By Michael McDowell
Bella, Buckles, Chalupa, Massey, and Skittles. Five gorgeous goats drew a crowd of more than a hundred to Riverside Park this morning, but only one would be crowned the G.O.A.T., or Greatest Of All Time.
The goats, visitors from Larry and Ann Cihanek’s Green Goats farm in Rhinebeck, New York, ate their way through bushels of invasive plants and poison ivy choking steep slopes in the northerly reaches of Riverside Park at the invitation of the Riverside Park Conservancy.
“These ravenous eating machines ate 25 percent of their body weight every day,” Conservancy head Dan Garodnick told the boisterous crowd.
City Council Member Mark Levine commended all of the finalists, before the awarding of a golden trophy and (edible) gourmet bouquet.
“You’re all winners,” Levine said, with a nod to a cloven-hoofed, doe-eyed observer. “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”
New Yorkers cast over 3,000 votes, and in the end, it was either Chalupa—a particularly gluttonous father of four who sometimes sneaks into the house to watch television—or Massey, a big and beautiful 10-year-old with a personality to match.
“Massey,” Garodnick announced, to an elated crowd.
“That’s a beautiful goat,” a man nodded, applauding.
A few Chalupa partisans demanded a recount, citing voting irregularities and the as yet undecided race for District Attorney in Queens.
Four of the five finalists will remain in a pen near 120th Street and Riverside Avenue until the end of the summer.
“Shall we take a selfie?” a woman asked her friend.
Ann Cihanek is thrilled her goats are leading such exciting lives—the toast of the town, or the Upper West Side, at least.
What does she love most about goats?
“That they love me,” she laughed. “These goats have been loved their entire lives.”
As we reported this week, they’ll likely be back next summer.