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TRAVELING IN STYLE : Correspondents' Choice : PICNIC PICKS

May 16, 1993|Barry Bearak, New York bureau

NEW YORK CITY — Five Times correspondents from around the world describe their favorite picnic spots in (or just outside) the cities they have covered.

OF THE LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF WONDERFUL SPOTS TO PICnic in Manhattan's Central Park, none is better than the park's 5 1/2-acre zoo--especially if one's luncheon companion is a finicky, ice cream-eating-only 2-year-old.

After a meander through the zoo's Tropic Zone, Temperate Territory and Polar Circle, adult and child can settle down for their repast on grass or bench. The feeding strategy for fussy toddlers is a game of pretend: Let's Eat the Critters. It owes much to the harmless model of the animal cracker. "You know who this is?" the adult asks, tearing loose a patch of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. "Who?" the kid replies. "It's the Gila monster." And down the hatch it goes.

Once the technique has proved successful with the sandwich, it is then possible to go on to morsels of the long-shot picnic foods: actual raw vegetables and even a hard-boiled egg. "Ooh, look, it's a delicious Burmese python."

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