Tag: warren george watrel

The Staten Island Zoo 614 Broadway Staten Island , NY 10310

The Staten Island Zoo 614 Broadway Staten Island , NY 10310

The Staten Island Zoo

614 Broadway

Staten Island, NY  10310

(718) 442-3100

http://www.statenislandzoo.org/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48682-d110278-Reviews-Staten_Island_Zoo-Staten_Island_New_York.html

Open: Sunday-Saturday 10:00am-4:45pm

Fee: Adults $10.00 (15 and older)/Seniors (60 and over) $7.00/Children (3-14) $6.00

 

I wanted to celebrate Groundhog’s Day this year and had fully planned to go to Punxsutaway, PA to see the Groundhog’s Day festival again (see Day Thirty-Seven of ‘MywalkinManhattan’) but a ‘Arctic Vortex’ swept all over the Midwest with its fringes reaching the middle of Pennsylvania. It would be 30 degrees on Groundhog’s Day with a temperature of 4 degrees that night. The thought of sitting in Gobbler’s Knob in almost 0 weather had no appeal to me and I changed my plans.

I had remembered that there was a festival on Staten Island at the Staten Island Zoo with ‘Staten Island Chuck’ on Groundhog’s Day so off I went early the next morning to see the groundhog see his shadow.

The Staten Island Zoo had a fun and engaging Groundhog’s Day ceremony (see Day One Hundred and Thirty One of ‘MywalkinManhattan’) with a musical concert with the students of P.S. 29 and a private band who made up a song to go with the festival. At 8:00am, they presented Staten Chuck to the audience and he told us that there would be an early spring (its still freezing out!).

After the ceremony was over, the Zoo gave us plenty of time to explore the park before it opened to the public. With it being so cold outside, a lot of the outdoor animals were not in their pens outside but I was able to most of the exhibits.

State Island Zoo

Map of the Staten Island Zoo

I was able to visit all the inside exhibitions which was nice because the crowds began to thin as the morning went on. It is a nice sized zoo with a lot of indoor exhibitions for a rainy or cold day.

I visited the Birds of Prey exhibit which contains many types of birds in their simulated natural habitat. There were some interesting colorful birds that the zoo keepers took out so that we could see them up close.

There was a Fox exhibition where the small furry creatures were crawling and climbing all over the rocks and formations. They just stared at me looking at them leading me to believe that they were used to humans looking at them.

I walked through the African, Tropical Forest and the Aquarium which were located towards the front of the zoo.  I walked through the aquarium which is small but still nice and you are able to see many types of fish and plant life. In the African exhibition, I loved looking at the bearded monkeys who just looked back at me and then it was off to the reptile wing to look at snakes, turtles and frogs.

s.Staten Island Zoo III

I went outside later in the morning and looked at the horses (who looked freezing) and the kangaroos, who looked at me like they wanted to run back inside (it was about 35 degrees at that point). The emus looked at me with desperation as well like ‘at least he is going to feed us’ look.  None of the outdoor animals looked comfortable in this weather. Even Staten Island Chuck was inside because his keeper said that it was too cold even for him to be outside.

The one thing about the Staten Island Zoo is that it is compact and you can see the whole zoo in one afternoon. There is also plenty of parking behind the zoo in the park. The Zoo also has a nice gift shop, where a ‘Staten Island Chuck’ stuffed animal will cost you $20.00. There is also a restaurant with stand kid fare like chicken fingers and burgers in the afternoon hours.

The Zoo I would think would be more fun in the warmer months but with the indoor exhibitions, there is lots to see and do at the Staten Island Zoo.

Staten Island Chuck 2019 II

At least Spring is on its way!

The History of the Staten Island Zoo:

In August 1933, the Staten Island Zoological Society was created and the park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. On March 25, 1935, the Egbert-Robillard Bill was passed by the New York State Senate to have the city provide maintenance for the zoo. Two months later on May 7, 1935, the Governor of New York signed an agreement to allocate public fund for the zoo to cover operational and maintenance costs while the exhibits, animal care and educational programs were to be maintained by the Staten Island Zoological Society. With the land now owned by the city and a program to convert the 8 acre estate into a zoo. The zoo opened to the public on June 10, 1936 and was considered the first U.S. “educational zoo”. (Wiki)

Staten Island Zoological Society:

Unlike all the other zoos in New York City, which are operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Staten Island Zoo is operated by the Staten Island Zoological Society which was created in August 1933 under the organization of Harold O’Connel. Local legend maintains that the society was partially formed from the Staten Island Reptile Club, which was located nearby on Britton  Street and Broadway. Although no written documentation exists regarding the merger it would  explain the newly formed Staten Zoological Society’s affinity for reptiles and why the zoo was (and still is) known for its extensive reptile collection. Just short of one year after its organization on July 24, 1934, the Staten Island  Zoological Society was officially incorporated. (Wiki)

The zoo is home to Staten Island Chuck, a groundhog who is the official Groundhog Day forecaster for New York City and Grandpa, a black-handed Spider Monkey, who made local newspapers when he accurately ‘predicted’ the outcome of six out of nine matches during the U.S. Open Tennis Championship. (Wiki)

Staten Island Chuck Festival 2019

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Greater Newark Conservatory 32 Prince Street Newark, NJ 07103

Greater Newark Conservatory 32 Prince Street Newark, NJ 07103

Greater Newark Conservatory

32 Prince Street

Newark, NJ   07103

(973) 642-4646

http://www.citybloom.org

The Greater Newark Conservatory has been credited for much of the improvement in the City of Newark. Having three farms, it has given new life to empty lots, given school children a chance to experience urban farming and given suburbanites a taste of country life in the city all while improving the lives of its residents. Having attended the recent “Beds & Breakfast” gardening program put on every year, I can see the outreach that the Conservatory is trying to have on people outside the city.

The Beds & Breakfast Seminar is an annual event that covers things like sustainable farming, trips for growing and pruning plants and trees and cooking classes. In the warmer months, it is nice to walk along the gardens and admire all the fruits, vegetables and plants being grown here. They have other events as well like Summer Cocktail parties and Pot Lucks.

Greater Newark Conservatory

The gardens and the new Demo building

Their Purpose:

The Greater Newark Conservatory (GNC) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Newark, NJ with the state goal of promoting ‘environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities’. It offers programs for youth education, community greening and gardening, nutritional health, job training and prisoner re-entry (Wiki).

Founded in 1987, the Greater Newark’s Conservatory’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities. The 3.7 million Prudential Outdoor Learning Center, named in honor of a $750,000 grant from the Prudential Foundation, was completed in 2004 and has hosted more than 16,000 at risk inner city children for environmental education field trips since that time (Vince Baglivo, Star-Ledger 2010).

The first step toward making the new Center a reality was the purchase of the historic former synagogue/church building at 32-34 Prince Street in downtown Newark. Acquired by the City of Newark, the property included the building and the land that it occupies (Vince Baglivo, Star-Ledger 2010).

Educational Programs:

The Conservatory provides programs on youth education and nutritional health and cooking. In the Demonstration Kitchen program, participants are provided instruction on cooking with recipes having high nutritional value. The Newark Youth Leadership Program (NYLP) provides training to high school students in Newark through a year-round program on horticulture. The  program also includes a summer internship program where high school students are assigned to various department in the Conservatory in order to gain experience with career-related skills. The summer interns also receive training on finance, public speaking and nutrition (Wiki).

Urban Farming:

One Conservatory initiative is to bolster and support urban farms in the City of Newark. The urban farms were created with the purpose of offering low-cost and healthy foods in Newark. Participants also have the option of growing their food in one of 360 private plots. In 2011, the urban farms administered by the Conservatory generated 5,000 pounds of produce. The produce is sold in local farmers’ markets. Crops raised include arugula, beets and corn. Other related programs include raising chickens and maintaining a honey apiary (Wiki).

Job Training:

The Conservatory is community partner for the City of Newark’s prisoner re-entry programs where job training is provided to ex-offenders through its ‘Clean and Green’ program. They include vacant lots in Newark, labor in maintaining urban farms and offering instruction to school groups on the basics of farming (Wiki).

Urban Environmental Center:

The Conservatory conducts its activities primarily at the Judith L. Shipley Urban Environmental Center, the Prudential Outdoor Learning Center and at its main education building. Many educational programs take place there as well. The center was named after Judith and Walter Shipley, who were major donors of the Conservatory. The Prudential Outdoor Learning Center is 1.5 acre site located on Prince Street in Newark and contains a series of outdoor exhibits and thematic gardens (Wiki).

Programming:

Four program areas: environmental education, community greening and gardening, advocacy for environmental justice and job training, are the focus of activities involving everyone from students to seniors (Vince Baglivo Star-Ledger 2010).

Community Greening:

The Community Greening Program addresses Newark’s deficit of quality preserved open space by enhancing existing community parks, creating new pocket parks, establishing greenways and improving neighborhoods with street trees, street side planted flower barrels and community gardens. The program works with Newark residents to transform neighborhoods with curbside flower barrels and lush community gardens on former vacant lots. These urban farms increase accessibility to food sources for urban residents by providing high quality, locally grown healthy food using natural pest control methods (Vince Baglivo Star-Ledger 2010).

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm

Saturdays: By Appointment only

Please call the Conservatory for more information and about tours.

http://www.citybloom.org

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46671-d16726541-Reviews-Greater_Newark_Conservatory-Newark_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Disclaimer: I want to credit writer Vince Baglivo from the Star-Ledger “Greater Newark Conservatory: City’s best kept Secret” 2010 and Wikipedia (current) as well as the Greater Newark Conservatory for information on the site. Please call the above number for more information on upcoming programs.

 

The Hamilton Grange National Memorial 414 West 141st Street New York, NY 10031

The Hamilton Grange National Memorial 414 West 141st Street New York, NY 10031

The Hamilton Grange

414 West 141st Street

New York, NY  10031

(646) 548-2310

http://www.nps.gov/hagr

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday-9:00am-5:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday

Fee: Donation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d105813-Reviews-Hamilton_Grange_National_Memorial-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

Alexander Hamilton’s Summer Home

In the late 1700’s, well-to-do dwellers moved to Harlem Heights in the summer, seeking its cool breezes. They also wanted to avoid yellow fever, a summer threat in lower Manhattan, Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth  (of the influential Schuyler family) often visited friends here and decided to build their own retreat.

In 1802, they moved in and Hamilton began commuting to his downtown law office, a 90 minute carriage trip. He and Elizabeth also began to entertain friends, colleagues and leader in their elegant home and gardens. Little did Hamilton know that his time at The Grange would be brief.

Witness to Slavery:

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) grew up on Nevis and St. Croix, islands in the Caribbean, where thousands of enslaved Africans labored in sugar cane fields. As a clerk for a shipping company, young Hamilton worked directly with ship captains bringing in their human cargo. This experience haunted him and lead to his lifelong opposition to slavery.

Saved by a Hurricane:

Hamilton’s mother, Rachel, raised him and his brother along. A shop owner, she died of yellow fever when Hamilton was in his early teens. That’s when he started working at the shipping company. He impressed his boss with his energy, ambition and intelligence. Then the local newspaper published his letter describing a devastating hurricane. Townspeople were so taken by his writing that hey helped pay his way to America to further his education. In the letter, he wrote: …’the ear-piercing shrieks of the distressed were sufficient to strike astonishment into Angels’.

In America:

Hamilton plunged into American life. He enrolled in King’s College (now Colombia University) in New York. He wrote passionately about the revolutionary ideas of American rebels. When the fighting began, young Hamilton joined them. By the time he married at 25, he was a published writer, seasoned military leader and a close friend of George Washington.

Family Man:

Hamilton and Elizabeth loved children. They had eight of their own and took in others. Hamilton’s work as a lawyer helped pay bills while he served the county with little if nay pay.

The Duel:

After years of differences, Aaron Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel in 1804. Burr, now the country’s vice-president, felt he had to defend his honor. Friends tried to soothe both men but failed. Facing possible death, Hamilton wrote letters to his friends and family. After he died from Burr’s bullet, Elizabeth read his letter and these final words: ‘Adieu, best of wives and best of women. Embrace all my darling children for me’.

Elizabeth Carries On:

Family friends made sure Elizabeth had enough money to live with her children at The Grange. She preserved Hamilton’s thousands of letters, essays and other writings. She also started an orphanage and was its director into her 80’s. At age 91, she went to live with a daughter in Washington DC. She charmed presidents and other dignitaries until she died in 1854 at age 97.

Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Founder and Philosopher:

Revolutionary War Days:

By age 21, Alexander Hamilton identified  himself with the revolutionary cause. He organized an artillery unit that defended New York City and fought in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. George Washington noticed Hamilton’s daring and intelligence and appointed him as a personal aide.

Hamilton’s new job required him to be writer, diplomat and advisor to Washington. Even so, Hamilton ached to return to battle. Eventually, Washington appointed him Colonel of an infantry brigade. Hamilton led a major attack in the battle of Yorktown in 1781.

Bold Ideas for New Times:

As a lawyer after the war, Hamilton defended New York citizens who had been loyal to Britain. He argued the new treaties and laws protecting all citizens and that loyalists would help rebuild the city. He also led the New York Manumission Society, which protected and educated free and enslaved African-Americans.

At the 1787 Constitution Convention, Hamilton argued for a strong central government. With James Madison and John Jay, he wrote essays explaining the new Constitution and urging citizens to vote for its ratification. Politicians and judges still consult “The Federalist Papers” about the meaning of the US Constitution.

In the New Government:

As first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton recommended the federal government pay off states debts, tax imported goods, establish a national bank and promote manufacturing. His ideas worried Sectary of State Thomas Jefferson, who believed the federal government did not have powers. Hamilton argued the Constitution supported flexible ‘implied powers.’ Congress and the Supreme Court agreed. By the end of Hamilton’s term, the country had excellent credit and a strong economy.

A Controversial Citizen:

Hamilton resumed his law practice in 1795 after leaving federal service. His clients included free and enslaved African-Americans whom he helped for no pay. He also defended a newspaper editor sued for slander by Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton argued journalists had the same rights as citizens to freedom of speech. His victory strengthened United States citizens’ First Amendment rights.

Hamilton often criticized President Jefferson’s government and his vice-president, Aaron Burr. His harsh words about Burr lead to the duel that ended Hamilton’s life. Alexander Hamilton’s short and controversial life left the United States poised to become a powerful nation something he dreamed of but did not see.

Visiting the site:

Planning your visit:

Hamilton Grange is on West 141st Street between Convent and St. Nicholas Avenues, its third location. In 1889, the city began building new streets across the estate. A church bought The Grange and moved it to safety two blocks away. In 2008, the National Park Service moved it to its current location, still on the original estate.

Hamilton Grange is open year-round, 9:00am to 5:00pm, Wednesday through Sunday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Exhibits and a film highlight Hamilton’s major achievements. Guided tours are first-come, first-serve and limited to 15 visitors. Enjoy quiet activities on the grounds.

We strive to make our facilities, services and programs accessible to all. Call or visit our website.

More Information:

Hamilton Grange National Memorial

414 West 141st Street

New York, NY  10031

646-548-2310

http://www.rips.gov/hagr

Hamilton Grange is near bus routes and subway stations; see maps at right. Visit http://www.mta.info for routes and schedules. All applicable federal, state and city laws and regulations apply here.

Hamilton Grange National Memorial is one of over 390 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit http://www.rips.gov.

*This information was taken off the pamphlet available at the site put out by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior: National Memorial New York.

*Bloggers Note: Because of the Musical on Broadway presently, the site has gotten very busy during the summer months but don’t let that deter you from visiting. The house and the tour are very interesting. I mentioned this on my blog “MywalkinManhattan” when visiting this part of Harlem. There are a lot of nice restaurants close by and the SUNY campus is right there to relax in. The neighborhood is save but still you have to watch yourself anytime you walk around NYC.

 

 

 

Baylor Massacre Burial Site: Rivervale Road & Red Oak Drive,  River Vale, NJ

Baylor Massacre Burial Site: Rivervale Road & Red Oak Drive, River Vale, NJ

The Baylor Massacre Burial Site: One of the great stops when touring Historical Bergen County, New Jersey

Rivervale Road and Red Oak Drive

River Vale, NJ

*A County Historical Site

Open: Dawn to Dusk

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46777-d12277914-Reviews-Baylor_Massacre_Burial_Site-River_Vale_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

After midnight on September 28, 1778 during America’s Revolutionary War, the brutal surprise attack by the British forces on the sleeping men of the 3rd Continental Light Dragoons began. Today this is known as the Baylor Massacre. Now a County-owned historic park and burial ground, the Baylor Massacre Site is located along the Hackensack River in River Vale in Northern Bergen County, New Jersey.

In the Autumn of 1778, British General Cornwallis occupied southern Bergen County with a force of 5000 soldiers. Their purpose was to gather and forage for food to feed the army that would be garrisoned in New York City during the upcoming winter.  Bergen County, with its fertile land and industrious Jersey Dutch farms, was a major source for food for both armies during the Revolution.

The Third Continental Light Dragoons, under the command by Lt. Colonel George Baylor, was one of four regiments of dragoons authorized by the Continental Congress. On the 27th of September, these 104 officers and men were dispatched to watch the bridge over the Hackensack River at the intersection of modern Rivervale and Old Tappan Roads to support General Wayne and his men in Tappan, New York.

The British forces were lead by General Charles “No Flint” Grey, who earned his nickname in the 1777 battle with General Wayne’s Pennsylvania troops when he ordered his men to remove the flints from their muskets to prevent an accidental gunshot and to use bayonets to insure the surprise of a nighttime attack. These tactics were used again in River Vale.

Grey’s men used their muskets to club and their bayonets to stab the sleeping dragoons. Eleven were killed immediately. Three more including 2nd in Command Major Alexander Clough (Washington’s Chief of Intelligence for the Hudson Valley), died of their wounds in Tappan the following day.  Records indicate that as many as 22 men died some several weeks later. Two officers and 37 men, most of who were wounded, managed to escape into the night. One British soldier was killed when shot by a dragoon.

Grey’s men quickly gathered their prisoners and captured American equipment and continued up North. Fortunately General Wayne had been alerted of the movement of the British and had evacuated Tappan. The next day a detachment of the Bergen County Militia was dispatched to River Vale to locate any survivors. Finding six of the dead patriots at the bridge and fearing the possible return of British troops, they hurried to bury them in three abandoned leather tanning vats by the river.

The burial location was passed on by word of mouth for many generations. The only physical maker was the abandoned millstone from the tannery. Abram C. Holdrum removed the millstone from the site around 1900. For many years it was displayed in from of the local Holdrum School.

In 1967, a local resident became alarmed that a new housing development would destroy this historic burial site. Through careful research the approximate location of the burials was identified. County Freeholder D. Bennett Mazur was contacted and as a result, the County sponsored an archaeological dig that located six sets of remains. The County eventually acquired the site and dedicated it as a County Park. In 1974, the patriots’ remains were re-interred in the park and the original millstone was donated to serve as their gravestone.

In 2003, the County dedicated new interpretive panels and accessible pathways at the Baylor Massacre site. It is open year round during daylight hours.

WWW.BERGEN.NJ.US

*Pamphlet: 2015 Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Note from the Blogger: it is easy to miss the site so watch for the markers. For those interesting in the historical background of the Revolutionary War and New Jersey’s role in the war, take the time to visit this and other sites around Bergen County, New Jersey. They may be small but very significant.

 

Welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum@WordPress.com’, a trip through smaller museums, cultural sites and parks & gardens in NYC and beyond.

Welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum@WordPress.com’, a trip through smaller museums, cultural sites and parks & gardens in NYC and beyond.

My name is Justin Watrel and welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum@Wordpress.com’, a trip through small museums, cultural sites, historic homes and parks & gardens in NYC and beyond. I set up this blog site to cross reference all the small museums, community gardens, parks and historical homes that I came across when I was traveling through New York City  for my walking project, “MywalkinManhattan.com” blog site. I never knew so many wonderful historical sites even existed in New York City and its suburbs.  I found that most people feel the same way. The only way you would know that these sites existed is by walking past them.

So I created this site to showcase all these smaller, largely unexplored ‘gems’ in Manhattan, the rest of New York City and places outside the greater New York City area. I live in Bergen County, NJ and I have found places in my own neighborhood, which has now lead me to  becoming a member of the Bergen County Historical Society in Riveredge, NJ as well as other cultural sites in the area.

There is so many interesting historical sites, parks, gardens and homes to explore that I want to share it with all of you. I want to give these smaller and unique gems more exposure and ‘sing their praises’  to an audience (namely out of town tourists) who might overlook them.

So join me in the extension of “MywalkinManhattan.com” with my new site “VisitingaMuseum@wordpress.com” and share the adventure with me. Join me also on my sister blog sites, “DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com” and ‘LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com’ for restaurants and small shops.

These sites featuring all sorts of small restaurants, bodegas and bakeries, where a quality meal can be had for $10.00 and under and unusual stores with unique merchandise that just stand out in their respective neighborhoods. It is important to support small business owners especially in this economy.

So join me here as I take “MywalkinManhattan”.