Archive | October, 2013

A Howling Good Time at the Doggie Halloween Parade

28 Oct
Top Prize For how Winner

Top Prize For Show Winner…Lobster Bake

Our little furry friends dragged their owners over to Tompkins Square Park this past Saturday for the 23rd annual Dog Halloween Costume Parade. Hundreds of dogs dressed up for their owners in the hope of winning top dog..umm prize. NYers have a reputation for being the most creative and inventive people in the country and they surely did not disappoint.  If this was a prelude to the biggest Halloween party in the country this Thursday, then the Halloween Parade in the Village will be one of the best ever. The set up for this parade was in the dog run in the park with judges on one side and two hosts introducing all the contestants and their owners with a runway to show off their costumes. Since there were hundreds of entries, the showing was broken up into three parts and then the grand finale with the best in show prize. Probably the best part of the parade was seeing an entire family get dressed up to anyone of a number of themes. One that robbed the hearts of many was the Star Wars entry with two pugs as Yoda and Darth Vader while the cutest baby was Princess Leia. Then there was a family dressed as the cast from The Sandlot with a mastiff that looked like he ate a few dogs for lunch. Probably one of the biggest surprises was the Dreams Do Come True entry when there was a marriage proposal just as they were being introduced.  She accepted. But the entry that directly followed them was the amazing Lobster Bake with two chihuahuas dressed as a chef and a lobster complete with kitchen and bubbles. It won the award for the best in show in what was a record attendance for the event.  They really went over the top on this one and deserved it. As far as parades go, it was a fun family event that you should experience once in your lifetime.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

The Sandlot Family

The Sandlot Family

Star Wars Family

Star Wars Family

Man proposing to his lady

Man proposing to his lady

dog halloween 13 027 dog halloween 13 043 dog halloween 13 052 dog halloween 13 083 dog halloween 13 084 dog halloween 13 087 dog halloween 13 089 dog halloween 13 091 dog halloween 13 100 dog halloween 13 108 dog halloween 13 118 dog halloween 13 140 dog halloween 13 143 dog halloween 13 166 dog halloween 13 218 dog halloween 13 245 dog halloween 13 249 dog halloween 13 260 dog halloween 13 263 dog halloween 13 271 dog halloween 13 274 dog halloween 13 277 dog halloween 13 281 dog halloween 13 338 dog halloween 13 342 dog halloween 13 351 dog halloween 13 356 dog halloween 13 373 dog halloween 13 375 dog halloween 13 379 dog halloween 13 402 dog halloween 13 410 dog halloween 13 411 dog halloween 13 413 dog halloween 13 423 dog halloween 13 424 dog halloween 13 425 dog halloween 13 428 dog halloween 13 432 dog halloween 13 433

Some Dreams Really Do Come True...Congrats

Some Dreams Really Do Come True…Congrats

Bolivians Shake Their Boots in Jackson Heights

21 Oct
Caporales San Simon USA

Caporales San Simon USA

The end of this years neighborhood ethnic parades couldn’t have been any more colorful and brilliant than the energetic Bolivian Parade held this past Sunday in Jackson Heights Queens. In only its third year, the Bolivian parade is getting more popular among Bolivians and by many other ethnic groups that call the diverse neighborhood around 37th Ave. their home.  Rich in culture and just as diverse as the area, Bolivians showed off many parts of their heritage. Kicking off the parade were the slow but rhythmic dance style of Morenda Central USA from NY. Their colorful costumes got the crowed warmed up for one of the more spectacular displays of culture and costume. Soon after came the first of many caporales dancers that are dedicated to San Simon. The Caporales San Simon Figuras gave a spirited performance for the crowd to enjoy. Groups from as far as Virginia, Texas and California came in just for the parade. One of the better ones were the Morenada Central USA from Virginia. They had some really amazing costumes.

Tinkus dancing

Tinkus dancing

Morenadas Central USA

Morenadas Central USA

Scary costume

Scary costume

As in most Hispanic countries, the indigenous people soon became integrated into the society yet still keeping true to their timeless traditions. This was represented by the Tinkus and their style of dancing which was probably the most energetic of all of them. Many dancers were exhausted by the time they reached the VIP review stand on 85th St.  A well received group was the Banda Sensacion with the group of happy dancers right behind them. Closing out the parade were a flurry of caporales with San Simon USA being one of the better ones.  Whether you are Bolivian or not it was an amazing display of culture and diversity. As with most neighborhood parades, the best part is when it’s over to get some delicious food from any of the good spots nearby.   Mi corazon estas en Bolivia.

bolivian2013 217 bolivian2013 223 bolivian2013 224 bolivian2013 225 bolivian2013 228 bolivian2013 232 bolivian2013 235 bolivian2013 236 bolivian2013 238 bolivian2013 242 bolivian2013 249 bolivian2013 251 bolivian2013 268 bolivian2013 289 bolivian2013 291 bolivian2013 294 bolivian2013 299 bolivian2013 306 bolivian2013 313 bolivian2013 321 bolivian2013 329 bolivian2013 338 bolivian2013 340 bolivian2013 342 bolivian2013 346 bolivian2013 348 bolivian2013 351 bolivian2013 355 bolivian2013 363 bolivian2013 366

Mi Corazon Siempre Sere en Bolivia

Mi Corazon Siempre Sere en Bolivia

Italians Rev Up Their Hot Cars for Columbus Day

16 Oct
Hot Lamborghini

Hot Lamborghini

     Fast cars and beautiful women were the big draws in the 69th annual Columbus Day Parade up 5th Ave. Tens of thousands of Italian-Americans lined up the parade route to catch a glimpse at about a hundred floats and marching bands. The weather was just right for a fun day of Italian style and heritage. Most had the chance to see Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC mayoral hopeful Bill DeBlasio meet and greet and the crowd. Even the prestigious Columbus Day Parade was not immune from the government shutdown as the lead band from West Point was not allowed to march. The Ohio Northern University replaced the West Point band on a short 3 day notice. This parade had over 20 marching bands with some flown in from Italy just for the occasion. One stand out band was from Parma, Italy. They had a different style of play than what most New Yorkers are accustomed to but it was still very good. One band that really got the crowd worked up were the lovely Golden Stars and the Band Musicale Comunale from Italy.  They really put on a good show for the crowd. It was a nice sight to see firefighters from Venice march in the parade and share a moment with their counterparts from NYC.

Marni Rollerblading

Marni Rollerblading

Golden Stars

Golden Stars

Miss USA

Miss USA

Most parades I have been to this year have had a nice showing of exotic cars but this years honor goes to the Italians with their Lambourghinis, Maseratis, Ferraris, any car lover would dream of having in their garage.  Even Miss USA was seen riding in a Ferrari. The parade is getting more international attention as a group of Basque dancers from Barcelona, Spain marched up the parade route. The crowd showed their love for them with lots of applause and support. The quality of marching bands is getting better and proof of this was in the Sacred Heart University Pioneer MB from Connecticut. They put on a good show with some nice choreography work. The band from West Islip once again showed why they get invited back every year.  They are top notch.  All in all it was a fun parade with lots of Italian style and culture for all to see.  Loved the cars. Vroom vroom.

columbus2013 004 columbus2013 008 columbus2013 012 columbus2013 030 columbus2013 034 columbus2013 036 columbus2013 037 columbus2013 043 columbus2013 051 columbus2013 060 columbus2013 063 columbus2013 068 columbus2013 075 columbus2013 085 columbus2013 090 columbus2013 094 columbus2013 099 columbus2013 102 columbus2013 109 columbus2013 115 columbus2013 117 columbus2013 122 columbus2013 131 columbus2013 146 columbus2013 152 columbus2013 159 columbus2013 165 columbus2013 168 columbus2013 171 columbus2013 177 columbus2013 194 columbus2013 206

Sailing off into the sunset

Sailing off into the sunset

Hispanics Heat Up 5th Ave. with Some Hot Dancing

15 Oct
Parade of Flags

Parade of Flags

Every second Sunday in October, 5th Ave. turns into a colorful show of traditional costume and dance as Hispanics proudly display one or more parts of their culture. Some things you may not even see in their country but you will see it in NYC. That’s what makes parades in NYC better than any parades in any other city in the world. No where else will you see over 18 countries send representatives to march and show off the best of their culture. This one of my favorite parades to cover because of all the different customs and costumes. Although the same language is spoken in all these countries, the customs and traditions have their own identity. Much like your great grandmother had children and each took off to blaze their own trail, the parade started off with mother Spain and their display of flamenco dancers and the bagpipe band of Casa Galicia. They really got the crowd worked up for what was sure to be a fitting end to Hispanic Heritage Month. The 47th version of the Hispanic Day Parade included a competition among the participants for the coveted Cultural Appreciation Award.

Flamenco Dancers from Spain

Flamenco Dancers from Spain

 

Casa Galicia

Casa Galicia

 

Argentinian Dancers

Argentinian Dancers

As in previous parades, the groups appear in alphabetical order with Argentina kicking it off with some gauchos dancing and an incredible pair of tango dancers steaming things up on 5th Ave.  The heat just kept on building when the dancers from Bolivia marched up with their colorful costumes. Bolivians have always had a large group as they have three main dances, the morenadas, the caporales, and the tinkus. The Chileans made their way up the parade route in cowboy costumes. Another larger group were the Colombians with their brilliant costumes and fast paced dancing that really got the crowd dancing salsa and cumbia with them. A van with a huge rack of speakers blasted some hot merengue so some Dominican diablos can dance and work the crowd.  A float with some Ecuadorians kicked up the heat a notch with some sizzling boosters followed by some traditional dancing. A fired up marching band from El Salvador worked the crowd with their drumbeat.  Last years award winner from Guatemala arrived with marchers dressed in official military attire.  The Honduran group had a lively presentation with dancers and a marching band that could rival any band from NYC.

Bolivian dancers

Bolivian dancers

 

Dominican beauty

Dominican beauty

 

Ecuadorians working the crowd

Ecuadorians working the crowd

Keeping the torrid pace of dancing were the Mexican chinelos hopping up and down in their typical high energy style. This year’s award winner, Panama, had a large group arrive with the ladies in decorative polleras, strong marching bands from Panama and some spicy dancing. They deserved the prize. Paraguay arrived with the ladies balancing bottles on their heads. Another large group were from Peru with both traditional costume and dance. Towards the end of that section were a group of sizzling dancers that really worked it. Closing out the parade was the drum group from Uruguay with their hot and sexy dancers that got the crowd all worked up and wanting more.  But all good things must come to an end and this year’s Hispanic Day Parade was filled with lots of color and pride for all of NYC to see and be a part of.

panmanianhispanic13 279 panmanianhispanic13 309 panmanianhispanic13 312 panmanianhispanic13 336 panmanianhispanic13 345 panmanianhispanic13 359 panmanianhispanic13 369 panmanianhispanic13 387 panmanianhispanic13 400 panmanianhispanic13 407 panmanianhispanic13 409 panmanianhispanic13 410 panmanianhispanic13 416 panmanianhispanic13 421 panmanianhispanic13 430 panmanianhispanic13 437 panmanianhispanic13 440 panmanianhispanic13 447 panmanianhispanic13 455 panmanianhispanic13 465 panmanianhispanic13 471 panmanianhispanic13 485 panmanianhispanic13 502 panmanianhispanic13 511 panmanianhispanic13 521 panmanianhispanic13 537 panmanianhispanic13 551 panmanianhispanic13 552 panmanianhispanic13 554 panmanianhispanic13 568 panmanianhispanic13 576 panmanianhispanic13 583 panmanianhispanic13 585 panmanianhispanic13 594 panmanianhispanic13 599 panmanianhispanic13 608 panmanianhispanic13 614 panmanianhispanic13 615 panmanianhispanic13 620 panmanianhispanic13 629 panmanianhispanic13 634 panmanianhispanic13 638 panmanianhispanic13 652 panmanianhispanic13 674

God Bless the Americas

God Bless the Americas

Panamanians Bring Out Their Best Dress

15 Oct
Panamanians Enjoying the Parade

Panamanians Enjoying the Parade

    Neighborhood parades can be lots of fun. Aside from the delicious food you can find in the area, the people are casual and bring their folding chairs and just sit and enjoy the sights. This was the case on Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn on Saturday Oct. 12th where the Panamanians celebrated their independence for the 20th year in spectacular fashion. Many ladies brought out their traditional colorful polleras wearing it in style. It’s always great to see the tradition passed on to the younger generation where many teens and toddlers also wore traditional dress. Panamanians love their bands. One of first bands came from Maryland and the crowd stepped out of their way. They got the crowd worked up for the rest of the incredible bands from both Panama and Brooklyn. Local organizations were represented well in their dance and traditional costumes. One of the Panamanian bands that usually participate in the parade were the Banda Internacional  El Hogar and they got the crowd excited with their fast drum line and loud horn section.  But they were just getting things warmed up for the First Panamanian Drum and Bugle Corp from Brooklyn wearing their red uniforms. The winner of the beauty contest came next and she was quite stunning and dressed in a beautiful pollera. An interesting combination happened next when a Christian Panamanian marching band singing praises to the Lord was soon followed by a mischievous group of dancers and men dressed in diablo costumes..hmmmm. One tried to be louder than the other.  It was a tie. Closing out the parade was a float with beauty queens in spectacular attire. After the parade ended, most folks headed over to Classon Ave. where kiosks with food vendors sold some delicious meals and a stage was set up to keep the party going for the rest of the day. Que Viva Panama.

Banda El Hogar

Banda El Hogar

Two girls in polleras

Two girls in polleras

Panamanian Band from Brooklyn

Panamanian Band from Brooklyn

panmanianhispanic13 005 panmanianhispanic13 008 panmanianhispanic13 013 panmanianhispanic13 016 panmanianhispanic13 019 panmanianhispanic13 028 panmanianhispanic13 033 panmanianhispanic13 042 panmanianhispanic13 049 panmanianhispanic13 055 panmanianhispanic13 061 panmanianhispanic13 067 panmanianhispanic13 068 panmanianhispanic13 070 panmanianhispanic13 074 panmanianhispanic13 077 panmanianhispanic13 090 panmanianhispanic13 101 panmanianhispanic13 108 panmanianhispanic13 115 panmanianhispanic13 119 panmanianhispanic13 126 panmanianhispanic13 138 panmanianhispanic13 145 panmanianhispanic13 156 panmanianhispanic13 157 panmanianhispanic13 159 panmanianhispanic13 170 panmanianhispanic13 173 panmanianhispanic13 188 panmanianhispanic13 195 panmanianhispanic13 216 panmanianhispanic13 221 panmanianhispanic13 231 panmanianhispanic13 233 panmanianhispanic13 237 panmanianhispanic13 248

Que Viva Panama

Que Viva Panama

Polish People Proudly Preserve Gen. Pulaski’s Legacy in Parade

8 Oct
Polish Children Proudly waving flag

Polish Children Proudly waving flag

Red and white flags were seen all over the parade route on 5th Ave. from 34th to 48th Sts. in the 76th annual Pulaski Day parade where thousands of Polish and Slavic people from the tristate area came to remember the great Gen. Pulaski and his contribution to shaping America during Revolutionary times. Once I got to 5th Ave. and 42nd St at around 12:30, I could hear the Polish national anthem being sung with so much passion by the many spectators. I knew this would be a fun day filled with many traditional costumes and marching bands. Keeping with tradition, paired off couples were given salted bread and wine as a symbolic gesture. Typically local and national politicians are part of the ceremony but with the government shutdown in effect, their absence was expected. Parade VIPs and honorary guests including Guardian Angel founder Curtis Sliwa marched up the parade route. One of the largest motorcycle groups I have seen at any parade this year rolled on by making thunderous noise to the delight of the crowd. There must have been at least 200 bikes in all.

Traditional Breaking of the Bread

Traditional Breaking of the Bread

Curtis Sliwa

Curtis Sliwa

Polish Bikers

Polish Bikers

The rest of the parade was organized by region. The first and largest region to march came from different parts of NY State with the biggest section coming from NYC, of course. Each group has it’s own beauty queen or Miss Polonia. Polish people are religious and many of the churches sent their representatives to march as well. One of the best displays was on a float dedicated to the soon to be cannonized Pope John Paul II from Poland.  It was quite remarkable to see how all the children were dressed in traditional costume.  They were having more fun than the adults it seemed. Well except for a traditional Polish dance group that really had fun dancing. The next region to march came in from Connecticut. They were a small group but loud and fun. The last region to march came from New Jersey. Many towns sent in their High School marching bands.  One of the more notable bands came from Linden. They really performed well. Following them came an even more impressive band from Passaic. Their horn section was really amazing. A personal favorite is when the group from Wallington rolled up with the mayor riding in an original Duesenberg..very impressive. There was a fun float that had a Polish band playing pop music. I couldn’t understand what they were saying but they were having a good time.  The crowd was definitely getting into it.   As far as ethnic parades go, this was one of the better ones with lots of traditional costume and music played.  One of the best signs at the parade summed it up best…Always Represent Polska.

PolishParade2013 006 PolishParade2013 015 PolishParade2013 023 PolishParade2013 039 PolishParade2013 049 PolishParade2013 060 PolishParade2013 065 PolishParade2013 072 PolishParade2013 093 PolishParade2013 102 PolishParade2013 105 PolishParade2013 106 PolishParade2013 111 PolishParade2013 112 PolishParade2013 118 PolishParade2013 121 PolishParade2013 129 PolishParade2013 139 PolishParade2013 155 PolishParade2013 162 PolishParade2013 174 PolishParade2013 179 PolishParade2013 184 PolishParade2013 196 PolishParade2013 204 PolishParade2013 213 PolishParade2013 229 PolishParade2013 236 PolishParade2013 244 PolishParade2013 252 PolishParade2013 255 PolishParade2013 262 PolishParade2013 267 PolishParade2013 271 PolishParade2013 273 PolishParade2013 274 PolishParade2013 283 PolishParade2013 291 PolishParade2013 292 PolishParade2013 304 PolishParade2013 306 PolishParade2013 310 PolishParade2013 313PolishParade2013 097

Koreans Show Off Their Pride and Culture in K-Town

7 Oct
Korean Beauty

Korean Beauty

Every first Saturday of October the Korean community of the Tri-state area get together for a fine display of culture, tradition and lots of delicious food.  In this the 33rd version of the Korean Parade and Festival in K-Town, there were plenty of marchers dressed in traditional  costume and traditional music along the parade route on 6th Ave. from 38th  to 27th Sts. In the shadows of Macys and Herald Square, busy shoppers could take a quick glance at the college student members of the Korean Cultural Outreach Network beat the drums in traditional costume. They were fun to watch and considering they were from different colleges in the tristate area, they had a good dance and drum routine displayed for the parade VIPs. Various floats rolled on by but the common theme in each one was for the children to participate and learn and preserve the Korean culture and tradition. The family is center to the Korean culture and having the children dressed up in traditional wear was a special treat for parade watchers.

Korean Cultural Outreach Network

Korean Cultural Outreach Network

Ridgefield HS Marching Band

Ridgefield HS Marching Band

Girl on the Korea Times Float

Girl on the Korea Times Float

Of course a parade isn’t a parade without a marching band and this year two marching bands stood out. Mother Cabrini always wows the crowd with their high stepping and their trademark xylophone version of marching tunes. The show stopper had to be the high school marching band from the large Korean community of Ridgefield, NJ.  They really played well. The martial arts have always been a part of most Asian communities and Tae Kwon Do schools brought out their best students to show off their style. A nice treat was to see the more senior POUAG group with their traditional Korean costume and instruments. Closing out the parade were the parade sponsors, The Korean Times float followed by some highly decorated bikers. Once they rolled on by I headed over to where the K-Town Festival was getting under way at 32nd St. between 5th and Broadway. The aroma of bbq meats and other delicious foods was drawing me in deeper to the crowd. Opting for some noodles with vegetables, I settled down by the stage and waited for the fun to start which didn’t take long. Dancers  and singers entertained the crowd with their unique performances.  All in all, it was a fun time and a great way to learn more of the Korean culture.

Korean2013 004 Korean2013 010 Korean2013 014 Korean2013 019 Korean2013 025 Korean2013 036 Korean2013 041 Korean2013 055 Korean2013 061 Korean2013 065 Korean2013 068 Korean2013 080 Korean2013 090 Korean2013 096 Korean2013 108 Korean2013 112 Korean2013 123 Korean2013 124 Korean2013 126 Korean2013 129

%d bloggers like this: