I left Astoria Queens around 9 am. It took over 2 hours to get to Coney Island, but I had been misinformed about what time everything started, so I was still very early. On the way I lost my shirt (blew off the back of the bike) and in this West Indies neighborhood I was able to go shirtless into a gas station to get coffee and then into an outlet store where I bought 2 shirts for UNDER $4! Amazing! Anyway when I was almost there I noticed this mysterious street ---------------->

I was there early enough that I was able to just walk in to where the photographers were later having to pay to get in.

Wherein there were various Merpeople getting ready for the spectacle. I like getting places early.
I liked the shark kid. Saw him later on in the parade too. But WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE 2 ON THE RIGHT?? They disappeared and I never saw them again after the very beginning...
This guy built a pedal powered boatcycle. He hopes to make it amphibious. A boat-cycle...that would be perfect for Amsterdam wouldn't it?
Ruth and I caught each others' eye and started talking. When I mentioned I had never ridden on the Cyclone she insisted we go on together. I'll always remember her for popping my Cyclone cherry :) She rides every time she comes to Coney Island. She gave me a flyer for the party she went to after, but I ended up going somewhere else instead. I wonder if I will ever see her again.
Still plenty of mer-people around..and humans, and POLAR BEARS! oh my!
I went off in search of friends who had come to do a funeral for Topsy the elephant. Topsy was electricuted by Thomas Edison in an attempt to prove AC current was too dangerous to use. I did not find them. But I did find another pocket of people getting ready a few blocks away.
Then....the parade itself started! And I took altogether too many pictures. enjoy:
yes that's a pregnant mermaid full of roe!
I really liked these a lot
haaha shark bite!
I loved this very sea urchinlike costume. Great!
aww cute! This oven mitt crab was good for a laugh too. ha!
This Terry Gilliam inspired costume ROCKED!
The parade ended as quickly as it began. Actually it moved to the street, where I couldn't get close enough to get pictures, and joined the floats. I was babysitting a bicycle full of gear you see, and I didn't trust it out of my sight even for a minute. Next time I will probably ride in on the subway.
However one good thing about being on a bicyle was that I was able to chase down bicycling mermaids and snag some pictures before they escaped!
After the parade, plenty of mermaids (not to mention some pirates) remained to grace the boardwalk with their magical presence...*sigh*
and of course there were scads of mere Humans around. Since I had so many pictures of mermaids already I just had to involve puny humans, if only for balance.
Strangely enough, not til the very end did I happen upon anyone I knew.
I grabbed some last parting shots on 12th on the way out...
It took even longer to return. I discovered I had bounced a couple more things out of my basket, including my book map of all 5 boroughs! shit! I returned to Queens by way of mid town, hoping to catch some people who turned out to be asleep. I got back around 1:30 or 2, after a nice break atop the Queens bridge, drinking water in the summer breeze.

2002 Mermaid Parade
2007 Mermaid Parade