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The parade lasted at my location from 1300 until 1530 . . . so many more photos–a few hundred–stay in the archives.  This last installment can be called vehicles and politics, although political caricature might be more accurate.

A few days before the parade, my friend Orlando Mendez caught these three vessels headed eastbound, just off the beach.  Yes, three.  Notice the front of the bow of a tug on the far side of the lead houseboat.  Anyone know who that was?

Maybe it was a mermaid trojan vessel . . . since a certain resemblance can be seen here . . .  I don’t know the name of this silvery submarine . . .

Behold the flying merlendas . . .

Andy Golub‘s creations,

a Farmall ratrod,

a Ford red belly,

Clamilton,

clever signs,

the repurposed composting true that

allows me to get a self-portrait  (Notice how few spectators surround me . . . .),

floats with

cheery self-takers,

and then the politicizers and caricaturists…

I wonder . . . this looks like the crowned figure made an appearance

TWICE!

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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Yesterday’s post was the lead-up.  The parade never starts until the man with the Coney drum steps out.

This year mermaid queen was Debbie Harry.

After that, it was lots of dancing and music. . . .  click here to listen to Fogo Azul’s Brazilian sound.

I love the beer can on the drum here, and

the edginess of playing an electric oud in the rain . . . Gypsyfunksquad . . . I made a video of them last year here.

The fog and showers seemed to animate the musicians and dancers, and

 

 

heighten the colors, like

this fierce contender, whom I

had gotten a close-up of earlier.

I’ll wager there were more people in the parade than watching it, generally a boon for photographers….

 

 

Crop rotation mermaids included soybeans, wheat, and  . . .

corn.

 

Colors and hoops and

. .  . crescents or arcs?

Colors abound but

this has to be the strangest dazzling costume ever . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Tomorrow . . . the odd bedfellows of mermaids, vehicles, and politics.

 

 

Here’s the most explicit explanation ever on this blog about Coney Island–part of Brooklyn–and the parade that’s happened there each summer solstice since   . . . time immemorial almost.  Today’s Daily News used adjectives like dreary, gloomy, and unruly to describe the day . . . .  Unruly? . . . we’ve been an unruly nation since even before the merfolk started coming ashore.  Dreary and gloomy . . . we’re talking about creatures who spend their lives in the watery parts of the world;  as they assembled, they seemed delighted to have only some water.  The NYPost actually got the story better this time.  These merfolk musicians played their hearts out in the rain. . .

These danced on sidewalks as they splashed their way to the gathering point . . .

hopping puddles with all their appendages and finery  . . .

But this year I first noticed the checkpoints merfolk had to negotiate  . . .

I don’t know if TSA served as consultant here.  I’ll call the gatekeepers MSA, and

they were pleasant .. .

 

as were merfolk.

From inside the gathering point, Ford’s Amphitheater, a human version of a hermit crab’s shell . . . some thrashed about,

others–although this may be a terrestrial wearing deepwater shoes– looked longfully out to the wet streets where they preferred to be,

some mimicked rain,

some imitated human material culture they’d seen around the sixth boro,

some rehearsed their music,

and others just showed the souvenirs they’d purchased during their annual shore leave.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  More to come tomorrow and Tuesday.  Click here for previous mermaid posts on tugster.

I’d be interested in hearing from the Netherlands where the Coney Island event has spawned a Dutch version, called Zeemeerminnen parade . . .

 

In case you’re wondering if this blog has gone adrift . . . I’ll just plead solstice-ogling syndrome.  Why stay on course when a grape popsicle 1949 Mercury oozes by like this, and it’s tickling your tastebuds and it’s

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for sale, although I did not ask any particulars.

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Only at the mermaid parade could you get a photo like this, although the photographer here might

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be photographing the Chevy here with a right angle spy lens.  Or maybe she was putting me in the frame?

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Rattus rod!

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I’d let this guy park for free.

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Mesa sunrise on this mid-1950s Lincoln?

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And finally, seeing this old Ford made me remember this unit from

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way south Coney Island Caribbean.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has now recalled that although Coney Island is surrounded (mostly) by the sixth boro, it is still part of Brooklyn.

 

Most paraders don outlandish costumes, like this one . . . how could there be a chicken-of-the-sea

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named Lady Gaga.

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And these next two photos MIGHT puzzle you . . . since the woman in black shorts and boots seems to command a lot of attention even though she is not particularly be-costumed.

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Lots of attention and with a weird parasol.

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Besides music and dance, I enjoy the costumes–however over-the-top or under-the-bottom– they may be.  Even librarians dress up and carry conventional parasols, as

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do museum folk.

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And it’s fun, except for the man in blue shirt blocking half the street and bombing lots of my photos;  I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that just loutish.  His press pass can’t license him to photobomb that shamelessly, can it?  Maybe someone with a press pass can weigh in on protocols for photographers at events like this?

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Sometimes paraders break out of the procession and pose with the kids at the parade.  I like that.

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If you haven’t seen the 1979 movie called The Warriors, here’s a reference to that.  I like that movie now because it depicts what parts of the city are said to have looked like 40 years ago.

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Well, start counting down the days until the 2017 parade and make plans to be there.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.  If you didn’t recognize the woman in the black shorts near the top of this post, here’s the story.

Meanwhile, here’s my second shorter recording of Gypsyfunk Squad.  Here was the first one.

Soon after this shot, the queen of hearts and troupe danced for the judges with this on a loud sound box.  That makes for a good day, even though I can’t remember Alice, a rabbit, or the dormouse.  But that’s one of the things I love about the parade . . . good music and dancing.

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After then parade, Gypsy Funk Squad played on . . .  Here’s my phone-recorded sample of King Jack Neptune playing the oud, with a mermaid queen, percussion and dancers.  Hear more oud–related to the lute–here.

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Of course, Dick D. Zigun, honorific mayor of Coney Island,  always leads off the parade with his drum and band.

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I’ve never seen this sort of Mexican dancer in the parade, but they surely raised the bar for quality.

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And of course, mermaids can make politics much more palatable than most politicians or media marketeers.

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But mostly, it’s exuberant music and ecstatic dancing.

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How many starfish have you seen trumpeting?

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And high octane drumming overcomes stasis.

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Enjoy the photos, the solstice, and the strawberry moon.

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mermbrass

 

end

Click here for mermaid parade years and here for annual solstice mermaid migration years.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who WAS a judge!

 

Deer do it.  So do . . . whales, dragonflies, eels, and more .  But the annual mermaid migration, I find,  is as magical to me as it is to the young girl watching for the first time, taking photos, and one of the princesses of the sea came over and blew some sparkles all around.

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When the mermaids migrate in, they bring entourages of music,

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like samba, and

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loud marching bands and

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shrillest of pipes.

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I noticed that the troubled vessel Grey Shark left town during the parade;  I turned and looked out at the drizzly sea behind me, but preferred to take a closeup of the dogfish that stuck around.

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The mermaids feted some old-timers like daddy-oh!

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They brought in some commercial land folk with adaptations.

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They even engaged in some unexpected commerce.

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They commandeered a “fruits of the sea” sacrifice bearer.

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Of course, there were some humans who felt they needed to “administer” the  event, BUT

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otherwise, the sea creatures just emerged, checked their makeup, and

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and exuded their legendary grace

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and cheeriness.

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much to the delight of all the photographers or just admirers.

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They stayed the day, rainy as it was, before taking flight until the next time.

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I’ve missed only twice in the past decade:  here are posts from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010  . . . and you can find more just by scrolling way down to the archives  . . . lower left and searching June each year around the 21st.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

About lobster migrations, click here.

And about animals in parades, the NYTimes this morning had this great story on a swimming/patrolling beast from its Brazilian bureau chief  . . .

 

 

 

It can only be midsummer for a few long days.  Store up on the color, frivolity, music, and laughter the mermaids bring ashore for the rest of the year.  When they come through the intersection and turn down Surf Avenue, everyone stops to watch them pass.

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And then, the hoop stops spinning and drops.  Tails and scales return and mermaids hurry back to their occupations beneath the waves, leaving us to return to our pursuits.  The moon wanes, as the music fades, replaced by raucous horns of frustrated drivers stuck in traffic.  Days shorten.  Temperatures oppress.  And we have only memories of this to get us through another year.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

And if you think this is an NYC-unique event, check out the zeemeerminnen.

This is the work and play post . . . the real connection is that although we all have to work, an important secret is to enjoy what you do.    Imagine this enthusiasm in a  co-worker or yourself on Monday morning, whether you’re struggling to finish a group report or

like the Villiersdorp farmers and ALE and their associates moving Alwyn Vintcent on 80 functioning wheels–at least– around Table Mountain.

If you don’t enjoy it . ..  or relish the challenge and execution,

you won’t even start the job.

This is the only way to get through obstacles that stop your progress . . .   Revel in the task  . . . like

the folks at NYS Marine Highway, now shipping corn–yes–corn–out of Ontario and into the Erie Canal.    How long has it been that agricultural commodities have been shipped on the Erie Canal . . . how long have people talked about shipping same on that waterway that revolutionized NYC . . .  or international shipping entering the Erie Canal, but Margot (over a half century young) and its crew

is actually-as we speak–

doing it!  Bravo to the folks at NYS Marine Highway.   Click here for lots more fotos of Margot.

Sun dancing is great, but the spirit that drives the dancers also animates folks

who dance with ships and lines and

get one task done safely and then move to the next and the next.

So whatever you do, whatever I do . . .

I know that if I can do it in a way that gets me satifaction and pleasure,

the better.

South African fotos come compliments of Colin Syndercombe;  the Oswego/Erie Canal fotos,   . . . Allan and Sally of  Sally W  and all the others by Will Van Dorp.

Related:  Here’s another ALE job.

Unrelated:  The longest marathon swim starts tomorrow morning over 100 miles up the Hudson.

The other side of the boro . . . the strand on Coney Island, sees a visitation of finnyfolk, who briefly leave the water for this sun festival.  Enjoy this field guide to western North Atlantic merpeople.  These came  in a replica of Nefertiti’s royal barge.

These seemed influenced by both 1960s popular music and bowsprite’s logo, and

these . . .  by abandoned rowboats . . .  .

Bubbles emanate . . . maybe from lungs not yet fully functioning.

The appearance of merpopulations triggers camerafolk, some of whom work alone with archaic gear, and

others that swarm, especially as mermaids apply their version of  . . .  cosmetics?

Lest anyone appear a threat, they bring in formidable security.

But otherwise, they just love to dance the

sun dance to their

own musicians who work with strings and wind and

percussion.

Some have ideas about politics and

activism;  others

gloom-and-doom-ify.

Some mermaids, residing underwater as do hulls of boats, like boats need a haircut and a shave.

Some experience low-oxygen shock in the Coney summer air, as

they dance and

dance and take a break only for

recording it all for posterity.

And posterity surely should remember the color

and line.

Happy sun dance day.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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