Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 Mermaid Parade

I try to go to New York at least once a year to see my nieces and this year, I was able to work in the Mermaid Parade.  Aaaactually, I kinda scheduled this trip around the Mermaid Parade since I have never been before and I will say - it's the BEST thing ever, besides NYC for Halloween (which I HIGHLY recommend).  But this trip was very special for another reason: I have done the most things I've ever done in NYC in the shortest amount of time.  Like, as soon as I got off the plane, we were off and running!  And it included my first ever karaoke experience (as a singer and not just a spectator).

First things first - let's talk about the Mermaid Parade. New Yorkers are so creative.  I mean, who thinks of a freaking Mermaid Parade?!  Brilliant!  It's quite the sight to see.  The costumes are original, people get all kinds of creative (including us!) and you never know who you might run into...

But because it's the Mermaid Parade, you have to watch out for the pervs taking advantage of photographing scantily clad women.  I get it - it's summer and hot and Mermaid-y but be aware of the pervs!  Okay - PSA over.

Speaking of photos, the parade is a great opportunity to capture a lot of creative New Yorkers.  Check out the Flickr Pool my step-sister started.  LOTS of great images and energy.  The people around us were giving us our own commentary - which was hilarious - and I feel like our spot on the fence we ended up getting was pretty good considering we left the house a little late.

After the parade, we made our way to the boardwalk.  I will admit, the first time I had ever been to Coney Island was about 4 years ago in August and it was the most depressing train ride and depressing time ever (for me, anyway) but I did get a hot dog from Nathan's (which I've been wanting to do) but still - it was kind of a sad trip, so I was kind of meh about the whole boardwalk experience...until we were up there, walking around the mermaids, pirates and costumed parade goers.  It was great!  We were running around taking photos of people we missed or didn't get a clear shot of, we ran into Sheryl Yvette (Bitch Cakes blog)

And dodged breaking glass.   Yes, New Yorkers are still feisty at the Mermaid Parade...

Aaaaaaanyways, the REAL party wasn't on the boarwalk though. Oh no. It was tucked away on a patch of asphalt where they usually have flea markets set up (apparently). The real party was the always entertaining dance circle that seems to happen in clubs (thought not so much anymore because people are too cool to dance). Yes, the dance circle. Most of the dancers within the circle were AMAZING. People were throwing it down and doing it hard - which made us think they were a bunch of kids going to school for dance.  Not surprising.  But it was inspiring.  As I recorded footage with my trusty Flip Cam (which really belongs to my Dad but I've held onto it the entire time), I spotted him.  He was like a shining light on the other side of the dance circle.  It was the one and only Benny Ninja.  You might know him from a little show called America's Next Top Model and you might know him as THE Vogue Master. I couldn't resist. We had to talk to him! Normally, I'm extremely star struck (as I was with Sheryl Yvette a few hours earlier) and I was afraid I was going to do / say something totally stupid but I didn't!  I actually didn't!  AND I have the photo to prove that I met Benny Ninja in all his fabulous glory!

I must say that both Sheryl Yvette and Benny Ninja were totally awesome about letting us take their photos. Actually, everyone was great about letting us take their photos! And I'm so glad we got amazing feedback for our own mermaid costumes! We were a little worried about leaving the house in such a small amount of clothing but it was totally worth it because we looked freaking amazing!

I hope to be able to experience the Mermaid Parade again soon. It was a really great time. If you all get a chance to go, DO IT!! It's awesome! If you can't make the parade, there's always Halloween!

Check out the Flickr Pool (and add stuff if you were there!) and I hope to have videos up very soon!

Love and kisses,