It’s Lent. Mardi Gras has been done big in New Orleans for many years. What I did not know is that much of the material from the costumes and floats are stored and repurposed. So there are elaborate figures, animals, masks and such that are store in large warehouses until such time as they are used or retooled. Hey, I’m glad they recycle. And they also hold parties there. It’s quite something to walk around among all the colorful work.
Well, I’ve been to the Village Halloween Parade in NYC for the past seven years. Not this year… I didn’t realize it had become a tradition for me. The first couple times I went as pure spectator without a clue as to what to do. Then one year I wandered into the staging area. The NYC police keep everyone out. But it’s hard to tell the participants from the organizers. It’s chaos and therein lies opportunity. By the good grace of the organizer, Jeanne Flemming, I have been granted a press pass in recent years. It finally made me legal to wander. One of the unique things that happens in the staging area is Andy Golub and his entourage who engage in body painting. He never fails to draw a crowd. Naked women tend to do that. His work goes by so quickly during the parade, that it’s hard to believe the fuss. It’s dark and I would guess that many of the parade audience never notice that the costumes are just paint. In the staging area, the entertainment is the prep work that goes into high gear hours before sunset. The latest: It turns out that 2012 Superstorm Sandy has caused the cancellation of this year’s parade. So it looks like i didn’t miss it after all. You can’t have a parade if no one can get there to march and there’s no one to watch.
There’s a lot to see during the Tall Ships parade up and down the Hudson River. This was back in 2000. After a while one large sailing vessel seems the same as the others. But here’s something different. That was special.
There’s a lot to see during the Tall Ships parade up and down the Hudson River. This was back in 2000. After a while one large sailing vessel seems the same as the others. But here’s something different. Not too many of the ships were positioning their crew on the yardarms. That was special.
The flagship of the Coast Guard sailing fleet is the Eagle. Maybe it’s their only sailing vessel. It’s a training ship. I like the clean graphical lines and the variety of its sails. It makes an appearance when the tall ship celebration converges in New York Harbor periodically. It’s one vessel I recognize instantly.
We’re stretching the concept of mermaid here. I guess in the spirit of things she has the idea and the looks to pull it off. There was really no dress code, just the theme of ‘Mermaid Parade.’ Really!
“Oh boy, oh boy, no one’s gonna believe this.” Get it on film. There’s a whole new culture nowadays of taking your own picture. I don’t know why folks didn’t do this before. My kids are experts at the technique. Here’s a group just plain having fun.
Ok, I have some gender issues here. They were dressed as mermaids and perhaps that’s where we leave the subject. I am reminded of the circus side show. It’s about the spectacle right. I still ask myself if I would ever dare go out looking like that. And remember mom always said, “Never go out without clean underwear on.” Well, somebody’s mother said it, right?
In spite of a cool spring, summer and the annual mermaid parade is not too far off. There is a certain order of things at parades in New York. Photographers show up early to catch their candid shots of the participants before the parade. The staging area is a frenzy. At the beginning there are many more photographers than participants. If you are canny, you show up early and make it into everyone’s photo collection. It also helps to have a good costume. This young mermaid was just tastefully covered enough to be noticed. Ok, she was fairly mobbed. I hope she was wearing sun tan lotion. Her fair complexion was about to be baked in the hot summer sun. Among the first to arrive she had everyone’s attention for a good long time.
On the subject of dragons, this is the year of the dragon. If you are born this year, it is auspiciously lucky. Then again, there is something nice to be said for every year in the Chinese zodiac. There is a fair amount of superstition associated with tradition. Some number sequences are unlucky. Red is a very good color. There are many other lucky things too numerous to mention. Dragons will help to cure whatever ails you. They give hope for a new beginning.
We were visiting Cusco, Peru. Purely by luck we happened upon a religious festival. I was in the thick of it. We were all wandering around separately and planned to meet in the early afternoon. So here I was on my own and face to face with a masked man. I have wondered but do not know the details of the costumes and the masks. There were many different groups dressed and marching. It wasn’t a parade. The groups converged upon the main square from different directions. It is quite an event. And, best of all, I had just wandered into it all. Unlike New York, I did not have to arrive hours early, jockey for position, or get chased from the route by police. How nice!
Yeah, it’s so. I wondered for a moment how that can be. Then again, I accept it and don’t really want to know how. He was part of group gathered on one of the cross streets to promote a show. It certainly looks interesting enough to make you wonder and ponder.
This headdress that I can scarcely call an Easter bonnet was larger than the woman herself. It had all manner of construction materials vaguely paying homage to the Easter theme. She had a large crowd around her as people gathered to photograph her from 360 degrees. Outrageous really works to draw attention. It got mine.
I guess I should know his name by now. He’s shown up at about every parade that I have attended. He was thrown off the parade route at the St Patrick’s parade. Some red headed very stern Irish parade official spoke to the cops and he was banished to the spectator side of the barriers. Otherwise he was in his element here at the Easter parade. Multiple outfit changes, his parrot, and even the little dog were with him. He had a crowd all around and reveled in the attention.
Here’s a new wrinkle. I have seen clowns dressed to sell balloon sculptures to kids. There were a group of South Americans all dressed up and face painted distinctly. There were spread apart over blocks but were thematically linked by their make up and appearance. Hmmm… an organized balloon making union.
Some people asked me about the rollerblade girl at the Chinese New Year parade. Yeah, I know she’s really a woman but I’m currently senior to everyone but my mother in law. She wasn’t protesting anything at the Chinese parade but here she’s part of the ‘Wall St’ protest. She attracted a crowd. No rolling, really walking in the skates as the crowd was too dense to roll anywhere. My preference is the close up. But some complained that you don’t see the ‘blades then. It’s an interesting idea and I’m adding her to my list of parade regulars at the parades.
Bunny ears and a parrot. It’s a great photo op. The ears make it Easter. There were plenty of people around to get a picture with the parrot. The bird was quite calm in the crowd. You see this sort of thing everywhere and in almost every country I have visited. The exploitation and animal rights part is the subject of another political discussion. I just took the photo op.
Ok, the only way to know was to listen to the language in their speech. Over the top by far, this pair was the most outrageous of the day for me. They parted the crowd as they walked 5th Avenue. People virtually surrounded them as they crowded round to have their picture taken with them. Why? In any case they were definite crowd pleasers.
These kids were overlooking the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. I waited to focus on the girl when her brother leaned in to add one more element of interest. Thanks kids and Happy Easter.
GE owns the building and is the GE is printed in gold gilded letters on the outside. I still call it Rockefeller Center. By the early afternoon you can see the crowd gathered around. The telephoto effect really brings the crowd in closer. I found out recently that my cousin I claustrophobic. It wasn’t really as bad as it looked.
I don’t know the era. I’m not a fashionista. But this small group made its way up 5th Avenue parting the crowd as it went. They were not stopping to pose for photos so I got this shot on the run. Auto focus is a beautiful invention. Wide angle and let fly. I got an isolation crop on the red head but this wider view was better for me.
In my mind Easter is embodied in this hat. It is retro and elegant. I am reminded of the stylish hats worn by the English or of the hats worn at the Kentucky Derby track. A winning style and most of all ‘stylish.’
A rabbit is behind her. Blue hair does it every time. No doubt you will attract more attention with a 6 foot rabbit. I recall that was a movie. But I digress. There is an Easter theme here. I just love faces in the crowd.
Stylish and elegant, a simple hat can make the difference. The play of light and shadow was so nice. She was accompanying an outrageous 6’5’’ transvestite in a tailored pink suit who called her his cousin. I couldn’t get how she was with him. But sometimes there are no answers to my questions.