Saturday, August 7, 2010

Parrots Preening and Monkeys Typing

Friday fun in Binghamton....or, what a person who grew up in NYC does for fun in her adopted upstate NY home town.

Downtown at lunch, we had the Friday farmers market.  I had to get there late but I heard music that sounded vaguely familiar, and as I approached....yes, it was Monkeys Typing!

No, not actual monkeys.  A band which I haven't heard at the Farmers market in, oh, a couple of years.  They played at July Fest, but I wasn't there at the time.

Monkeys Typing is what some call a jam band; their music reminds me of the Grateful Dead.  I am no Deadhead or any kind of music expert but I know what I like.  I enjoy their music very much.

The usual crowd of office workers blending with local residents (yes, we have people living in our downtown), street people, students, and so forth were grooving to the music.  I shouldn't have been surprised by the number of grey haired people (hey, if I dou't dye my hair, I'm one of them!) who were sitting under the small canopy provided (this time not enough chairs for the music lovers) to enjoy their music.  Even to this day I think of rock as a "young person"'s music...except that all of us baby boomers are now practically senior citizens.

The Farmers Market continued to feature the heart of our harvest-corn, garlic, tomatoes boueberries, beans, cabbage, cut flowers.  My walking companion was eying a basket of what must have been heritage cherry tomatoes.  They were all colors of the tomato rainbow; yellow, red, and even green. (yes, there are tomatoes that remain green when ripe.)  Actually I'm wrong, there were no black (which are really purple) or white ones.  Be it as it may, I talked her into getting a pint, and at $2.00, I think it was a bargain.  I hope she enjoys the flavor.

Spouse and I were hoping to enjoy First Friday.  However, spouse had pulled a leg muscle earlier in the day and walking was a bit painful. So instead, we agreed on one stop-the grand opening, just over the bridge from downtown, of Parrot Safari Toy Factory, a wonderland of parrot toys, parrot food and....parrots.  And macaws.  And parrotlets, conures, cockatoos, cockatiels - and English budgies.

No, not the "shell parakeets" Americans are used to.  These were true English budgies, originally bred for show, and much bigger than their American cousins.  I've seen pictures of them but had never seen them "in person" before.  I've owned parakeets for many years, although not in recent years.  I've been having hankerings to have one in my life again.

The price was reasonable also, just about what area pet shops charge for your normal parakeet.

To my surprise (as they aren't parrots, but rather are related to finches) the owner pointed out several canaries to me in the upper tier of cages.  Canaries were actually my first pet (other than goldfish); one of my aunts owned a couple and, bird lover that I was even at the age of 8, I finally talked my mom into one.  (I'll have to tell that story one day.) The price was very reasonable also.  I know some birds were on sale for the grand opening, but I hope those prices stay in force for a while while we agonize.

I will be back.  Now I am conflicted.  Parrotlet?  English Budgie?  Canary?  or none of the above?

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