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. Life

    The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

    An Apartment List report reveals the cities apartment-hunters are targeting for their next move—and shows that tales of a California exodus may be overstated.

  2. photo: a pair of homes in Pittsburgh
    Equity

    The House Flippers of Pittsburgh Try a New Tactic

    As the city’s real estate market heats up, neighborhood groups say that cash investors use building code violations to encourage homeowners to sell.  

  3. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

  4. Life

    Can Toyota Turn Its Utopian Ideal Into a 'Real City'?

    The automaker-turned-mobility-company announced last week it wants to build a living, breathing urban laboratory from the ground up in Japan.

  5. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

×