Video is NSFW.
The Kickstarter project went live about little over an hour ago and it’s already up past $3,000 dollars, about 3% of the intended goal.
Watching the above video will inform you all about the Mermaid Parade, how it’s been going for thirty years and how Hurricane Sandy’s damage to Coney Island is still felt, six months later.
I went to the parade last year, the first real summer in NYC after moving down. I’m a big fan of Coney Island’s Surf Avenue, the idea of this carnival boardwalk that offers a little bit of glitz and grit. It seemed like the Mermaid Parade was something everyone in this area has to do once in their life, especially if they’re any sort of weirdo.
While the Unofficial Mayor of Coney Island, Dick Zigun, does lay it on a little heavy how the Mermaid Parade is some stab against conformity and homogeneous nature of life, the thing is that the Mermaid Parade IS a display of weirdness as well as partial nudity. It’s a little hippie-ish in nature but if you want to make things weird and spooky, you can. It’s a chance to show off how bizarre you can be while wearing as much or little as you legally want.
The truth is I would donate to this funding as a way to support the idea of Coney Island. The last decade or so has seen Coney Island suffer gentrification and many corporate interests moving in. A lot of Luna Park has been cleaned up and made more friendly for families at the sacrifice of some of the scuzzier elements of the area. But there is still that element of freak and creep in the corners and cracks of Coney Island. Dick Zigun, the Mermaid Parade, the Sideshow and the Coney Island History museum are vanguards for this idea that there are havens for the weird and bizarre. If you give money to save the Mermaid Parade, you’re showing support for this ideal. Or, you’re showing support for people walking around basically topless. Either way – show your support.
edit: fixed for spelling.