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Mermaids are truly political, as you will see in the next few photos.  The partially obscured sign between the two large puppets says:  Manhattan, Next Atlantis.  Frightening!  Their intent to invade and annex coastal cities is nothing short of a land grab.  Would they reef buildings like those in the background?

Even advancing coral appeared this year, arriving with its own entourage, all looking quite healthy and diverse.

 

Some mermaids seem to have very terrestrial concerns, while others

just want to dance to the music, taking advantage of their single day of land-appendage exchange.

Other sea critters have rights on their minds . . .

like these surfsurfsurfragettes.

But mostly this parade is about music, marching, dancing, and welcoming the longest day the year, a leg stretching day.

These photos may capture the color but do not begin to suggest the volume.

Between the buildings, these drums are thunderous.

Green light, red light . . .  they just keep pouring through the intersection.  And remember yesterday’s tuba?  That tuba–like the trumpet–has found its tribe.

 

 

 

Pirates also come ashore, like this band made up of scalawags banned from every continent of dry ground.

A reporter wanting to interview a dancer . . . just has to dance.

 

 

 

We leave it here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is counting the days until the mermaids re-emerge from the deep for their next long day in the sun.

 

 

On the first full day of summer, a trumpet-toting parrot and a tuba-entwined starfish meet on Surf Avenue and 21st.  That can only mean one thing:  mermaids!!  You’d guess that maybe even if the title had been summer solstice at Coney Island.

The unlikely pair–a psittacine gigantus and a forcipulatida musicus– talk and then set off in search of their kin.

I stayed at my location, figuring it might be a portal between the worlds where other fanciful sights would materialize.  And sure enough . . . this wave-energized police car vintage 2910 glided past.

Predictably . . .  Dick “the mayor” Zigun showed to key to welcome all at the portal to his stretch of beach, but is this the first time he’s not beating a bass drum?

 

The parade is many things, but it’s as much music and marching and dancing as anything else.   And all, this is the best shot of Arlo, Coney Island native.  See him in the beach cart just to the left of the staff guy in pink?  Here’s a short song of his you might like.

Some mermaids hitch rides in motorized vehicles.

This amusement park ride–sometimes in the background of my Narrows photos, eg, here and scroll to third photo–is way beyond antique.

More parader pictures tomorrow, and for now I’m out enjoying the second whole day of summer 2019. Know the symbol below on the green flag?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose favorite year at the parade might be illustrated here and here.

Oh . . . the psittacine aka macaw found the trumpet section

 

In the first installment of this series, I mentioned photographers.

They/we do trip over each other trying for that perfect shot.  Imagine how many heads and elbows have intruded on my careful framings.

The need to protect electronic/optical gear from rain enforces unusual costumes, quickly ditched when precipitation stops.

The parade attracts automobiles as well as exhibitionists, and this photographer seems to have missed that lovely Chevy passing her by, unless

she was trying to capture this Mercury.

Cars aplenty and supporting causes, and even

tractors  . . . might serve as props for urban cinematic settings….

Finally, mermaids seem to be as opinionated as the rest of the population these days, some even

escorting aliens from far beyond the planet.

For next year, consider putting together a uniform with a friend, or even

bringing your place of employment to the streets of Coney.

By now, I’m looking for photos folks took during the 2018 parade.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

The parade–rain or shine–starts with music, specifically the bass drum played by founder Dick Zigun, accompanied by whatever ensemble pulled together.

But there’s so much more music.  Batala New York is among my favorites;  hear them here but turn volume way up to replicate how they sound on the street.

 

Gypsy Funk Squad is another favorite.  Hear them here.

And so many more groups whose names I never knew.

 

 

These dancers sponsored by a Mexican restaurant were fabulous.

 

Lots of groups . . .

 

. . some just marching, because that’s what you do in a parade.

Even the emergency services seem to enjoy

 

the duty. . .

rain or shine.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

I’m going to miss the mermaid parade this year.  And, yes,  I AM going to miss it.

But you don’t have to.  Click here for info to get started on your way.   It’s free, although you can choose to pay for access to the staging area where I took some of these photos.

This’ll be the second time I miss since I first went in 2004.   I go because of the mermaids, of course.  Mermaids tell me they often linger below the surface in boat photos I take.

Seriously, while making my way around the five boros and beyond, I see scenes that would make powerful images, but it might be creepy to intrude into strangers’ lives to get those shots.  In fact, I’m not really a people-photographer, yet the mermaid parade is all about posing.  Paraders want their photos taken.  Once a mermaid even asked to take MY photo, but some sort of electromagnetic pulse zapped her camera.

If you’re not from the greater sixth boro, the parade happens on Coney Island, now a barrier beach.  Some history of the esprit of the beach I alluded to in this post from 2010.

Hints of NYC’s diversity emerge along with the denizens of the deeps.

 

 

 

 

A body paint artist there seems to take inspiration from coloration on amphiprioninae.

 

 

There are even mermen, or in this case someone I know posing as a navigator about to be dragged off course and possibly to see Davy Jones by a siren.

A lot of families come to the parade; in this case, a friend’s daughter attracted the attention of a mermaid with magic powder.

 

 

Each year a king and queen are named . . . as is true for many of the parades that happen each year in the boros, and

this royalty needs to be there before the marchers step off.

As I said, I’ll miss it this year, which has prompted me to have another glance at my photos of past years.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

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.

 

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.  See more Fogo AzulNYC here.

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 . . .

 

aka Names 34

What??

Xena, Lady Tara, one of exactly three barges squired in by Foxy3,

Denise A. Bouchard, 

Silver Cindy,

Elbabe . . . El Babe? . .. with Bruce A. minding to port,

Turecamo Girls, and I’ll bet more than just one British Sailor or sailor of any of the seafaring nationalities . . .

along with a high voltage shore connection . . .?!@#!    That can mean only one thing…  there might be a Debbie around soon too . . .

See tomorrow’s post, for which the photos have not even been taken yet, but it’s June fishing time.  All photos taken in the past week by Will Van Dorp.  Here’s a previous Xena reference on tugster.

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

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named Lady Gaga.

ckiksea

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.

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