Reuters

Pictures from the annual Coney Island parade.

Coney Island has always had a flair for the old-fashioned, with its wooden roller coaster and parachute jump. The Mermaid Parade is no exception.

The event - dubbed "Brooklyn’s answer to Mardi Gras" by the New York Daily News - turned 30 this year. Parade-goers were just as salacious as ever, decked out in hand-made costumes (some of which consisted mostly of body paint) of mermaids and various other sea creatures. Floats of lighthouses and amusement rides (seriously! One of the FAQ questions on the parade's official website asks "I'm building a float that's a 1:1 model of the Parachute Jump.  Will I have clearance to march it on the street?") also abound.

Each year, a celebrity king and queen rule over the proceedings "cutting through Ribbons representing the seasons, and tossing fruit into the Atlantic to appease the Sea Gods," according to the parade website. Judges hand out prizes for the best outfits, and they are not above reproach. Again, according to the site:

Our Judges are paradigms of fine jurisprudence, and as such actively discourage all bribes. Having said that, in year's past there have been isolated incidences of bribery. And coincidentally it seems many of those proffering the best bribes seems to often go home with the top awards. And it is also a coincidence that many of those awards appear to be a bit greasy -- this clearly being a function of the culinary delights of Coney rather than some kind of metaphorical greasy palm.

Below, pictures of the parade by Reuters photographer Eric Thayer.







Postcard is our daily look at compelling photos from cities around the world. Have an idea for a future Postcard? Email aerickson@theatlantic.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    These Sneakers Are Your Free Transit Pass

    A new BVG-Adidas collaboration means unlimited travel along Berlin’s public transit network for the rest of 2018. That is if you can find a pair.

  2. Environment

    Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest

    The plan is for 50 million new trees to repopulate one of the least wooded parts of the country—and offer a natural escape from several cities in the north.

  3. Transportation

    On Paris Metro, Drug Abuse Reaches a Boiling Point

    The transit workers’ union says some stations on Line 12 are too dangerous to stop at. What will the city do?

  4. A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.
    Design

    The Granny Flats Are Coming

    A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

  5. People walk through a crosswalk.
    Equity

    Great Cities Enable You to Live Longer

    Dense, well-educated, immigrant-friendly cities boost longevity—especially for the low-income.