Friday, December 16, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to (really!) Find Them--in New York!

So I'm heading up to Michigan next week and am seriously considering seeing the new Harry Potter film. Again. Hey, it's set in New York!!!

I've also been trying desperately to parcel out some time to pop into the city to look for all the magical spots as they’re portrayed in the movie. One thing I learned while writing Magical Destinations of the Northeast is that New York—and not just NYC—is already a magical place. Deborah Blake (insert fan girl moment--have you seen the Everyday Witch Tarot, out NOW?!) invited me to do a guest post on her blog about this very subject, which I am also sharing here. In honor of Deborah (she's a New Yorker!), Harry Potter and all things beasty, here are some places where you can really find Fantastic Beasts in the Empire State (and some are totally free!):

If you find yourself east of the Hudson River near the Connecticut border (South Salem, NY), you can run with the WOLVES at the New York Wolf Conservation Center.

MOOSE—not just in Maine anymore! Visit Adirondack Park for a potential moose sighting. They’ve been in the park since 1980!

Narrowsburgh, New York is the EAGLE Capital of the northeast. In addition to the 20 pairs of nesting eagles who are current residents, up to 200 birds winter here from points north in Canada. Visit Narrowsburgh is January and February to see eagles flying overhead.

Visit all sort of other BIRDS at Berkshire Bird Paradise—the largest avian sanctuary in the state.

New York state is home to several FARM SANCTUARIES, places where animals of all shapes and sizes, some abused and abandoned have found forever homes where visitors are welcome. Check out the Catskills Animal Sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

ADOPT a pet in/from New York? I did! Check out Time Out NY’s picks to adopt a pet in New York City. The New York Humane Society has been helping animals for over a century, and Rescue Me maintains listings of rescue agencies and shelters by state.

And of course, the Big Apple is home to many fantastical creatures…
  • Take an OWL or BAT tour in Central Park, the city’s largest green spot. 
  • The Cloisters is home to the famed UNICORN tapestries. 
  • Rub the snout of the BOAR in Sutton Place Park for good luck! 
  • Strike a pose with the Library LIONS at NYPL’s main branch on 53rd Street. 
  • BULLS and BEARS—Oh my! Visit these icons of tenacity and strength on Wall Street in the Financial District. 
  • Suspend expectations as you gaze at “Gran Elephandret” in Union Square between 14th and 17th Streets, an ELEPHANTINE rendition of The Hanged Man. 
  • Visit the Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn to see the wildlife (there’s lots), and pay your respects to Henry Bergh, the founder of the ASPCA (there are also several beloved pets buried in the cemetery as well). 
Find more fantastic beasts near you by visiting Animal Tourism—there are listing by species and state ♥ Visit the Ephemeral New York blog to find more animal sculptures and art scattered throughout New York City.

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