Chinese New Year – New York City. Venerable Chinatown is located in a warren of narrow winding streets. The parade will meander thru crowds held back by metal barriers. Claustrophobic! Indeed! Colorful! For sure! It’s a spectacle. No Macy’s sponsorship it is a local event. Out in the hinterland of Flushing Queens there is a similar parade along Union Street, a wide venue lacking the charm and character of downtown Chinatown.
The last time we attended a parade was in 2016 in Rehoboth. I used to attend the mega NYC parade. They painted naked women in body paint just before the parade started. No, I have none (naked women) to show you. The parade was about what you would expect. Who knew what the future would portend. Yeah! That was a nightmare. But, like all bad dreams, it ended. Bye Don. Hmmmm… and that I watched the parade in the town where your successor lives. It’s funny how things can circle around to bite you in the ass. Maagritte had it right – surreal!
We don’t. We don’t July 4th. Not much anymore. I have mixed feeling, since living in Saudi and having gone thru the Trump years. For us the flag is now associated with the conservative “big lie” Republicans. Sure enough, we ran into a bunch in our conservative town on this day back years ago. Frankly, it’s sickening. Rah rah. Democracy is demonized and the flag never felt more like the connotation of “love it or leave it.” I don’t feel much like a part of that “gang.” When did America stop opening its arms to the “tired, poor, and huddled masses? It’s just so hard to cling to any hope. Colleen is an optimist. She will never give up believing in “good.” I will do so because she is my hope.
The population of Bethany Beach is listed at under 2000 closer to 1000 than nearer. Do you think about everyone in town was in this 4th of July parade? I was told that this massive crowd was marching in support of the republican US senate candidate. I don’t believe it. But I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong. I just don’t choose to believe my eyes that I had just photographed a group of republicans. I’m amazed my camera didn’t break. Ha! Not everyone is a republican in these pics.
Years(decades) have gone by since I took these slides. Perspective. So many choices. So little time. Huh? You got all the time you want. Take as many images as you want. Wide, tele, vertical, horizontal… you can’t even complain you don’t know what you have because the review button is right at hand. Why do I have so many duds? And why am I surprised by my success? I could excuse my lack of ability when I shot slides. I shot. I developed months later. I reviewed. I regretted the shot that got away. Now? Well, the cats don’t pose. So, I either get it or I don’t. Life and time is one way. There are scarce if ever do overs. I have a few pictures that I missed. I just try to keep it fewer. The regret is that I see things and am not technically able to get the image. And I am still surprised by some of the images I capture. I admit that the first 30 years was 100k slides. The past decade is more than 350k. I’m not bragging. I’m amazed that cost and ease has diminished so that I can get many more misses without more guilt. Ha ha, look at the sailors on the yardarms. They do look like they are posing in a circus high wire act. You saw that, right? Or, in this parade everyone stands still while you pass by.
Once upon a time I was there and here is the picture to prove it. A twinkle in time… but, back about 20 years ago… 1998, July 4th. The parade in Southampton was graced by Senator D’Amato. He was an unabashed Republican in a blue state, New York. He brought home the pork! He was proud of it! And he never ever let anyone forget what he did for NY. Three terms! He got re-elected twice! NY has not elected another Republican senator since (2000).
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill
Senator Carper attributed the quote to Truman. Not exactly so. Truman made similar reference to the original by George Santayama (1905), “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
“All politics is local” is attributed to former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tip O’Neill.
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln
Famously attributed but not exactly confirmed. Maybe he (Lincoln) never said it? The Republican party of Lincoln is now the Democratic party of today. Watch what the conservatives say. They like to twist things to and fro. Like any magic trick, watch what the other hand is doing.
These days politics is like that. Maybe, maybe not. We don’t have far to look back and realize that D’Amato was a Republican in a Democratic land. And he was re-elected using a narrow platform. Give ’em what they want. A whole lot of Democrats drank the cool-aide more than once.
Senator Carper asked us to march in a 4th of July parade with him. Yes, US Senator as in Congress of the United States. Don’t ask. It’s a story. We showed up. No one else but the five of us. And only four of us were qualified to vote for him in November. We stood. He stood us up. He was late to his own parade. The town did not wait for him. And his rival (Republicans one and all) turned out followed by hundreds of local supporters. I did not/was not allowed to speak with any one of them. I think there were some of the same guys from before the presidential election. I dearly wanted to insult them again. No dice. The women looked just as hard hearted. #Me too! But I was stunned at the crowd who marched proudly Republican down the street. I did not get it. As in, I didn’t know they were Republican supporters. Egad!!
And then while I melted under a tree, there was a guy across the street handing out free ice cream. For sure! Really! And peruse the sign at the top of the machine. … not if it were the last ice cream place on earth…. Carper didn’t get there in time. We were hot and weren’t gonna wait. He was attending four parades. This was his second. He was gonna be alone. We’ll vote for him in November because the alternative is way worse. For today I saw the Republicans out in force. I cringed. I did not call out. I will live to vote another day.
Among the observers on the sideline were these too kids. Aren’t homonyms confusing? It certainly is a confusing time for many. We keep talking about the future. What will it be like for our children and our grandchildren? Can you think that far down the road? Well, here in this picture is the now and they are the future. Go with it as you will. They are watching.
Not everyone agrees. I suppose this was the opposition feeling when Obama was President. I never cared much for “W.” But on this I am certain. A lot of people marched on the day after the inauguration of DT. They’d have done it sooner but it was banned on inauguration day. We didn’t go to Washington. (Traffic) I’d have gone but was vetoed. It was peaceful. No arrests. No violence. Millions! I saw a small part of it. I’m glad to have been there.
It’s a crisp fall day, almost Halloween, and I’m reminded that the days are shorter. I don’t go to the beach fully dressed but the evening before had been a cold 41 degrees. Sometimes it feels a lot colder than the temperature on the thermometer. Wrong. I was too hot in my North Face ski parka. In fact, I was way overdressed. Maybe I’m old? We were on our way to the parade. And outside the toy store this guy was enticing anyone with small children to enter the store. Nope, we were on a mission to the parade.
Blow yourself up. Not literally. Recent years have had an explosion of yard balloons that inflate and decorate your lawn. Purpose? …dunno. Now you can be the first on your block to blow yourself up. Yeah!
Finally! Someone with cleverness and wit, it’s not a prerequisite of the parade. But I get it. Brilliant! Yes, there were a few Harry Potters too. But Magritte? Great!
Lame. Floats, commercials, advertisements, it ain’t a Macy’s day Thanksgiving parade. Then again there was not too much helium involved. Who thought of this? It’s funky tacky. Sorry, that’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ with it. I’ve been to too many parades and seen too much stuff. There’s not too much artistry in a store bought balloon. Boring!
Cute. I think there was a dog show later after the parade. Dogs were everywhere along the parade route and in the parade. When you see horses at the parade in NYC there are official NYC sanitation workers who walk behind to clean up. They always get a round of applause. Do people at the parade pick up? Do they pick up on the beach? Ah! See? On the King Charles spaniel, there’s a plastic holder for dog poop bags. Clever. How about horses on the beach, do they have scoopers there?
There was (ww) exactly two political statements. The first I got immediately and it was good. The kid was good. And it was clear he was making a joke out of things. The crowd is democratic. But he will survive to march another day.
The other was not so obvious. And my blood pressure spiked until I noticed Hillary was beside Donald. Not only is her ass fat but she has hairy legs. I bet you didn’t know that either. So that’s it. The best satirical opportunity and only two – count ‘em –demonstrations.
Yep, it’s a pretty tame area. Bad hombre? Try (Arnold), “I’ll be bach.”
They had to explain this one to me. Then it was obvious. This couple was encouraging people to recycle! Get it? I didn’t and she was holding up her bodice. I thought she was hiding something provocative. Not! She was just wandering aimlessly up the parade route. I had civic messages delivered while I watch. Too funny.
Another year I might have been at the famous – world famous – Village (NYC) Halloween parade. It’s for grown-ups as in it is humorous and elaborate and pretty R rated. Political satire and recent events are the inspiration. You’d have had a ton of Hillary Trump satire. Really!? Nope, this is family and for kids. It’s not NYC. The folks are friendly and not particularly fiendish. Go for cute. It’s called the Sea Witch festival and it brings in a ton of revenue to the local economy. The parade is big enough to attract live TV coverage. A helicopter hovered overhead. It was commercialized with every local radio station parading in vans with logos plastered along the sides. Yes, local business is supportive and heavily represented. In the end it’s about the kids. Right?
I only saw this once. Apparently the police are not allowing such a display to occur again. That year there was vandalism to many shops along the avenue. Too bad. There was such enthusiasm and spirit. A woman asked to take a picture! Really! I pointed the camera at her. She put up her hand and rolled her window up. She wanted me to take a picture of her car. Some things remain the same!
Maybe everyone knew to come by social media alerts. But then again, I have never seen a gathering like this. Cars lined the avenue and just sat. No one cared about moving along. They sat – “ Car proud” – banners waving, costumed, enthusiastic.
They waved at me to take pictures as though I were a news journalist. And so I did. I got worried because one guy grabbed the camera from my hand and did a group shot. I’m trusting but wary. You never know about a crowd. But… it was all a happy day.
This young gal in gingham is a teacher who volunteers and helped organize the airshow. This much I remember. I regret not having spoken to her more. Sometimes you see someone and later wonder why or how their life turned out. It has happened to me on occasion.
The gingham dress is presumed period costuming. One of the bright ideas was to allow the audience to participate. So there were period costumes available and you got to parade for the rest of the crowd.
Back in 2011 I made my way downtown to the spot where the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade turns on 34th Street. There you get a view of the balloons. These helium filled giants are the stars of the parade. And it was still very crowded as lots of other people had the same idea. I was jostled but held my ground and got some very nice shots. Yes this is a special New York style Thanksgiving.
I’m not a great one to embrace change. Then again things change around me constantly. Our primary residence was sold recently. I have no known address nor a hardline phone. Well it’s not that extreme…. Following up on yesterday’s post, I wrote about my Nikon D200 camera. It was new at the time of yesterday’s image. And now I have upgraded to the Nikon D610. Images are posted here. Drat! A week later Nikon announced the D750. Last time around Nikon announced the D300 about a week after I got the D200. I mean, come on!! They just released the D610 didn’t they?. And I got a spiffy fast lens in the FX 24-70mm zoom. The first events were the Indian Powwow in Southampton and the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn. I wish I could say there was a standout image right away. But no, there were many images, too many to really say there is one quintessential image. Nowadays I use several cameras, all for different reasons. Point and shoot Canon G12 and S100 as well as iPhone images are mixed in. What I can say is that I shot eleven thousand images in the first month with the Nikon D610. New lens, new camera, I have been getting very nice shots and have certainly using the new equipment.
This image has Andrew Cuomo current governor of NY. At the time he was attorney general. And there is former governor Elliot Spitzer to the left. His political career is legend. His brother is a fellow neurosurgeon. And the blonde is Hilary, the one and only. Even politicians walk as group politically arranged. The then current Mayor Bloomberg walked in his own group elsewhere. This was the one Columbus Day parade I attended. What was striking was how this was staged. A crowd of people walked in the avenue to the left of the politicians here. They provided a background crowd. The cameras were to the right of the politicians. This meant that as they walked there was an enthusiastic crowd of placard waving supporters always present in their background. It makes me sorry to see how the media is manipulated to give false impressions.
Being based in the Middle East, the day almost got by me. When I traveled to the US recently, the Saudi movie censors put blurred spots on all the crosses in the cemetary scene in Sherlock Holmes. No other religious signs are permitted except traditional Muslim. So my last Easter Parade in NYC was back in 2012. To be honest it’s not a parade. They close off Fifth Avenue in front of St Patrick’s Cathedral and people mill around seeking attention. There are the traditional and the strange all mixed together. If you wear it, I will photograph it.
I studied the internet and got info on the venue and the parade route. I knew it would be crowded and rowdy. I arrived hours early by subway to scope out the venue and to pick a place to shoot. As I walked the empty parade route, I encountered these three young ladies. They immediately posed shyly and let me take a few images. I took many more shots that day, hundreds and hundreds. I managed to get into the middle of the parade route and walked along side the marchers getting intimately close. But after all that, this is one of the best images and memories of the day. Who knew it would be one of the first shots. … I could have gone home early…
It’s a big event in NYC. Everyone is Irish for a day, especially the politicians. I was at a Columbus Day parade a few years back and Hilary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo were marching with their own placard and flag-waving crowd in the background so the publicity shots would seem to show an enthusiastic and supportive crowd. It’s something the media ignores and makes me think that news is made up for TV. This year Mayor de Blasio will skip the parade because it discriminates against gays. I went for the color and the bagpipes. Politics and religion is for another discussion. No matter where you look, green is the color. I wasn’t wearing green and wasn’t marching for any cause except to see the spectacle.