Posts by tomhynes:

alg-beavers-jpgJose and Justin together in 2010. Photo via Wildlife Conservation Society

New York City’s iconography is full of beavers. Two tiny beavers adorn New York City’s flag. Beaver Street is one of the city’s oldest thoroughfares. At the Astor Place station on the 6 line, dozens of beavers can be seen carved into the walls. City College’s mascot is Bennie the Beaver. The lumpy little beaver is even the official state animal of New York. What’s probably most surprising however, is that real-life beavers can actually be seen in New York City  specifically on the Bronx River and usually around sunset – busily paddling around, doing their dam thing.


Mastodon fossil Untapped Cities

Some people might say New York City has a hard time holding on to its past, and it’s not just classic architecture and cool dive bars that disappear without a trace. Fossils, too, are easily lost beneath the city streets. Thousands of years ago, prehistoric animals roamed the area, including the mighty mastodon (Mammut americanum), an ancient animal with an outsized presence and huge historical significance.  (more…)

BOP- Billion Oyster Project-Governors Island-NYC

Oysters are one of New York Harbor’s best shots at clean water, as well as one of its best chances at protection from future storm surges. These are the same oysters New Yorkers have done their best to decimate with centuries of pollution and overconsumption. The oysters hold no grudges, however, and have returned to help restore the harbor, even if New York probably doesn’t deserve it.


Monk Parrots-Green-Wood Cemetery-South America-Steve Baldwin-Brooklyn-002All photos via Brooklyn Parrots

The most unlikely attraction at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery is the group of loud, colorful, possibly illegal immigrants: the monk parrots of Argentina.

Situated at Brooklyn’s highest point, Green-Wood Cemetery is ideal for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. With nearly 500 acres of fruit trees, elms and ponds, the cemetery offers a green respite from the surrounding urban area. Plus, given the state of its residents, the grounds are usually pretty quiet. Birders at Green-Wood can expect to see herons, egrets, hawks, and killdeer, among dozens of other birds. The most surprising bird inhabiting the cemetery, though, is the monk parrot.


Joralemon Street-MTA Ventilator-Fake Townhouse Brownstone-Brooklyn Heights-NYC-001This townhouse is not what it seems to be...

Brooklyn Heights is probably best known for its charming, tree-lined streets filled with 19th century mansions and churches. But the bucolic neighborhood boasts more than just cobblestone lanes and scenic views of Lower Manhattan. Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City, it also has its fair share of stories and secrets.


Last night, the latest Blueprint video from NYCmedia about the transformation of The High Line premiered. Before the full episode is available for streaming, here’s a reminder of where we’ve come since the High Line was constructed in 1934.

The High Line attracts nearly 6,000,000 visitors a year. Though thoroughly modern at every step, The High Line Park owes its success –and its very existence–to the past.  In fact, the elevated train tracks that make up the current day park were originally constructed not only to deliver food to Manhattan, but also to save lives.