We stopped by St. John the Divine for the "Blessing of the Animals". I didn't have as much info about it as I should and if we do it again we'll do it differently. I recommend going to the cathedral around 12:30pm and wait outside to see all the animals come out (I had heard there was a yak and a donkey); that way you can see all the animals but don't have to sit through a service. Then afterward go out on the lawn and greet all the dogs, cats, turtles, and guinea pigs people bring to be blessed. This is THE event for all dog lovers...which we are not. (I like dogs, but I'm not a "dog lover".) But I did get to hold a macaw; which was cool.
We also went to the reading festival held at Columbia University. I had heard great things about that event last year and I'm glad we went this year. We got there pretty early (maybe around 10:30am) but within 20 min the place was uncomfortably packed with pushy parents and kids. It was great before then. So, if we go again next year, we will get there promptly at 10am!
This is where we enjoyed out nice picnic lunch (I actually remembered to make/pack one!) until a VERY aggressive squirrel decided he wanted to join us. Despite Isabella's terrified screams, me whacking it with a tupperware lid, and yelling at it, it would not leave us alone until it got Isabella's sandwich. A security guard (who was much louder than me) finally scared it a few feet away.
It reminded me of the last time we were in CT where two squirrels were chasing each other and ran right into Isabella's legs. Which, of course, freaked her out (me too)!
If Isabella develops an intense fear of squirrels, now you know why!