Monday, April 19, 2010

Madagascar in the City: The Central Park Zoo, NY, NY


Summers in the city in the 80's were always a little edgie. The squeedgee men greeted you from the bridge and tunnel the minute you slipped into town.  Nowhere was more indicative of the decline of the Apple than the zoo.  It was chock full of mangy animals, tiny cadges and rats seemed the least endangered of species.  Why would you ever leave Boston?

Guiliani likes to pretend that he brought back New York, we insiders credit Crime Fighter Bill Bratton, Police Commish extraordinaire.  His efforts allowed for spots like Central Park to become kid-friendly refuges from the urban jungle.  And now, the zoo is back!  In partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the city has reclaimed its treasures in Brooklyn, the Bronx and here in Manhattan.  The Bronx zoo is one of our favorites in the world, but these same folks have done wonders with Central Park.  The carousel is no longer the only game in town.

The new snow leopard exhibit is just one example of how far the zoo has come.  Not to be confused with our recent dadventure to the Capron Park Zoo, this is a world-class event.  Just the fauna of the place is enough to whisk you away to the Himalayas.  The interactive activities for kids are just as amazing.  This exhibit is built on the back of some other fine treats.  Bears are living it large in Central Park, which seems oddly ironic since they used to roam these haunts before the Dutch ever showed up.  We also just discovered the Children's Zoo, where kids can get their pets in with llamas, goats and a cool little cow.  There is plenty to do at the zoo, and clearly New York has cleaned up its act if Dream Works is willing to stage one of our fav kiddie flicks, Madagascar, right in the belly of the beast.