Chinese New Year. It’s a cultural thing for me. I am by heritage but not by practice, Chinese. I have been far distanced even though I’m one generation from my immigrant parents from China. Maybe it’s because I lived in West Virginia too long. Recently, that is in recent years, I got interested in attending the various parades on New York City. My first was Columbus Day… color, politicians, pageantry. I was hooked. For some reason I’ve yet to go to the Macy’s parade and seriously shoot. One year we had freezing bleacher seats on the side of 34th Street away from the TV cameras. It was so close we could see the goose bumps on all the young underdressed majorettes. Chinatown in Manhattan and Flushing both have parades on separate weekends so there are plenty of photo ops. Dragons are huge! They ward off the evil spirits. And they are associated with loud drumming and lots of firecrackers. At least that’s my simple take. Dragons of all sizes and shapes are everywhere. Lately they show up at all gatherings including the Dragon boat festival. Duh?
It’s New Orleans. There is a warehouse that hosts events and at the national meeting in 2005, I saw the figures that are part of the Mardi Gras parades. Several days later I was able to board a ferry and took a tour. There were many items stored and reused or repurposed as the themes would change from year to year.