Monday, June 25, 2007

Mermaid parade!

Hold on to your sequins, tassels, and tissue paper…it is PARADE TIME! Sofar, the city is batting 0-3 for good parades. The most interesting part in all of the previous parades I have attended (Macy’s, St. Patrick’s, Puerto Rican) have been the eclectic crowd. This past weekend held two of the most spectacular parades I have ever seen! Due to the quantity of pictures (yes it was that good), I have to split the post into two.

Saturday morning I drug myself out of bed to hop on the hour long train ride down to Coney Island. Lets just say Friday night was a rough night. Anyway, I figured if I was going to sleep, I may as well get a tan at the same time. Right off the train station is the famous Nathan’s eatery. You may have heard of the place from the ESPN 4th of July hot dog eating contest (FYI, a group of us are already planning to watch the contest in person…so look for the blog post to come). I indulged in the classic Coney Island combo of hot dog, fries, and lemonade. Granted everything greasy tastes good when you are severely hung-over, but I would give this place only 4 out of 10 stars (I had maybe three fries before chucking the thing). Oh well, check yet another item off of my “while in NYC” list.

Now I have previously lamented about how much I miss the Chicago beach, so imagine my utter joy at seeing the expansive Atlantic coastal beach! The sand was fine and clean. The water was just cool enough and crystal clear (not kidding I went out to 6 feet deep and could still see the bottom easily). The only draw back was the salt water. I was covered in salt sores from the dried water. Due to my SPF 30, I got a good deep tan all over except the back of my legs which got lobster red! I attribute it to the lotion rubbing off on the towel since I was often sitting up watching the surroundings (ie the mix of people also enjoying the beach). Have you ever burned the back of your legs (or more particularly, the back of the thighs)? It makes sitting hell unless you can replace your desk chair with a bicycle seat. Oh well, at least it gives me an excuse not to shave.

Around 2pm, I was joined by Bree, Ali, Rob, Dana, and Aubrey. We all were in the area to watch the annual Mermaid Parade which went down Coney Island’s main street before turning on to the boardwalk. Okay the mermaid parade is notoriously known for topless women! Basically all of the exhibitionists put on fake fish tail thongs, throw on some netting or sea shells in their hair, and strut around bare chested like the mermaids. Due to a 10 or 20 year old law in NYC, women have the right to walk around topless since men already have that freedom and otherwise it would be unfair. Just like the women’s locker room at the gym, the women walking around naked are never the ones with the good bodies. Well the same bodes for the parade. I have never seen so many swinging in the wind droopy boobs! At first, my group was excited to spot a topless woman (oh the novelty of it), but after five or six cringe inducing pairs were spotted, we all lost interest. And no, I did not take any pictures of the naughty bits because I can’t post it anyway (for fear they would close down my chronicle for lewdness). The gay men were also out in full force dressed as very dainty mermen. I guess it was a dry run for the pride parade taking place the next day.

The most scandalous float award goes to the lovely ladies at stripper USA! Actually it was a strip joint, but I was too busy watching the gyrating women to remember the name of the place. I am not a lezzy….trust me, what these women were doing would cause anyone to stare! Imagine three extremely buxom women (all soooo fake that their tits were pointing up!) in G-string bikinis. Okay, maybe not bikinis, more like dental floss. The small strip of material failing to cover their nipples was about the thick as my thumb. Well these ladies would bump, grind, swing, etc on top of the float and with each move, their naughty bits would pop out. The highlight was when one laid on her back on a raised platform and spread her legs WIDE! I could almost see up to her esophagus! Of course the very next float was full of children dressed as pirates. They were all gape mouthed pointing at the ho-riffic women. Well they were bound to get their sex education sooner or later.

After we had our fill of T&A, we headed off for a bite to eat. Amiee, my running friend, gushed about a great pizza place Totonnos. The joint was off the beaten path (ie in the shady part of Coney Island), so my friends thought I was taking them to some abandoned lot so I can mug them. Actually the boardwalk was crazy busy, so we were hoping this little known gem would not be crowded. Uh..wrong! The line was practically around the corner! The place had six tables and two people cooking up the pies. The line was at least 90 minutes to the door with an additional 30 for cook time. I tried to be savy and ask the pizza maker if we could place an order for carry out or delivery (just around the corner) in order to bypass the looooong line. I guess this was the one day out of the year they don’t take non-dine-in orders. Damn!

We headed back to the crowded boardwalk and hit up a grease shack. Now the shack did not have a line, just a mob of people standing in one place. You basically elbowed your way up to the register and shouted out your order. People were shoulder to shoulder and it was as tense as being the first in line at the airport ticket counter. Everyone was eyeing each other and jockeying for a position. After about 30 minutes, we pushed our way up to the front only to find out they were out of hot dogs, hamburgers, milkshake…basically they only had things you could fry left (fries, onion rings, corn dogs, milky pizza…wait you get the idea). Okay they better be damn good if we duked it out and paid their outrageous prices (my small onion rings and lemonade was $5). Uh….wrong again!

After the disappointing food, Rob, Dana, and Aubrey left for the comfort of the city. Ali, Bree, and I stuck around to see the side/freak-show. Ali actually wanted to frolic in the ocean, but he did not have a swimsuit. I guess some other people were in the same situation (or they had no idea that underwear is not a suitable swimming attire) because we saw plenty of guys in boxer or briefs. On rather round old man was wearing an enormous pair of red briefs (yes they really were briefs because Bree saw the fruit of the loom tag and everything). The funny thing is that he stuck his walkman in the convenient front pocket. Ah ha ha ha….oh my retinas are burning. Anyway, Ali just splashed around in his clothes in lieu of stripping down to his skivvies. Due to the hour and the effective power of the sun to drain you of all energy, we skipped the side-show and headed back to Manhattan. From the elevated train platform, we were able to see the parade was still going strong…four hours later! Rock on mermen, rock on.


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