The Mermaid Parade where I wore my costume, Part 1.

You remember that costume I made for Burning Man? The one that I sweated and toiled over for about a year? And then Burning Man was too dusty? And during Halloween we had a massive storm? Well, The Mermaid Parade came around this year and I finally, FINALLY got to rock my costume. And rock it I did. I got on the news, people! I got on the news, and not as an innocent bystander or a suspected burglar but for a positive thing! That’s not how I expected that to go at all. Okay, we’re gonna take it from the top.

Here’s the Wikipedia page on the Mermaid Parade, in case you are unfamiliar with what it is and how it is structured.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coney_Island_Mermaid_Parade

And here is a previous entry of mine when I was a spectator on the boardwalk.

http://design-newyork.com/blog/2010/06/22/mermaid-parade/

I went there with Nessa and since she wanted to march too I made her a costume as well. I put silver fish all over a dress, made a silver fish tiara, and with the remaining fabric I made a silver cape that said “Sardine Queen” on it in red sparkly letters. She look mahvelous.

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However, for the first time in maybe ever, I was the belle of the ball. As I approached the registration area, I was MOBBED by photographers like I was on a red carpet. All of them were saying things like, “Over here! Over here ma’am! Right here! Ma’am!” etc. And every time I walked about ten feet for the rest of the day, I got asked to have my photo taken. People were freaking out. It was gratifying because it was for something I had created. And confusing because I am unaccustomed to fame and the trappings therein. I’ve never had people gawk right at me like that.

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I felt like a Disney character. “Holy crap, there’s Donald Duck! Quick kids, go pose for a picture with Donald!”

Nessa and I got there early because the website said to get there early. We took a cab from her apartment in Astoria which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but I had already gone through the process of pinning my hat on, so I had to crouch in a weird position for the thirty-minute ride. Nessa thought that was charming and took a picture of me. I was less thrilled. Feel my joy.

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We got our wristbands and our number and lined up to go on out onto Surf Avenue. I didn’t get to see the parade because they had the participants corralled on a dead-end street. It’s a good system considering anyone can participate. The number they give you when you register is a three-digit number that starts with 1 through 9. I was 711, for example. Then there are giant posterboard numbers stuck all along the fence in increments – 500, 600, 700, and so on. I stood in the 700 section. A man with a loudspeaker kept us updated on when to march forward. That’s it. Super-easy. And everyone was really friendly in the 700 block. Here’s some of the people heading towards the registration area.

My lobster pal:

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The fish crossing guard (the other side of his sign said “swim!”)”

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This lady:

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This off-putting person:

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I don’t know what was going on with this guy. There was a group called “The Book of Mermen” (GET IT???) and this guy marched with them. What he or she has to do with either sea-dwellers or followers of Joseph Smith, I do not know.

Here’s one of the Mermen.

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And here is someone else’s photo of the leader of The Book of Mermen. Please note the narwhal hat.

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The twins (they were very nice and not creepy at all):

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And all these people:

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We walked past Nathan’s, which was packed to the gills. (Fish reference! Mermaid Parade! Hooray!)

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Next door, merfolk were snackin’ on foods and beers.

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I walked past a pile of glitter on the ground and said, “Oh look, a fairy barfed.” There were many fairy barfings around town.

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A float with angry drag queens on it:

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And this creeptacular bit of parenting.

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I don’t know if this person made this hermit crab costume or rented it. I don’t care. This is awesome.

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This was weird – this flatbed truck was covered with that plastic that mimics ice, and a kid was ice-skating on it. Ummm, she could fall off the edge, did no one think of that? Maybe some kind of bumper guard or fence for her?

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We walked past this sign. In case you can’t read the whole thing, it says, “The Greater Eternal Light Church of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. Christ Temple.” Your church’s name doesn’t need to have all the words ever in it. It is not a Google search.

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This guy had some kind of electric fan built into his helmet so bubbles just kept perpetually pouring out. It was delightful.

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This woman’s upper body is covered by body paint and glitter. That’s it.

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There were these people milling around the 700 block.

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There were a group of people rehearsing a dance number.

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There was this fella workin’ an American Flag Speedo and a necklace made of syringes. Because who the hell knows. You’re going to notice that trend, the “Wuh…Why?” reaction.

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Metrocard dress!

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This is Mr. Flamingo Hat talking to Loki from the Avengers with a crab claw staff. I really enjoyed typing that.

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All the Avengers were there with fishy paraphernalia stuck all over themselves.

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There was the Gotham Beard Alliance.

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I seriously believe the orange-haired girl is rockin’ a real beard. And I must say, she wears it well.

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A dress made of straws.

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There was “Wet Side Story”, Sharks vs. Nets.

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Sea Monkeys on unicycles!

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I made friends with this lady but between my antennae and her blowfish boobs, we could not embrace. We just stood adjacent to each other.

 

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There was this dog with blue feet who did not wish to be there.

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And these chihuahuas dressed as mermaids.

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A young girl on stilts!

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Oh dear. This guy. I’m undecided if he’s amazing or crazy.

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Here’s someone else’s picture.

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Tomorrow, we continue on this journey of New York’s wacky and wonderful art parade.

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