Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mermaid Parade 2008

For the second time this weekend, I hitched it to Brooklyn. On Saturday, I took the train all the way down to Coney Island to watch the annual "Mermaid Parade"

This parade is trashy, grungy, and one of a kind. I unreservedly recommend it. The Mermaid Parade is totally devoid of attitude and, seemingly, organization. But that's what makes it great--people just come for old fashioned fun, without any agenda. Well, unless you count the contingent of marchers carrying the sign: Mermaids Against Climate Change

Coney Island is one special place. It was the world's first amusement park, and the dream of its 1880's heydey was so intense that to this day Coney Island is fabled legend in the minds of most Americans. It is now derelict, but vibrant. Forgotten, but alive.

Yet not free from the forces of gentrification.

Astroland Park, the only remaining amusement park in Coney Island, was set to close this year after being bought by a development company fortuitously named THOR (bringing the condos!) It turns out, however, that Thor granted Astroland a one year reprieve, so I was thrilled to see the Mermaids in their fabulously downtrodden habitat for one final year.

From the Boardwalk of Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA:

The "marine antoinettes"...of course!

Then I crashed on sand. Love all the color and action on the iconic Coney Island beach (below):

Mermaids & Friends were still wandering the boardwalk when I returned:

For more on the magic that is Coney Island, visit the Coney Island History Project.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse. Thanks for the off-beat slide show. I know I wont see a green King Neptune (or MerKing?) on the evening news. I am still reeling over the news about George Carlin. Several years younger than me, I considered him the funniest person alive. We are losing them, one by one. Movienut

Jesse Archer said...

That is my sole purpose, to show you what they won't show you on the evening news! Long live the Merman!

Sad about George Carlin. One by one we all must go, I'm afraid.

In the meantime we can shine!