Arts and Culture

Shark Week Without Basic Cable: Making Due

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There are only two more days of Shark Week left, which doesn’t seem right. Where did the time go?? If you spent half of it watching clips of 'œStreet Sharks' on YouTube because you don’t actually get basic cable, don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways to celebrate Shark Week.

1) Online TV is freeeeee

A lot of good clips and even some entire Shark Week episodes are posted on the Discovery Channel’s website. One of my favorite clips is this one of Craig Ferguson during a feeding. Every time I watch it I get a little choked up. Sometimes sharks apparently turn into the fish version of a cat, and just want their noses rubbed.

2) Leave the shark cam up at work

It’s very calming!

3) Find out what kind of shark you are

For some reason I reeally wanted to know. And this isn’t like a Cosmo quiz with super-obvious answers ('œYou’re grabbing a beer with your BFF when she says a hottie across the room is eyeing you. You say…' OMG, what would I say? 'œ'˜I doubt it,’ and start crying' …?), so I was just honest and ended up being pretty much the lamest shark ever. The Hammerhead. It is a silly, slightly inept shark that likes to live in tropical climates and prefers a big fam. Awww!

4) See Damien Hirst’s Tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde at the Met

The formaldehyde shark, titled, 'œThe Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,' is scheduled to leave NYC sometime this year, so this could be your last chance to stand in front of the tank and pretend you are about to be eaten!

It’s located on the second floor of the modern art section, in the Lila Acheson Wallace Gallery. The Met is huge so get a map or you’ll be in there all day; I sometimes have trouble just finding my way out of the Ancient Egypt exhibit.

Admission at the Met is recommended $20 for adults $10 for students, and they are definitely deserving of your money, but if you’re broke don’t feel bad just giving whatever you can.

5) Three-step, DIY chumsicle

One sure-fire way to attract sharks is by baiting them with a chumsicle, the revolting shark equivalent of a popsicle. While I haven’t exactly ever made one, I have made popsicles before, so really, same thing. It’s probably not a good idea to breathe in too deeply at any point during this preparation.

Step 1: Head to Chinatown, the pier, or anywhere you can find a lot of fish and/or fisherman, and ask around for their about-to-be-discarded 'œtrimmings,' – the fish heads and tails. They’ll probably let you have them if you say it’s for a chumsicle.

Step 2: Fill a largeish trash can with all the dead fish parts you have collected. When selecting the size of your trash can, keep in mind that the bigger the chumsicle, the more sharks you will attract.

Step 3: Put a stick of rebar in the middle and store it in your (obvs, walk-in) freezer. Give it at least a day to fully harden. Your chumsicle is ready.

After you anchor it to the sea floor, I would get the hell out of there, because depending on the species they could have decent eyesight, OR, they could be fairly blind, and mistake you for a second, more oddly-shaped chumsicle.


6) Try a bowl of shark fin soup at any of the dozens of restaurants in NYC that STILL SERVE THIS HORRIFYING DISH

Um, what did sharks ever do to deserve having their fin amputated to make a gross-looking soup? It’s fucked up. In shark finning, which is legal, the fins are typically cut off the shark while it is alive, and then the shark is released to die of suffocation or to be eaten because it can’t move normally. Sorry to be a big downer here, but this makes me want to vom. Imagine if some douche cut off your legs to put them in a crappy, over-priced soup, then tossed you back into your office to slowly bleed to death. You’d be pissed. Not to mention a shark’s entire confidence and self-esteem is wrapped up in its dorsal fin. Like a male peacock to its fan, or The Tick to his weird little antennae things.

So yeah, avoid these places where they serve shark fin soup, because sharks are facing extinction. Between 38 million and 100 million sharks are killed each year for their fins to meet growing demand for this soup in China (WTF, China?). And consider a donation to the Humane Society International to stop shark finning! Shark Week’s future depends on it.

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Katy B. - Economic Inexpert

Katy B. - Economic Inexpert

Katy B. grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of Gerald R. Ford, Andy Richter, and, at one point, the guy who wrote Mr. Holland's Opus. She moved to NYC for her degree in library science, and is now in the Media Studies program at The New School. She hopes to one day be a film studies librarian. Ask her anything about Dewey Decimal – anything! – and she will roll her eyes because academic libraries use Library of Congress. Durrr.


  1. Megan
    August 6, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Awww. I love the shark personality quiz. I guess I’m a whale shark, “the most calm and serene of all sharks”.

  2. August 6, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    shark fin soup. killamari! so classic.

  3. August 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    ok! very good!
    you are right!                 
    thank you!   

  4. August 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    YouTube because you don’t actually get basic cable, don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways to celebrate Shark Week.

  5. August 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    YouTube because you don’t actually get basic cable, don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways to celebrate Shark Week.

  6. August 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Yet, do you know the truth of where your money goes?