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Art--Animals--Dates--Filming Locations--Food--Links--Lists--Map--Music--Nature--Places--Performances--Souvenirs--Structures--Timeline--Wishes

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Big City Nights (Da Funk)

Big City Nights Bus Stop

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address: 139 2nd Ave #1
Date: January 2019
Website:  daftpunk.com

  Daft Punk caught the world's attention with their single Da Funk back in 1996.  It was a purely instrumental song with a driving beat and funky synthesizers.  The music video directed by Spike Jonze brought even more attention.  The video was a short film called Big City Nights. In the video, Da Funk played in the background behind the dialogue.

Orpheum Theatre where Stomp has played since 1994.

  We were watching the music video for Da Funk and after the dog missed his bus (more on the video's plot later) we noticed something.   Down the street we could see a sign for the musical percussion peformance group STOMP.  In New York, STOMP has been performing at the Orpheum Theatre since 1994.  They are still going strong after more than 10,000 performances.

Deutsches Dispensary

  We did some research and found that a large part of the music video was filmed in New York's East Village on 2nd Avenue near the Ottendorfer Library.  The building was built in 1883 and one part is the library and another part is the Deutsches Dispensary (pictured above).  The building does not make an appearance in the video but its bus stop does as do some of the surrounding buildings.

  The video follows Charles the dog as he hobbles through the street on crutches.  All the while his boom box with a broken volume knob is blasting Da Funk.  Charles is not a real dog but an actor in a costume.  Daft Punk also like to hide behind costumes and usually appear in public dressed as robots.  Charles tries to take a survey, buys a two dollar book called Big City Nights and eventually runs into an old neighbour.

East Village Meat Market

  Charles the dog runs into Beatrice inside a variety store and they walk out into the street.  Beatrice invites Charles to "come with" for dinner downtown.  Charles agrees.  They wait for a bus outside of the East Village Meat Market.  The gold door on the left looks about the same but the white door (pictured above) used to also be gold back in the 90s. 

East Village Ukranian Restaurant

  We know this is the right place as across the road is a restaurant.  You can see the words Ukranian Restaurant reflected in the window behind Charles.

A Bus Travels Along 2nd Ave. Just Like In Daft Punk's Da Funk Video.

  A bus pulls up and Beatrice gets on.  Charles wants to follow her but sees a sign stating "No Radios. No Smoking. No Spitting".  Now he must choose between his music and a girl.   The bus closes its doors and drives away.  Charles hobbles down the street alone.

Map of Our World
Post # 246

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Ripley's Aquarium Of Canada

Ripley's Aquarium Of Canada

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  288 Bremner Blvd
Date: March 2019
Website: www.ripleyaquariums.com

Click here to take a virtual tour and see our collection of Ripley's Aquarium animal photos.

   Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is a relatively new attraction in downtown Toronto.  It opened in 2013 and we visited one time before becoming members last year.  Our membership is about to end so we thought that now would be a good time to dive in and take a closer look at what we have seen.  From sharks to goldfish, we did our best to see them all, but some species have still managed to elude us.

Ripley's Aquarium (Alewives)
Ripley's Aquarium (Ray Bay)
Ripley's Aquarium (Blue Ring Angelfish)
Ripley's Aquarium (Anemone Wall)
Ripley's Aquarium (Pacific Sea Nettles)
Ripley's Aquarium (Sand Tiger Shark)
Ripley's Aquarium (Goldfish)
Ripley's Aquarium (Life Support Systems)

The aquarium is divided into several sections.  You can see fish from Canada's oceans and lakes.  There is a colourful tank filled with different urchins and anemones. The Rainbow Reef is filled with hundreds of fascinating tropical fish.

A Green Sea Turtle in Ripley's Aquarium Dangerous Lagoon.

A conveyor belt takes you into the shark filled Dangerous Lagoon.  As sharks swim around and above you, you may even spot one of the green sea turtles that call this tank home.

A baby seahorse at Ripley's Aquarium.

The Gallery has poisonous fish, seahorses, cuttlefish and more.

A Shrunken Head At Ripley's Curious Creatures.

Curious Creatures has unusual things like a peacock mantis shrimp, flashlight fish and even an actual shrunken head from Robert Ripley's travels.  This is more like the Ripley of Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Ray Bay is filled with stingrays which look like they are smiling as they swim up the tank walls.  Planet Jellies has jellyfish in a tank with ever changing back lighting.

A Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp Gives A Manicure At Ripley's Aquarium.

If a hands on experience is what you want you can touch the rays that swim to the top of Ray Bay.  There are also touch tanks with horseshoe crabs and bamboo sharks.  You may also like a shrimp manicure from a scarlet cleaner shrimp.

Life Support Systems at Ripley's Aquarium Canada

The Life Support Systems area is where you get a glimpse behind the scenes as over 5.2 million litres of water are filtered and pumped throughout the aquarium.  Fortunately, 95% of the water gets recycled. 

Example Of Ripley's Aquarium Rainbow Reef SignageStripey (Sign)Example Of Ripley's Aquarium Signage

One complaint we have with the aquarium is their use of video signs.  These signs slowly change from animal to animal.  So in a tank like the Rainbow Reef with hundreds of fish and many different species it can take a long time to match a name to a fish or a fish to a name.  Don't worry, we posted as many of the screens as we could on our special photo page.

We will write some more aquarium specific blogs in the future, but for now you can browse the best photos from our visits. 

Click here to take a virtual tour and see our collection of Ripley's Aquarium animal photos.


Map of Our World
Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

Post # 245

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Penguin Beach

The Penguin Beach SIgn At London Zoo

Location: London, England
Address:  Regent's Park
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.zsl.org

  The penguins at the London Zoo were faced with a problem in 2004.  They could no longer stay in their old penguin pool and as a result needed a new home.  They were housed in many places including the sister zoo, Whipsnade Zoo.  Finally in 2011 Penguin Beach opened.

Humboldt Penguins at London Zoo's Penguin Beach.

    The penguins now reside in the biggest penguin pool in England.  The pool holds 450,000 litres of water.

A Humboldt Penguin at London Zoo.

  The exhibit is filled with a colony of Humboldt penguins.  Humboldt penguins are found in South America along the coasts of Chile and Peru.  One distinguishing feature to tell them apart from other penguin species is the pinky area between their beak and their eye.

Humboldt Penguin Colony At London Zoo.

  There is a large group of penguins living at Penguin Beach.  

Penguin Outside Nest Penguin Beach London Zoo

  At one end of the enclosure were many nests where breeding pairs of penguins can do their part to further increase the population.  Humboldt penguins usually lay up to three eggs twice a year.

Ricky The Rockhopper Penguin.

  One lonely bachelor was Ricky the rockhopper penguin.  He can be recognized by the long yellow feathers on his head.  Ricky was the only non-Humboldt penguin in the pool and seemed to really like attention.  He was there when we visited in 2015 but he has since moved to Whipsnade Zoo to join a group of other rockhoppers.  We will see if his personality can still stand out surrounded by similar penguins.

Feeding Time At Penguin Beach.

  Feeding time at Penguin Beach draws quite a crowd.  The penguins line up to be fed fish from a bucket or fight for the fish thrown into the pool.

A Grey Heron Stands At Penguin Beach In London Zoo

  As well as other penguins competing for food, the penguins have to look out for local intruders.  Seagulls swoop down at the pool to try and get some fish scraps.  A grey heron stood motionless waiting for its chance to do the same.  We saw grey herons stealing food from a group of Asian small-clawed otters later in the day.

Humboldt Penguin At Penguin Beach.

  Penguins are always entertaining.  We could watch them walk around and swim all day.  Penguin Beach is a great place to do just that.

Map of Our World
London Zoo (Penguin Beach)

Post # 244

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Lubetkin Penguin Pool

Old Lubetkin Penguin Pool At ZSL London Zoo

Location: London, England
Address:  Regent's Park
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.zsl.org

  In 1934, London Zoo opened its famous spiral-ramped Penguin Pool.  The pool was designed by Berthold Lubetkin who worked for an architectural firm called Tecton.  It is one of the first uses of reinforced concrete and is a grade I listed structure in England.  A grade I listing is reserved for buildings of exceptional interest.

  The movie About a Boy was released in 2002.  In the movie there is a small scene where Will (Hugh Grant) and Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) visit the zoo.  As they have their discussion they walk past the Penguin Pool.  There are still penguins in the enclosure as they did not leave until 2004.

Grade I Listed Lubetkin Penguin Pool At ZSL London Zoo

   We saw a few reasons for the penguins moving out of the pool.  One said that they were contracting bumblefoot due to walking on concrete.  Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection on the feet of birds.  Some people say there was originally rubber over the concrete and it should be put back.  We also read they were moved to a duck pond during some repairs and seemed to really enjoy their new location.  Another lesser believed theory was based on the popularity of the About A Boy movie and the inclusion of the pool in the film.  It was said that the pool attracted too many Hugh Grant fans and the penguins requested to move to a new location where people came just to see them.  Who knows?  At any rate you can now visit the London Zoo and see the old exhibit which sits empty.  You can also see the colony of penguins who are happily living in a new area of the zoo called Penguin Beach.


Map of Our World
ZSL London Zoo (Lubetkin Penguin Pool)

Post # 243