pushing20

maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller

6.25.2005

Mermaids

Spent the day today at Coney Island with Nanno, CB, and Raj. Coney Island is hard to describe if you haven't been there-- it's completely unlike anywhere else in the world. You take the D train to the very last stop and all of a sudden you're on Mars or something. It's partly just a beachside carnival and boardwalk, but mostly it's this giant convergence of weird. It's creepy, funny, crowded, ubelievably old fashioned, decrepit and brand-new. Sometimes all at once.

For example: one of the carnival rides is called "Arctic Freeze" and is decorated with murals of polar bears. But between the polar bears are the giant heads of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. They're just hanging out in the background of this ride, with the polar bears.

And then there's the Cyclone, a septuagenarian of a roller coaster whose matchstick support system threatens to splinter any moment. It is a terrifying ride not because it is a particularly fierce roller coaster, as those things go, but because you can actually hear it creak. It is visually and audibly terrifying.

Coney Island is a place filled with New York history, which makes me love it that much more. The same place where the young working class at the turn of the last century first went to dance halls and wore swimsuits in the company of the opposite sex is where the average New Yorker hangs out now, crowding the beach until it's packed as solidly as my sock drawer. It's comforting, really.

In addition to the regular craziness of Coney Island, today was the Mermaid Parade. Now this is something they weren't doing in 1903, when co-ed dancing was risque. It's a huge celebration of, well, the wacky. People dress up as mermaids, fish, sailors---whatever, really. They dress up their dogs, their children, and their friends until the boardwalk is a sea of sequins.







It's insane.

Now I'm home, wasting Saturday night because I have to go in to work tomorrow morning. I'm wearing the loosest tank top I could find because the line right above the shirt I wore today is sunburned (twenty and I still can't put on sunscreen properly). I've got about fifty new freckles and a pound of cherries and a Harry Potter book to reread tonight. Summer, as Martha might say, is a good thing.

6 Comments:

  • At 6/25/2005 11:05 PM, Blogger dalton said…

    I love love love the Mermaid Parade. We went today too and had a great time. I put up a photo gallery on my site http://www.daltonrooney.com of all the great costumes and fishy people.

    Cheers,
    Dalton

     
  • At 6/26/2005 8:59 PM, Blogger Stacey said…

    Man, you would never, EVER see anything like that in the Bible Belt. What am I doing here?!? I love the baby's mermaid outfit ... disturbing, but cute at the same time.

     
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