More pictures of the West Indian Day Parade in NYC
My previous post took me a long time to get organized and together. This one I’ll put up more quickly with some minor notes (at least that’s my plan).
The West Indian Day Parade was on Labor Day in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. As I noted in the earlier post, I started roughly at Nostrand, then walked westward to Franklin before turning around and heading toward Utica, which is the originating point of the parade.
I took a bunch of pictures during the parade. Unfortunately, I found the overall crowd energy disappointing. The parade is very, very slow and there were some significant waits between some of the floats. On the other hand, sometimes the parade would just halt in front of the area I was in at the time and the participants would wait until given the go-ahead. That’s typical in parades, but 30-45 minutes between floats (that was the longest wait, by far) are unknown in other parades from my experience (I don’t remember ever waiting five minutes). I have to admit I certainly preferred it when they stopped where I was rather than just stand and wonder where the next group was.
The first couple of pictures below were early in the parade.
Over time, I did notice that a lot of the participants had paint and/or glitter rubbed on them. Some, I’m certain had paint (it was blue and they were within 3 feet of me) but others appeared more gold and sparkley. You may have to click on the below picture to really see the glitter.
And others, well, just a lot more colorful. One of the best of the exhibitions were where they’d have separate colored groups following close to one another, gold followed by blue followed by red and so on. I tried to capture some of that, but often there’d be just people from the crowd who weren’t in costume that were walking with the participants. The DJs tried to get them to separate out, but with mixed success.
One of the more interesting moments is captured below. They are up pretty high on a sound truck and the music is blasting away. It was shaking my body and I can imagine how it must have felt to them sitting/standing on the speaker platform. Note the guy holding onto the woman’s ankle. Just making sure she doesn’t get a nasty slip. (You can see her in the above picture, but more in the distance.)
At one of the heights of the music and marchers, I remember turning an photographing this to try and capture the crowd’s lack of exuberance.
I think I did capture it. There’s interest, but not the exuberance that I’ve experienced in other parades.
At one point, one of the large colorful one-person floats (whatever they’re called, I referred to them as “colorfuls” before) broke down. You can see the woman struggling with it.
This was another of the “colorfuls” (or whatever).
At the end of that segment of marchers, the cops brought up the rear. I presume they were trying to keep the marchers moving. The woman at the center was one that I thought of as the unhappiest person in the whole parade. (Click on the picture to enlarge it and catch her expression a bit better.)
They were followed, a little later ’cause it’s a slow parade, with some pretty big and colorful displays. I think this was the single most impressive one I saw all day. It’s pretty cool.
I still have more on the parade, but will make it into a separate post. (After this group, I think I started heading much more quickly toward Utica and then did some exploring in the backstreets. Then I came to the parade gathering area. Stay tuned…)