18 July 2018
SCHEDULE NOTES! Only one bird walk this week led by Jeff Ward aka the Best. See you at 9:30am at the Boathouse - no 7:30am walk. There are migrating warblers headed south, and Jeff will find them in the Ramble...and if especially lucky, some shorebirds such as Solitary Sandpipers will be seen as well.
In this week's historical notes we send (1) a Bobwhite Quail discovered on Worth street (lower Manhattan) on 18 July 1888 and taken into captivity; (2) an 1889 article on the cost, in US Dollars, to travel/vacation in Europe: Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium. Imagine: "the most expensive day was at Baden-Baden [Germany], one room only $8.55 [per day]; the least expensive at Aix la Chapelle [also Germany] or more proper Burtschied, a suburb, where sulphur baths are furnished which was $4.90 per day for three rooms first floor. The low price was due to our stay at that place being over three months." Do have a look at costs for food, wine, lodging - and the names of the elite hotels where the author and his wife stayed.
Looking south down 5th Ave from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can you find the building with Pale Male's nest? Hint: it
is directly in-line with the Citicorp Building on the far left.
Good! Here are the bird walks for July - each $10
1. Sunday, 22 July - 9:30am - Central Park Bird Walk meet at Boathouse Cafe.
2. Sunday, 29 July - 9:30am - Central Park Bird Walk meet at Boathouse Cafe.
The fine print: In July, our walks every Sunday meet at 9:30am (only - no 7:30am walk!) at the Boathouse Restaurant (approximately 74th street and the East Drive on the lake; it is NOT one of the buildings on the nearby Model Boat Pond). Bathrooms are nearby and ok; they open at about 7:30am. Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is above (firstname.lastname@example.org). We have a new web site...if in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not, check the web site the morning of the walk: info will be posted on the main landing page as well as the "Schedule" page by 6am the day of the walk, and usually by 7:30pm the night before. If still confused and as a last resort, call us at home - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk! We end all our weekend Central Park walks at the Boathouse at about noon - you can get a cup of coffee and a muffin there (around $6 total).
Here is what we saw last week (selected highlights). Not all species we saw are reported here - we list the best:
Sunday, 15 July 2018 - Sandra Critelli led this past Sunday's bird walk. All the usual summer birds were present + 37 (yes 37) Raccoons. Sandra is an expert at finding hidden raccoons throughout the park. Other highlights included a female American Redstart at the "Oven" and a Red-breasted Nuthatch at the Pinetum.
Raccoons in Central Park, July 2005
QUAIL IN THE CITY . New York, July 18. Some time since a quail [Bobwhite] flew on to the fanlight of an importing house on Worth street. It proved to be a male bird and is now in the possession of a friend of mine and is almost thoroughly domesticated. My friend wants to try the domestication of quail, and if some of your readers can put him in the way of getting a hen bird both he and I would be greatly obliged. E. K. LEFFINGWELL.
HOTEL LIFE IN EUROPE .
IN November, 1881, accompanied by my wife I started for Europe, where we remained until December 1882. We landed in Havre, spent a month in France, another in Germany and Austria, and from February until May in Italy, the summer in Germany, France and Switzerland. Since our return I have very frequently been consulted by friends in moderate circumstances, as to the expenses of such a trip I have always stated, although in very general terms, for I have relied upon memory, that while journeying was dearer, yet hotel life in Europe was much less expensive than in the United States. I have long intended to overhaul my hotel bills and find out just what it did cost us.
At each city we visited it was our custom to go to the best hotel, to look at the rooms, obtain prices including service, lights, fires, etc., and to then mention the sum we were willing to pay: in every case this amount, or at least a considerable reduction from the sum first named, was agreed upon.
We were neither extravagant nor parsimonious. In each place we had a room or rooms, not above third floor and as high as that only where there was a “lift.'' We had sometimes one large room, quite as often bedroom and parlor, and sometimes three rooms.
Neither of us drank much wine, but complied with the usual custom and always had it at dinner.
We drank the wines of the country we were in, not calling for Claret in Germany, Capri in France, Assmanshauser or Liebfrauemilch in Italy. In the tables I have included board, lodging, service, lights, fuel and laundry.
I have excluded in most cases the expenses of entertaining friends, including high-priced wines.
I had intended excluding all items such as cigars, carriages, stamps, telegrams, payments for purchases, etc., and have to a great extent carried out my intention, but as the task of overhauling such a lot of bills containing such an endless amount of items – five or six sometimes for a simple first breakfast such as "2 breads, 2 butters 1 milk, 1 sugar, 2 eggs,1 honey," for instance - has become very tiresome, especially as I have forgotten the meaning of many of the words, I have gone through the last forty-eight or fifty quite rapidly, and undoubtedly have missed many such items not large enough to attract attention. For when a hack costs but a mark or franc and a message but a few pfennigs or sous, they don't stand out as they would in a New York hotel bill. It is more than probable that a more careful revision would reduce the amount.
My most expensive day was at Baden-Baden, one room only $8.55; the least expensive at Aix la Chapelle or more proper Burtschied, a suburb, where sulphur baths are furnished which was $4.90 per day for three rooms first floor. The low price was due to our stay at that place being over three months. A single room at the same hotel for but for one person, cost $5.
The Quirinal at Rome was remarkably reasonable. First-class in every respect, the charges for one room for 25 days were $5.25 per day, by making arrangements, I was given two large rooms connecting on the upper floor (where all typhoid fever patients are sent by the doctors), and a small room, where I could smoke and sleep, including the board of two nurses and a bottle of Chiante at dinner, for $8.34 per day. I think I've made good my claim that a fairly provident man and wife can live in Europe at the best hotels for less than $5 per day.
In many of the places mentioned there are excellent pensions, notably the Pension Chapman at Rome and Florence, and others in Germany, where very comfortable rooms and excellent fare can be had at not greatly over one-half of the hotel prices.
NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED DURING A YEAR OF EUROPEAN HOTEL LIFE
GERMANY. Baden, De Russe; Aix la Chapman, Carlsbad; Cologne, De Dom; Frankfurt, Franfurtur Hof.; Homburg, Quatre Saisons; Heidleberg, Grand; Munnich, Quatre Saisons; Mayence, D’Angleterre; Strasburg, D'Angleterre; Soden, De L’Europe; Stuttgart, Marquara; 160 days; total bills $800, or $5 per day.
AUSTRIA. Loebe, Zum Post; Vienna, Metropole; 17 days; bills, $106.39 or $6.25 per day.
BELGIUM. Autwerp, De L’Europe; Brussels, De Flandres; 7days; bills $38.90 or $5.76 per day.
SWITZERLAND. Geneva, National; 4.5 days; bills $22.50, or $5 per day.
FRANCE. Havre, Frascattis; Aix le Bains, De L' Universe; Paris, Bellevue; 55 days; bills $385 or $7 per day.
ITALY. Bellagio, Grand Bretagne; Capri, Quissiana; Florence, D'Italie; Genoa, Isota; Lugano, Du Pare; Milan, Grand; Naples, Grand; Pallanza, Grand Pallanza; Pisa, Minerva; Rome, Quirinal; Sorrento, Villa Nardi; Turin, Grand; Venice, Grand Britannia; 118 days, bills $775.75 or $6.59 per day. Deducting from above 39 days at Rome, when, through illness three rooms and board of two nurses were required the amounts are for 79 days and bills $459.35 or $5.70 per day.
Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD
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Jamaica Bay Wildlife Reserve - East Pond in August 2009