When you are as well-traveled as our mentors at London’s Lambert Tours, no time needs to be spent at Times Square or the Empire State Building. No, indeed. Our London friends know more about New York than we do, and are adept at zeroing in on the unique and offbeat.
That’s how we found ourselves sitting on four little stools in a major downpour on Saturday, waiting for the start of Coney Island’s 35th Annual Mermaid Day Parade. Were we wet and cold? Yes. But, we carved out a prime location right across from Nathan’s Famous, and waited for the show to begin. We were saved by the quick thinking of our friend June, who managed to snare the four plastic ponchos that made all the difference – and made us the target of many of the paparazzi waiting for the parade to start. I guess four drowned rats all in a row with their wet faces sticking out of aquamarine plastic sacks was picture-worthy. (Unfortunately, we didn’t make the newspapers.)
But eventually, the sun came out occasionally and the parade began. And I must say, it was spectacular. Over three thousand entrants pranced, strolled, waddled, and floated down the street, showing an enormous amount of creativity and an astonishing amount of skin. No censorship here! There was also an encouraging amount of political commentary – aligned with the Resistance school – which was warmly received by the crowd.
But pictures say it best, so enjoy the parade:
The participants were wildly enthusiastic, the crowd was oh-so-encouraging, and the mood was delightfully celebratory. No negativity, though one of my neighbors was heard to say, “I don’ wan be critical or nottin’, but dem is some big titties!” Couldn’t have put it better if I tried.
Coney Island post-parade was awash with wet Mermaids, Mermen, and their entourages, enjoying the delights of Luna Park and the famous Cyclone. We even went to the Freak Show and watched fire eaters, snake charmers, knife swallowers and contortionists, just because we could.
A great – albeit damp – day was had by all. Some of our little group are already planning their costumes for next year…..