When I woke up on Saturday morning, I knew it was going to be a great day. Honestly, I’m not sure the weather could have been any better to celebrate the first day of summer and one of my favorite days of the year in Brooklyn – the Mermaid Parade! On the subway trip out to Coney Island, I think I figured out that this weekend marked the ninth consecutive year I’ve made the trip out, and I definitely have never seen better weather. It was a GORGEOUS day for mermaids!
It was super fun to meet up with Barry and Gisele pre-parade for the parade line-up festivities. I’m still in the process of developing my film, but in the meantime – check out these awesome shots from this weekend!
Untitled, by mkc609:
Untitled, by Scott Dolan:
Mermaid Beauties, by Joe Alfano:
Uncle Sam, by Dr Pavloff:
Mermaid Parade 2014, by Joe Alfano:
Were you there? What was your favorite float or costume?? Mine was TOTALLY the ‘I’m no enemy of no sea anemone’ pun. Total sucker for a good wordplay. Okay, and the Dick Zigun group. That was hilarious.
Tomorrow marks the first day of summertime, and BOY am I ready — I’m a summer baby through and through. After a heavy travel schedule the last few weeks, I’m looking forward to playing in Brooklyn this weekend and there are some very cool things happening around town. First up, if you haven’t heard, they’re in the process of tearing down the iconic KENTILE FLOORS sign in Gowanus. Sad.
As one last hurrah, the folks from Vanderbilt Republic are hosting an after-dark light show tonight at 9th Street/2nd Avenue. My Hasselblad is already packed and I’m gonna try to hold it together tonight. Actually, they did a similar light show a little over a month ago and Barry Yanowitz was there to document it. Check out this beautiful video he made:
And then TOMORROW, the annual Mermaid Parade is back! The parade officially starts at 1pm, but the line-up (and ensuing photographer frenzy) will start at 10:30am on West 21st Street. They’ve increased the entrance fee to the staging area this year to a semi-outrageous $20 – wasn’t it just $5/camera last year?!
Anyway, I am hoping to make it out there in the morning because I love all the heart that goes into the parade. It wouldn’t be summer in Brooklyn without it! For photos from past years, check out this tag or over on the Flickr group. Hope to see you there!
Most stereotypes of the Mermaid Parade are heavy on the gawking and light on clothing. And while it’s no secret that you can expect to see a whole lot of boobage every year at the parade, I have some serious admiration for those who dare to venture to the dark side. As with the hugely-creative mermen, I must pay my respects to all those who who bring the imaginative, the dangerous, the post-apocalyptic, the goth, and the death-defying feats every year to Coney Island.
Some of my most favorite costumes this year fell into this camp, including the group of brave souls who hauled heavy Blade Runner-esque android junk the entire length of the parade. The sharks were hugely memorable, too — what make-up artistry and attitude! Check out some wonderful shots below of the Mermaid Parade’s mysterious underworld.
“Bite,” by Travis Keyes:
Untitled, by Stan Raffes and “#132 on Surf Ave,” by Pat Merino:
“Vampire Pirate,” by Scott Lynch:
“Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2012,” by Scott Lynch and Untitled, by Taras Hnatyshyn:
“Shark,” by Scott Lynch:
“Slither,” by Travis Keyes and Untitled by Rob Feiner:
Untitled, by Taras Hnatyshyn:
“Sea Zombie,” by Travis Keyes and Untitled, by Oscar Rivera:
It’s not coincidental that the men of the Mermaid Parade get overlooked every year. There are
no pole-dancing dudes (correction: according to Paul in the comments, there were!), no scandalous body-painted Greek god specimens for photographers to swarm and obsess over. Sure, some guys proudly wear pasties or cross-dress to much success. They bust out the big guns and tote barbells, haul post-apocalyptic space trash down the parade route, and scare the living daylights out of kids on the boardwalk. But they just don’t get the same treatment as their scantily-clad counterparts, and that has got to change.
Every year I am so impressed by the creativity of the mer-men. This year, let’s hear it for the boys!
Untitled, by Oscar Rivera:
Untitled portraits, by Silvia Saponaro:
“Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2012,” by Vivienne Gucwa:
“Mermaid Parade,” by Mika Sato and Untitled by Rob Feiner:
Untitled, by Mike Ratliff:
Untitled Portraits, by Oscar Rivera:
“Smoking Crab,” by Travis Keyes:
“Mermaid Parade 2012,” by Paul Ker:
“Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2012,” by Scott Lynch:
Mermaid Parade portraits, by Joe Alfano: