The parade is always held in such outrageous spirit, with costumes mainly inspired by the sea (and nudity), and with people of all colors, shapes and sizes. It's typically a blinding medley of color, craft and total craziness.
Picture book crafting challenges me to depict life in its simplest forms. At the same time the craft is multi-dimensional. I've always enjoyed paintings which tell several stories captured in a single frame.
As my new plumber opened a box filled with porcelain pieces I learn he is from Chicago, and a Bears fan. He spends the season in what he calls "The Bus", an old '74 school bus in the parking lot of Solider Field, and has invited me and my dog to the Windy City for tailgating.
It was midnight before my very first (and the 30th Annual) Coney Island Mermaid Parade when I discovered I was going to have to wear a costume if I intended to film it. "You can't look normal," a friend said. "Be a pirate!"