Arts and CultureNew York

Carnivorous Nights: the Secret Science Club’s Annual Taxidermy Contest

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Taxidermy is one of those things that people love or hate. I freaking love it, even though I’m a vegetarian. There’s just something so fascinating about seeing a natural thing in an unnaturally still state. Also, it’s the best way to get up and close to a tiger without getting eaten. And one of the many things I love about New York is there are enough other taxidermy enthusiasts that the Secret Science Club started a taxidermy contests. Tuesday night is the fifth annual Carnivorous Nights contests, and it’s one of the single greatest events ever.

Sure, you can see taxidermy in the Natural History Museum and every other bar in the city. But a simple mounted duck is no match for the parade of taxidermy at Carnivorous Nights. (I say that with apologies to mounted duck I have hanging on my wall). People bring out the weirdest, most awesome shit that they usually keep hidden in their apartments, far away from the grubby fingers of tourists and drunk 20-somethings. There’s been a bird of paradise, squirrels dressed like the pope, beetles in dioramas where they’re knitting and eating pie, tiny puppies curled up on footstools, dancing cats, voles painted to look like weasels…Each entrant gets a few minutes to talk about the story behind their creature or part of a creature, and then the panel of judges ask questions. At the end of the night, winners are crowned in several categories. But it’s really not about the winner, it’s about sitting and staring while a guy talks about how he constructed a chandelier out of goat skulls.

Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest
The Bell House
149 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues [Gowanus, Brooklyn]
Tuesday, December 7, 8pm

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Kiley E - Ragamuffin Researcher

Kiley E - Ragamuffin Researcher

After years of denial, Kiley has finally admitted to baring a striking resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo. Instead of traveling in a van hunting ghosts, she prefers wandering on foot in search of tacos, cheap beer, and fake birds. Growing up in Portland, Kiley enjoyed the balance of urban and green spaces. Then she spent her four years at Ithaca College, and found herself craving more sprawling asphalt in her life. So she moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where most of the buildings look like they're about to collapse. Kiley's favorite activities include: getting lost, crafting, sewing, biking, and geeking out at museums. Her love of taxidermy probably makes her a terrible vegetarian, but she doesn't care.