Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: coney island, gentrification, mermaid parade, rezoning, savitri d
[photos by Kurt Dietrich]
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pasties in my life. This was the first time I’d been -and with Coney Island continually being reslated for redevelopment, I’m glad I made it this year. Soon, there’ll probably be glitzy hotels, condos and malls in its place. The Mermaid Parade itself is an annual affair, flooding the place with mad kinds of mermaids, sea creatures and amusement park iconery every summer. Started in 1983, it’s apparently the largest art parade in the US. Free, faboulous, and above all, super-fun.
We got there towards the end of the parade, and spent some time wandering around the boardwalk before heading to the beach. The water – I think the Atlantic Ocean – was a little irresistable, despite being murky and probably near-miasmic with toxic sewage. It did make for an uncomfortable subway ride home. The paraders themselves were wickedly creative, the dancers wonderful and mostly ultraglam (we didn’t stay for the burlesque show afterwards). (Hopefully I can get to my own photos soon). Despite the deceptively- ripoff food and drink prices and the somewhat questionable ‘shoot the freak’ attraction, this was probably among the best days of this summer. Everything that New York was and/or should be? (if only in your head).
|One mermaid – this year’s Mermaid Queen at that – did however begin a hunger strike this year to protest the the city’s proposed gentrification and rezoning of the neighbourhood. She’s Savitri D, perhaps better known as the wife of anticonsumerist ‘minister’ Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping (who himself was this year’s Neptune King). Theres live updates via the Mermaid Cam.
Her hunger strike also looks to encourage people to head back to Coney Island this Tuesday for, and to testify at a public/community scoping meeting. If you’re in the city at all, there’s more details here.
[this photo by bluecinema]
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