Sad rumors have been circling for a while that Coney Island's annual Mermaid Parade wouldn't be able to go on as planned this year, thanks in part to rising parade costs, but mostly due to massive damage to the Coney Island Museum—the parade's main source of funds—during Hurricane Sandy.
Unfortunately, they turned out to be true. The 30-year-old parade now has a Kickstarter that organizers are hoping will be able to close their $100,000 gap in funding. If you're still reading this, and haven't yet clicked through to donate a few (or many? hopefully many) bucks to the cause, here are a few more convincing reasons to get on board.
And Laurie Anderson as their Queen. And this is how it turned out. What a time.
With the Rockaway boardwalk still largely decimated and several of our favorite beaches closed entirely post-Sandy, can morale really take the hit of one more beloved institution disappearing from our summer schedule? Let's not find out.
Like most Coney Island institutions, Nathan's has had a pretty rough go of it since the hurricane. The Surf Avenue flagship has been closed for repairs ever since the storm hit, and a few weeks shy of their planned Memorial Day re-opening, a small fire broke out on the roof. They're still planning to open, however, and given the parade's growing attendance—last year's brought in 750,000 spectators—we're guessing it would be a boon for business.
A "special Mermaid-themed, air-conditioned portapotty with security to prevent the mer-serfs from getting in," to be exact. For the low, low price of $5,000! People spend that much money on way worse things literally every second of every day. Really, this is an incredibly solid investment. Good for shock value, of course, but then you start thinking about the logistics of a crowded public event—let alone one near the beach, where public bathrooms are always at their worst—and then you realize: this is the greatest gift you could ever give yourself.
Even if the whole thing is too crowded and semi-naked for you, you have to admit, it's objectively a very nice thing. Besides the fact that the parade was explicitly created by and for the arts community—which is incredible, if you take a second to remember, say, the last time you accidentally stumbled upon the St. Patrick's Day parade, and everything that entailed—it's also just a beloved, feel-good civic happening.
So much so that the NYPD apparently call it "no crime day." That is so, so nice! Let's give the (friendly, law-abiding) people what they want! Just donate to the parade already. It'll feel great.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.