Cronin was born in 1950, and was one of the first generations of New Yorkers forcibly removed from the ecosystem that birthed it. It may be odd to think of New York—or any city—as part of an ecosystem, but as much as NYC has a reputation of being a concrete jungle, that's only ever been half true. Even today, foxes roam Central Park, possums terrorize toddlers in Brooklyn, and Queens residents know to keep trash cans firmly fastened to keep out raccoons. Meanwhile, hawks make their nests atop the city's bridges and skyscrapers. There are even some old timers who have managed to spend all of their lives foraging for pokeweed and fishing for flounder, fluke, striped bass, perch and porgy in the city's rivers. With some exceptions, the fish are once again safe to eat these days. But when Cronin came of age, the Hudson River was a hard stop. The city's waterways were a no-go zone.