Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Gift Of Akituusaq

In the Siberian Yupik language, Akituusaq means, “gift given in return.” Many aquarium-goers have come and gone since the first mammals of this species were displayed over a century ago. It took 112 years for a walrus to successfully deliver the first baby walrus at the New York Aquarium. Though Akituusaq remains his mama's son, he is truly a gift for all New Yorkers. Now 1-year old and a healthy 115 pounds, Akituusaq is a gift that will keep on giving, both to us and our children, many years of enjoyment as he matures. Happy birthday blubbery boy!

Pigeons' Cooing Fanatics

Some bird enthusiasts truly enjoy New York City’s infamous pigeon. Most city residents (and all statues) do not like the bird. They regard it as did Woody Allen when he referred to a pigeon as “a rat with wings.” Nevertheless, a small group of admirers recently gathered together on Pigeon Hill in Central Park to celebrate “National Pigeon Day.” The group praised the bird in song and word. They spoke of pigeons' honorable service during both World Wars as message carriers. When all was said and done though, no plans were mentioned to erect a statue in the pigeon’s honor. I wonder why?

This Old House May Want Yours

After 29 highly successful seasons, PBS’s “This Old House” is about to really make it to the big time. The show’s producers are planning to renovate their very first home in New York City! So far, Brooklyn homeowners have responded more than those elsewhere, but homes in all boroughs are still being considered. The project home must meet certain criteria. 1) Renovations must be able to be completed within 5 months. 2) The home must be at least 50 years old. 3) The home’s neighborhood must have “character,” but probably not characters. Historic districts might be a problem because of the red tape involved in getting approval for improvements and alterations. 4) The producers are looking for homes that are in a neighborhood with history and places to explore. 5) They’d also prefer that renovations include a bit of everything like wiring, heating, cooling, plumbing, landscaping, etc. Now after all of that, think your money pit still qualifies? If so, visit oldhouse-myhouse.thisoldhouse.com by July 4th to apply. Maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to have the bearded one enter your home so you can shout out, “Norm!” Sorry. Wrong television show.