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Shark Week Update: Mayor Mike Makes Out

Coney Island grows up a bit

Adam Chandler
August 17, 2012

Summer Fridays are never entirely devoid of news, but I thought it’d be nice to potentially spoil all of your lunches by presenting this adorable gif of Mayor Michael Bloomberg kissing a sea lion during his visit to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island yesterday.

On a local radio show, Bloomberg described his special moment:

“They train, they just come up to you, he holds his nose with a lot of whiskers next to your cheek. He just holds it until the trainer stops him and hands him a fish. Every time he does another trick the trainer throws him another fish.”

The aquarium has been open since 1957 and recently became the focal point of a budget crisis after plans for a long overdue renovation were scaled back. After some donors chipped in, a happy medium was reached. The facility will house a state-of-the-art shark tank.

The city pitched in $93 million, up from $49 million two years ago, and the Wildlife Conservation Society is kicking in the remaining $33 million, of which $11 million has been raised. Part of that is a $7.5 million donation from society trustee Barbara Hrbek Zucker and her husband, Don Zucker, that was announced today.

As always, Marty Markowitz had something clever to say: “Usually, the cry of ‘shark!’ means fewer visitors to the waterfront, but here in Brooklyn, it’ll mean more!”

For a look at life at Coney Island, check out Joshua Cohen’s fantastic Coney Island diary, which he wrote for Tablet back in 2009.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.