This year’s Mermaid Parade was bigger than ever, possibly because this Coney Island institution featured iconic New York musicians Lou Reed as King Neptune and his wife, Laurie Anderson, as Queen Mermaid.
The sidewalks, fire escapes and rooftops were packed with viewers as hundreds, perhaps thousands of marchers, strollers and riders paraded along Surf Avenue. When they reached the police barriers at Astroland, they turned and began the parade again, this time passing through a long, narrow barricaded strip of the Boardwalk.
While the nautically-themed costumes were as clever, colorful and outrageous as ever, some of the participants opted to give their looks topical twists. These included not-so-subtle references to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (mermaids smeared with black paint, pasties shaped like oil wells) and sly nods to this summer’s vampire craze (mermaids with fangs and bloody neck wounds).
But whether they are classic or trendy, flashy or subtle, one thing is certain at this parade: everybody loves a mermaid.