Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Gloomy Mermaid Parade

Man, another gray and rainy day, with no end in sight. The forecast all the way up through next weekend calls for overcast skies and rain every day. The only break in the consistent gray dampness is the possibility of lightning flashes later in the week when thunderstorms are expected. Whoopie.

Undeterred by the lousy weather, the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I bravely headed to the subway where we began our trek to Coney Island.

And The Trip Begins

And what a trip it was. This group was obviously on the way to be in the parade and getting ready by applying their makeup and doing stretching exercises.

Next Stop, Mermaidville

We weren't exactly greeted by a cheerful beach scene. Coney Island is always a bit gritty, but this was downright depressing. Especially when you consider that it was only one day before the official start of summer.

Gloom And Grit

And the beach wasn't much better.

Damp And Damper

Even Ruby's didn't look all that inviting, and that is really saying something.

Any Port In A Storm

Ruby's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Well, you do the best that you can do, and drinking beer at Ruby's isn't doing bad at all.

A Beer In A Bar On A Beach

And, after my friend Allen showed up and we had a few more beers, the day started to look a bit brighter.

Starting To Feel Like A Party

Eventually, the parade started to dribble by.

Just A Trickle

There weren't nearly as many people in the parade as in years past and there were huge gaps between the groups in the parade. I couldn't understand why because I have been to the Mermaid Parade in the past when it was raining, and it didn't seem to deter anyone. I finally asked about it and found out the reason. They extended the parade route this year and when it reached the point where it turned and went to the boardwalk most groups thought the parade had ended. The majority of the groups in the parade just dropped out and never made it to the boardwalk at all. Very disappointing.

There were still a few people in costume wandering around. This gal gave me quite a start when I first spied here.

Ooh, Look Mommie, A Pretty Mermaid

Okay, so it wasn't the best Mermaid Parade I ever went to. But there were a few more things that I took umbrage with.

Only One Dollar To Go Through This Door

And what was on the other side of the door that you had to pay a dollar to go through?

You Guessed It

Okay, granted that Ruby's draws a larger than usual crowd for the Mermaid Parade. Maybe they can even justify raising the price of their drinks by a dollar or two, which they did. But $7 for a Sam Adam's is a bit much, in my opinion. I revisited my blog about this place that I put up in 2005, and at that time a Budweiser was $3. Yesterday it was double that.

But to charge your customers a dollar to use the bathroom? Is that even legal? Aren't bars and restaurants required, by law, to provide bathroom facilities for their customers?

Cha Cha's even had a sign outside saying that their bathrooms were out of order to discourage people from using them. And, of course, their bathrooms weren't really out of order at all. I can understand a policy of bathrooms being for customers only; fair enough. But to not provide bathroom facilities at all, or to charge your customers a dollar to use them; totally unacceptable.

I did manage to take a few more pictures while I was here, and we did hit Footprints later on, so I will be posting more about this somewhat dismal day tomorrow.