In honor of my friend’s birthday this past Sunday, we decided to party like (or with) an animal and headed to the aquarium. CAAL (Columbia Alumni Arts League) offers significant discounts to this destination, which really makes the trip affordable and well worth the trek.
If you don’t like small kids, don’t go to aquariums. I had forgotten that a Sunday destination for parents with small children is most likely 1. the zoo 2. the zoo 3. the aquarium. No matter, we had turtles to stare at, a walrus to capture (on film), and sea lions to smell. At first, the museum struck me as a little overcrowded. One tank had four huge turtles, many large-ish fish, and number of sharks, and one ray. It was the equivalent of watching my grandparents, the FedEx delivery guy, and some first graders share a one-bedroom in Manhattan. Other parts were newer and did a really interesting job explaining things like waves and why animals don’t live in the crash zone. (And the beach flea that lives under the sand and bites you on the sensitive areas!) The walrus was such a treat – imagine an engorged and unraveled slug hanging out in water delicately splashing around its flippers.
Leaving the world of strollers and tiny tots, we meandered up the boardwalk to take in local color such as the paintings of ‘Sideshow by the Seashore’ and the ‘Mermaid Parade.’ Feeling peckish we stumbled upon Tacis Beytis, which promised ‘authentic Turkish cuisine.’ The line out the door seemed to agree, proving Coney Island isn’t just for mermaids.