 18 April 2010

Our last day in New York

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Stuff and Nonsense by Amy Cockram is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

The next morning we went to Central Park Zoo, which we didn't have time to do the day before. It would have been nice to have looked for the Alice in Wonderland statue, but I didn't want to risk getting lost in Central Park again when we had to get back to make sure we got to the airport on time.

We had breakfast in the zoo restaurant, and had a look around. Central Park Zoo is renowned for its conservation work, and is generally lauded for its innovative use of a small amount of space. The child in me enjoys seeing cute, furry animals in the zoo; my adult self has problems reconciling the ethics of conservation work with the restrictions of captivity. As far as Central Park Zoo goes, their use of a small amount of space may be innovative, but doesn't alter the fact that it is a small amount of space. The polar bear in particular looked heartbreakingly bored when we looked into its sad eyes through the glass of its enclosure. The child in me, though, was very happy to see lemurs - still my favourite animals - and the red panda (also very high on my list of favourite cute and furry animals).

For reasons too dull to recount here, we had very little spending money for our last day in New York - we only just had enough for the zoo and breakfast. In the airport before we left, I didn't even have enough change in my purse for a packet of crisps. We still had a good day, but we had to have a picnic lunch in Herald Square Park because we didn't have enough money to have a proper lunch somewhere. I didn't mind too much, as Herald Square was one of the first places we saw when we arrived in New York. Herald Square, like many places we saw in New York, had trees covered in white blossom - now whenever I see white blossom I will be reminded of New York.

I think we did quite a lot while we were there, and there were only a couple of things that I missed that I would have liked to have done. I never did see the Alice in Wonderland statue. But my main regret is that - as I did a PhD on homosexuality in 20th century American drama - I had wanted to go to Greenwich Village and see the Stonewall Inn where the Stonewall Riot started, and walk past the street where my guidebook told me Edward Albee once lived. Maybe that means that I have unfinished business and should go back sometime...

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