the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade

I met Sarah from Sad and Beautiful World in Coney Island today for the Mermaid Parade.  We walked around in the extreme heat and took photos… and ate hot dogs.  I was a total dweeb because I wore a preppy, button-down shirt… to the beach.  I think I am turning into my father, who used to wear a suit and tie to a baseball game.   This time, I blame YOU.  You’re the ones who told me I should dress better in New York than Los Angeles.  I’m lucky I haven’t bought a Nehru jacket.  I would have fainted from a heat stroke.

But, for some reason, the girls at the beach, many who were wearing the shells for bikini tops lke Ariel from the Little Mermaid, seemed to dig the button-down shirt look I was wearing!  Perhaps it was better than the tight Speedos that some of the other men were wearing.   Brooklyn men are NOT shy.

Hi, Sarah!


  1. Fiesty Charlie

    What great fun!

    Thanks for sharing! I love looking at pictures from my blogger buddies.

  2. natalie

    i would love to go to a mermaid parade! seriously sounds so fun! i am going to have to visit new york when i get back to the states. the trip i took when i was 9 and the brief drive from jfk to laguardia a few years ago don’t count. i think new york would be a feast for the eyes…and my eyes are quite hungry for some good ol’ american fun!

  3. ingrid

    i have shell envy.

  4. better safe than sorry

    what a great idea for a parade. our big parade here is the pride parade, which draws freaks from everywhere. my fave photo (other than sarah of course) is the little boy eating the ice cream.

  5. Anonymous City Girl

    i read about this a couple of days ago and thought about going. i have never been to coney island.

    my faves are the 3 mermaids at the food stand and the one with the woman in the headscarf, awesome juxtaposition.

  6. Danny

    I’ve never been to Coney Island either but it still looks as kitschy and fun as it does in old newsreels. I’m amazed they’ve left it alone and haven’t turned it into a giant shopping theatre with a Banana Republic and an IMAX theatre. Do they still sell Nathan’s hot dogs there? Love the wooden boardwalk. And the mermaids (does that woman with the magenta hair really have tattooed breasts?).

  7. Memarie Lane

    Blue haired girl might make me reconsider my sexuality. I spent yesterday at the 10th Annual Albuquerque Folk Festival watching my 5yo son tear up the dance floor, offering his heart on a silver platter to any female that would dance with him. There weren’t any mermaids, but the Tahitian dancers, none of whom were Tahitian, were rather scantily clad.

  8. V-Grrrl

    Blue Haired Girl makes me hate the fact that I am Blue Veined Girl. When did I get to be so old?

    And the photo of the HOTDOG and SAUSAGE and CLAM stand with the long ROCKET on top and tall red-tipped ride in the background? Send that to Brenda before you talk this week.

    P.S. OK, maybe the buttondown wasn’t right for the beach, but I still love buttondowns. : )

  9. Neil

    Memarie Lane — any photos?

    V-Grrrl — You’re never too old for the blue hair wig.

  10. kenju

    I’ve never been there either, even though mr. kenju is a native NY’er. My dad helped build the original boardwalk there, back before I was born.

  11. Sarah

    It was great to finally meet you, Neil! And you got some fabulous shots here…I have about 100 to go through so I’ll be uploading them for a while. I like to go slowwww rather than upload them all at once. 😉

  12. AnnieH

    A noble and worthy pilgramage. Now your life has become complete and you can stop going to therapy.

  13. Stacey

    Some of us East Coasters look a bit pale.
    (Like I should talk.)

  14. Lady Jaye

    That looks like SO much fun! I wish we had cool stuff like that here.

  15. Shelli

    That looks like it was a lot of fun. Besides, gotta love Sarah!

  16. anymommy

    Very fun. I love the shot of the three mermaids at the food stand too. Ya just don’t see that kind of thing here on the solid, Republican, Eastern side of WA state.

  17. Leesa

    I want that blue wig. Cool photos 🙂

  18. Memarie Lane

    Neil- I couldn’t find my memory card, so I was afraid to take very many pictures. And the ones I did take came out like my 2yo took them.

  19. Jane

    Neil, the last time I dealt with credit cards, I remember there was a 4% charge to the company, with a $1 minimum. So the shop owner wasn’t out the whole cost of breakfast, he just sold it to you for $2.99. Hope you left a nice tip!

    And V-Grrrl, you could totally rock the blue wig look!

  20. Neil

    Jane — Well, I have gone back there now, but I’ll save that story for another day.

  21. kapgar

    Sailor girl is pretty hot.

  22. Miss Britt

    Awww, poor kid!

  23. lynne

    Hi I live in England but a few years ago I travelled to New York to go to the Mermaid Parade and ball. I loved it, everyone was so friendly. I think there’s something very special about Coney Island.

  24. gorillabuns

    I’d kill to have some of those Mermaid’s butts.

  25. mp

    Great Pics..I’m in awe of Sarah..her John Lennon/Yoko Ono pic is my favorite.

    Those girls don’t know how bad those tattoos look on their they? OK..judgemental of me.. If I were a guy I would not touch a girl w/ those tats w/ a 10 ft pole.

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