saturday was perfect for merpeople, rides, cyclones opening game @ mcu park + fireworks!
last year’s drizzle did not damper the parade and this year, with a high pushing 90, crowds were just as sticky + enthusiastic

fortunately i know a certain rooftop to be super breezy + viewed the marchers sweat-free

though i found last year‘s viewpoint to be equally exciting, crowds can be so intense on cement

many marching jellyfish publicly wished harm on bp + well for their inspiration in the gulf
and then i met these guys, and the day was complete.


the mermaid parade was saturday – and despite wet conditions, thousands came out to support the greatest + largest arts parade in the country.  dick zigun – founder + unofficial mayor – kicked off the event proudly banging his coney island drum

doing this for 26 years

doing this for 26 years

most costumes payed respect to under water life.  squid, fish, titans + even ariel were all in attendance.  there were also quite a few seemingly random marchers – those just interested in participating and lacking the gift of creativity in costume.

devoted photographer

devoted photographer

in addition to pirates and sea related ensembles, there was a fair bit of circus/freak themed get-ups. i especially enjoyed the zoltar costume – kindling eeriness from the movie, big.

zoltar in back

zoltar in back

zigun began the parade in the early 80’s to pay homage to the mardi gras of coney island’s past (1903-1954). he wanted to respect this tradition with a mix of the village halloween parade for a true nyc arts experience.  floats toss metallic beads and recent pop-up local, ringling bros. handed out red plastic noses to promote nearby boom-a-ring circus

bag of nose

bag of honkers

other local darling, the ny aquarium, rode in with a giant fish balloon – ten points for naming what type of oceanic creature this is based off of:



the parade began along surf avenue, focusing mostly on the large floats and antique cars – dancers also marched along this path, but they had access to the boardwalk and beach.  because of this, surf ave really highlighted the fire breathing cars like this oldie with teacup yorkie

hoochie mama


with weather as it was – i can’t even imagine the crowds that may have arrived had the sun shined all day.

saturday june 20th 2009

saturday june 20th 2009

what was clear, was that the onlookers were grouchy with their umbrellas + marchers were happy as can be – afterall, merpeople live underwater

feathered underwater ?

subaqueous feathers?

clearly not just a coney island, but a new york staple – the mermaid parade was successful, artsy, beautiful, exhilarating and just plain fun.  can’t wait for next year!

surf ave

surf ave

left my computer charger 2 hours away FML but turning this into a positive. will spend today working on a mermaid parade costume! let me know if you have any brilliant ideas or suggestions.  so far the only things i have considered are using translucent green/yellow/blue shiny cellophane wrap and aluminum foil. this is way better than halloweeen. ❤

first and second and awesome:

from a very unofficial new york mets fan site

from a very unofficial new york mets fan site

(1) the brooklyn cyclones <mets affiliate> opening game is this friday, june 19 @7pm.   up against the staten island yankees, this evening is bound to be a fantastic time.  best part of the cyclones’ site is first FAQ: I live in the area. Can I try out for the Cyclones? interesting concept: location playing a role in drafting athletes

another entertaining cyclones bit from wiki:

In 2006, the team introduced a new unnamed mascot: a blow-up “ZOOperstars” type pelican. Despite a contest to name the character, it was never given an official name. Fans were not entertained by the pelican which has not made an appearance since the 2006 season.

suppose we’re left with sandy the seagull and pee-wee

(2) friday also marks the official kick-off to fireworks season in coney island. ka-pow!
<fireworks can be purchased just across the NJ/PA border>

(3) mermaid parade! 2pm saturday the 20th.
this is the nation’s largest art parade and one of new york’s finest spectacles.

from wiki:

from Jo Weldons flickr photostream

thnx Jo Weldon's flickr photostream

The parade pays homage to the tradition of the Coney Island Mardi Gras parades of the very early 20th century, when Coney Island was at its zenith as the primary amusement destination for the great majority of the inhabitants of New York City.
The Mermaid parade is well-known for extraordinary marine costumes, and for the occasional partial nudity. (This is not as surprising as it may sound, because it is legal in New York State for women to be topless in public, as long as this is not part of a business venture.) The parade is however very much a family event . . .

legal to be topless in public? can a lawyer comment please?

the coney island usa website boasts king neptune as harvey keitel + his queen mermaid daphna; also special appearances by the uptown string band from the philadelphia mummers parade + recording artists they might be giants on a float.  what i am looking forward to most of all is monster truck ‘blue thunder’ performing a parade prelude!

so come on down to coney island this weekend for mascots, tnt + pasties

via shadowclown flickr

via shadowclown flickr

last thursday, the kimmel center hosted the united states’ east coast premiere of The Andersen Project by robert lepage.  named for, based off of + inspired by hans christian andersen’s fairy tales: The Shadow + The Dryad, The Andersen Project begins with yves jacques as a young street artist creating a daguerreotype-esque image of andersen and defacing said photo.  jacques is the talented french-canadian actor representing lepage’s vision and enacting the one-man show brilliantly. beyond jacques’ performance and lepage’s script, the set design deserves explicit praise.  for a two hour show <no intermission> the transitions were seamless and elegant.  the large white screen was creatively integrated and built with a shelf so that jacques could stand within the motion and interact more gracefully.  jacques’ convincing depiction of each character was enhanced by the outstanding puppeteer responsible for evoking a chaotic dog from wire and leash alone.

also from shadowclowns flickr

also from shadowclown's flickr

the show not only danced with andersen’s themes but also touched upon lepage’s personal experiences in paris <perfect for the dryad> and delved into more intimate arenas exploring sexual identity, unfulfilled fantasy and thirst for recognition <which it seems both lepage and andersen shared>  one review writes:

“This is a production like a matrioshka doll; both character and themes are exposed by the delicate peeling of fine layers. Each small action and omission will come to have meaning; each betrayal, each lie, each Fall will claim its price in time. Even an apparent joke, such as the rope that features ridiculously in a solemn commentary in the museum that commemorates Denmark’s greatest national figure, turns out to have far more significance than any in the audience might have imagined.”

childhood favorite

childhood favorite

if i may make one very small critique it would be about the brief moments of spoken french with accompanying subtitles.  the english translation was displayed towards the ground and often hard <for me> to read.  if only i paid better attention in my 1/3 year of french in the 8th grade. <mrs. smith put me in the back of the room for cheating.  little did she realize that this actually encouraged the audacious behavior.  doh.> residual problem: i missed some jokes about the english and the french.

my first introduction to andersen was the snow queen. my mother’s favorite fairytale, it was a book i read often as a child and plan to return to in the coming week.  like le petit prince, i strongly suggest it for adults and youngster alike.  for serious.

the most popular tourist attraction in Denmark

the most popular tourist attraction in Denmark

for those unfamiliar with any of the andersen works listed, arguably his most famous piece – the little mermaid – was made popular, and named ariel, by disney.

several years ago, on a return flight from st.petersburg, russia, with a 7 hour layover in copenhagen, i took a quick boat tour through copenhagento to visit the famed little mermaid statue.  she gracefully transitions this performance review  into a sneak peak of this week’s coney tuesday: this coming saturday is the fabulous mermaid parade!  look out for more details tomorrow.  and also look out for lepage’s work in your town today.

i’m often greeted with ‘didn’t coney island close?’  to which there is no short answer. 
in fact,  the answer is a list.  behold the list of coney island attractions that will *definitely* be opened summer 009 (after eldorado ticket taker)



The Coney Island Sideshow, Coney Island Museum & Mermaid Parade (june 20th!)

The Cyclone Roller Coaster

The Coney Island History Project (exhibition center under the Cyclone on Surf Ave)

The Wonder Wheel and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

Eldorado Bumper Cars & Arcade

McCullough’s kiddie park (Bowery & 12th St)

Polar Express ride & 12th St Amusements

Coney Island Arcade & games (Bowery)

Lola Staar’s Boutique (new location in Stillwell Station)

Lola Staar’s Dreamland Roller Rink (Child’s Bldg on the Boardwalk)

Coney Island Beach Shop (Stillwell Ave behind Nathan’s plus new location in Stillwell station)

William’s Candies

Nathan’s & 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest

The Aquarium

Beach & Boardwalk

The Cyclones Baseball in Keyspan Park

Free Summer Concerts at Seaside Park

Surf and Turf Grill

Peggy O’Neill’s

various mom- and-pop businesses and lots more (we hope)…

thanks electricia for the amazingly thorough run-down.  now quit asking.