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The Fish Parade
The story continues!

The plan was to meet in Manhattan early in the morning with a few more special guests, so we could head up as a group to the South Bronx. Since Ben, Ally, and Kennyb were up late painting, we all crashed in Queens and geared there in the morning. Travelling on the NYC subway with piles of fishing supplies and stuffed animals was an adventure all it's own.
Above, you can see the picture some nice tourist was nice enough to take of us waiting for the R train. And below, you can see Eric, Ben, and Ally in all their sartorial glory.

We left the apartment at about 9:30AM, intending to meet our crew at 10AM, and then head to the parade site. Clearly, meeting people at 9:30AM on a Saturday morning was a bit optimistic, and we spent some time on the phones making sure that we'd be met in the Bronx by a crew. We were, admittedly, a little concerned at this point, since we were carrying a lot of fishing equipment, and the three of us carrying it over a mile in a parade wasn't going to be funny for anyone. We made some haranguing phone calls to our slugabed friends, and headed up to Hunts Point, Bnx.

Got to the parade site at about 10:30, and walked down to the starting point. During this walk, we came upon a butcher shop that had a whole pig laid out on a table outside to be worked on. I briefly regretted not getting a picture of it, but soon realized that it was probably for the best. Once we got the starting point, we laid all of our equipment out and made an assessment: Yup, we done good!

We were an instant hit with the kids. Once we gave out the first rubber worm, we were awash in a sea of humanity dressed like a land of sea creatures. Ally and I did our best to keep Ben from setting a bad example by eating the bait. But it was difficult.

For a little bit, we thought we were going to have to divide the gear up among the three of us. While we didn't end up having to do that, it was maybe a little disappointing. Ben and Ally definitely looked their best when they were fully geared up. Of course, everything we were wearing was some sort of material that not only didn't breathe, but actually choked. That rain slicker sure looked sharp, though.

Finally, right before the parade was to begin, our crew arrived in two groups, one right after the other. From left to right: Ally, Bryan, Ben, the plastic fish in Ben's mouth, Natalie, Neil, Kennyb, and Ben. In foreground - Mayu (dog in life preserver Which actually was the funniest thing about this entire parade because (a) Dog in a life preserver and (b) The Hebrew word for "fish" is "dog"!).

The parade got underway with little fanfare, and started taking through the streets. We were impressed at the number of boats that people had made using a shopping cart base. This totally would have made our original plan of building and transporting a boat the Bronx easier! But, I suppose it would have made out boat just like everyone else's. And it probably wouldn't have been flat, either, so it's kind of a non-starter. There were definitely some neat fish that people had made for the parade.

These are the three coolest fish (Eric notwithstanding) we found at the fish parade. At least, I think that kid is a fish. Whatever he was, he was the coolest one of those that I had ever seen.

We didn't do so much tossing of the bait out at the crowd . . . partly because throwing bait (live or fake) is generally considered impolite, and partly because the "crowd" was dispersed over a fairly long distance, and never really made enough of a crowd into which to throw things. So we did a fair amount of handing individual worms, fish, and crabs out to people on the parade route.

Natalie was leading around Mayu, and did a fairly brisk business in handing out rubber salamandars. I think the dog acted to distract the youths long enough for her to stuff a fake creepy-crawly into their hands

Kennyb, for some reason, had significantly less success.

Here's a good shot of the parade - The ATF crowd were about 1/3 of the way through the parade, which ran a length of about two blocks. It's no Mermaid Parade, but not a bad turnout, I'd say!

Just about everyone who had a camera took a picture of Mayu (this includes participants in the parade, and non-participant media (including the NY1 tv station, and the lady from the NY Times). Honestly, if there's anything you want to see at a fish parade more than a puppy in a life preserver, I don't know what it could be.

Did you miss The Fish Parade Page One?

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