I had a minor crisis as I tried to get my Nikon working, but I realized I was being an idiot and figured it out, so I was able to leave on time. I got there around 12:30 (the trains were running pretty slowly) and I started wandering around.
Due to continuing subway problems, penchantnyc and the rest didn't arrive for over an hour, after the parade had already begun. I found a nice viewing position over on the corner of Surf and 10th, and settled in.
In the beginning they were very strict about keeping people on the sidewalks and behind the police barricades, but as the day wore on the police relaxed. The first few "floats" were actually classic cars. One of the guys spun his wheels out (on purpose) and threw out huge clouds of smoke. When he moved on, there weren't just black skid marks on the pavement, but actual bits of tire piled up at the back end of the skid marks. The car behind him was splattered with bits of tire, too.
After the cars passed by the "real" floats began, adorned with mermaids galore. I took a crap load of pictures with the camera, but I'm not sure how well they'll come out. It's the first time I've used it in quite a while, and I have no idea if they'll be ok. I suppose I should've left it all automatic, but I'm difficult that way, I put it on manual.
Anyways, they eventually showed up and wandered around through the crowd. I stayed in my spot and took photos. Behind me, a couple'a girls (well, women I guess) were heckling the mermaids. "Show us your boobies!" "C'mon, shake it!" "Entertain us! Do something! You're the worst mermaids ever!" "Take 'em out!" "Work it!" It wouldn't have been funny if they hadn't been women, but... :) The entire scene was pretty crazy, with firemen blasting the crowd and mermaids with the firehose from time to time, beads getting thrown, and overall a very mardi-gras/festival type of attitude.
Eventually, as I got hot and tired I wandered around and found them, and then hung out with them as we watched the mermaids walk on by. We finally found brooklyngirl, who was towards the end of the pack. We said hello and took a few photos and then we headed out and went to Difara's.
I had three slices of pizza; the plain and peppers pieces were disappointing (very!), but then I got one of their special slices: the broccoli rabe. It was so much better than the other two slices. It had a heap of broccoli rabe piled on top, as well as several cloves of roasted garlic, soft and sweet, and large enough pieces of mozzarella on top that I could taste it coming through. It was very oily, but very good. I don't know that it's the best in the city, but it's definitely up there.
After Difara's, we went and got ices from Lemon Ice King of Corona. I got the strawberry, which was very good.
D dropped me off at the E, which turned out to be local, so I switched off to the 7 after a few stops. IT was going express due to construction, which is why I switched to it. :) The problem? I still missed my damn bus.
Anyways, I'm home now, tired, but happy. I thought I might've gotten sunburned for the first time in years, but I was wrong - I'm a bit more tanned then before but I don't think I've burned at all. And, well, that's that. I'm off to sleep.