so, the inevitable has come to pass: the previa, she is no more. sometime last week, the alternator stopped....alternating? see, i almost sounded like i knew what i was talking about for a second there, and then the truth came shining through. anyway, the car done wouldn't start. every time stephen had to move it for alternate side parking, he had to use my dad's christmas gift. oh, and the inspection was about to be up. so when the weekend rolled around, i let any hope of getting some non-wile time go, and focused instead on finding an activity that would get us out of the house. we hit on this plan: wile and i would go to the queens zoo (pumas!) while stephen tried to find somewhere to try to answer the question: will a car that won't start independently pass inspection? and possibly test-drive some cars.
we were the only people at the zoo, since it was f-ing freezing out, but wile loved it. on the way there he kept saying he wanted to see "lions and hoshies", and i kept trying to prepare him for a letdown. but as we pulled up to the zoo, there were some big old hoshies, out in the paddock. hot damn. the hoshies were in the "farm" end of the zoo, along with really amazing hairy steer:
and the biggest white mutant rabbits i've ever seen. they might have had big fangs, i didn't get close enough to see.
over on the non-farm side of the zoo, there were a buttload of birds, hibernating bears (aka fuzzy rocks), an m.i.a. lynx, coyotes howling at a passing firetruck, and pumas who wanted to eat wile. i swear. we went down to their area and checked them out, they were walking around, everything was cool, wile liked them. then as we were walking away, i sensed a movement behind me, turned around, and saw that one of the pumas had come right up to the glass and had a bead on wile. she was watching him like he was a tenderloin with legs. the look on her face was kinda like the one on the puma on the left in this pic:
in.tent. her head followed wile's every move. i hustled us over to the aviary to see the nice birdies.
stephen returned from his errands (answer to the question: no, a car that needs outside help to start will not pass inspection, and so must be taken off the street and put out to pasture in stephen's parents' driveway....), saw a few animals with us, and we jump-started our way back on to the road. on the way in to the zoo, we had passed a couple of empanada places—one was more crowded, but looked less interesting. so we went to the less-crowded one, empanandas del parque, which i just had a feeling about.
apparently my radar was working. the menu was nothing but empanadas, your choice of corn, organic whole grain, or flour shell. corn seemed to be the right choice. i put together a meat sampler: beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, fish.
the shrimp was my favorite, with little rock shrimp that popped like caviar in the potato filling. the pork was a close second runner-up, the beef was good but too salty. the fish was the weakest, bland. they came with this fantastic housemade hot sauce that wasn't too hot, all garlic and scallions and cilantro and vinegar. delicious. and they cater with mini empanadas, hello wile's 3rd birthday party menu! i also see a sack of empanadas picked up on the way to shea in my future sometime this summer....