Tuesday, September 07, 2010

West Indian Day Parade, Brooklyn, NY 2010

The Annual West Indian day Parade never disappoints. Music, food, parade, festivities and everything in between here and the smallest village in Trinidad is on full display at New York's largest parade. From a photographer's standpoint, it's challenging yet fun to photograph this parade. Challenging because of the enormity of the crowd, and everything happens in a flash so you have to be quick! But it's also fun, because there is so much to photograph. I've been going to the West indian Parade since I was a kid growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn where the parade begins. I have fond memories of going as a family, sitting on my dad's shoulders to view the vivid display of costumed revelers gyrating to the beats of island music. We also used the opportunity to sell items like leather handbags made in Haiti, Records, and anything else we wanted to get rid of, because with a crowd of a million or so people, we were sure to sell our wares.

This year, I went as the lone photographer, seeking to capture an aspect of my West Indian heritage and to share amongst the pride . The parade is many things to many people. But to me, it's a day to celebrate West indian Heritage, Culture and Pride, embracing our rich history and paying homage to our not-so delicate past. All in all, it was a great day. I must say, there appeared to have been less colorful costumes on display this year, a sign of the current economic times, I'm sure. A Facebook Friend of mine told me that her daughter, who usually participates in costume at the parade, had to sit it out this year due to the cost of her costun=me which she quoted as $500 dollars. Nevertheless, those in attendance, costume or not, enjoyed a great parade with good music, food, vibes and sunny skies. Enjoy the pics!

Sugarcane and coconut water vendors.

Cheering the band on. Flags for St. Lucia.

Quiet anticipation for the beef and pork kebobs.

Chillin' in a safe spot.



GeneralAuthority said...

Thank you for sharing your art. I am a New Yorker living away from this scene, your photos bring me great pleasure. I was wondering what happened to the "black oscar men" and you featured him... makes me happy to view your slide.


Love your pics, Ocean. I am soooo disappointed that I didn't make it up this year for the Parade. It has always been one of the highlight events of the year for me. And the weather coudn't have been more perfect. Thanks for being there and sahring these wonderful photos.