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Weather: It will be a partly sunny day with a high in the mid-80s, turning cloudy tonight with a chance of showers.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Sept. 6 (Labor Day).


An 11-month old, 80-pound wild cougar was removed from a Bronx apartment and sent to Arkansas to start a new life in an animal sanctuary, the authorities announced Monday.

The female cougar, named Sasha, was rescued last week through a joint effort of the Bronx Zoo, the New York Police Department, the Humane Society and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The animal was examined at the Bronx Zoo over the weekend before being sent to the Turpentine Creek sanctuary for lifelong care.

According to a police spokesman, Sasha’s owner was present during the animal’s removal, and the case remains under investigation. No further information about the owner was immediately available.

“This cougar is relatively lucky that her owners recognized a wild cat is not fit to live in an apartment or any domestic environment,” Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for the Human Society, said in a statement. “The owner’s tears and nervous chirps from the cougar as we drove her away painfully drives home the many victims of this horrendous trade and myth that wild animals belong anywhere but the wild.”

No illnesses or injuries were found during the medical exam, said Emily McCormack, animal curator for Turpentine Creek. A full exam will be done once Sasha arrives at the Arkansas sanctuary.


The Times’s Michiko Kakutani writes:

In 1960, while working as an artist and graphic designer, and some years before the Rolling Stones were born, Charlie Watts began work on “Ode to a High-Flying Bird,” a captivating children’s book about his hero, the jazz great Charlie Parker. The book featured charming drawings of a bird named Charlie who realized he didn’t sound like most of the other birds, and who left home to fly to New York City, where he played “from his heart” and made a new nest for himself in “Birdland.”

Charlie Parker made a 14-year-old Charlie Watts dream the impossible dream of visiting New York and playing at a jazz club. And while he thought at the time that “the only way to get to New York was in a band on a cruise ship,” he would actually get there in 1964 with the Rolling Stones. While Keith Richards and Mick Jagger hung out at the Apollo, where James Brown was doing five — five! — shows a day, Mr. Watts spent his free time haunting the jazz clubs he’d dreamed about as a boy: He saw Charles Mingus at Birdland, Gene Krupa at the Metropole, and Sonny Rollins, Earl Hines and Miles Davis.

Many decades later, Mr. Watts would achieve his jazz dreams, when he brought his jazz combo to play at the Blue Note, but his day job for almost six decades, of course, was with the Rolling Stones. He was their indispensable drummer, whose loose, jazz-inflected playing and improvisational ardor were the not-so-secret sauce that helped make the Stones such a singular and enduring band.

“Everybody thinks Mick and Keith are the Rolling Stones,” Mr. Richards once observed. “If Charlie wasn’t doing what he’s doing on drums, that wouldn’t be true at all. You’d find out that Charlie Watts is the Stones.” Charlie Watts, Mr. Richards added in his 2010 memoir, “Life,” “has always been the bed that I lie on musically.”

It’s Tuesday — follow your dream.


Dear Diary:

It was 1985, and I was starting the graduate acting program at New York University — a very big deal, especially for a rube like me from Indianola, Iowa.

After an $85 cab ride from La Guardia — what can I say? I was an easy mark — I arrived at graduate student housing on East 26th Street between First and Second Avenues.

My assigned roommate was Mark, an M.B.A. student from New Jersey who spent most of his time couch-potato-ing. I soon switched so that I could room with my classmate Meghan.

Meg was also a rube, from Hayward, Calif. We decided to learn the city by “walking the greens.” We would set out from East 26th Street and cross streets only where the green lights allowed. It didn’t matter which direction, as long as there was a green light.

One day we found ourselves at East 79th Street and Fifth Avenue. We walked into the Met and our lives were changed forever.

— Tim Thomas

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Read more Metropolitan Diary here.


New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. Sign up here to get it by email. You can also find it at nytoday.com.



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