Why I Love New York, pt 4
What's more "New York" than heading out to Coney Island on a crisp, early autumn night to take in The Miss Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant with a roomful of rowdy revelers? Nothing, I tell you, nothing!
The last time I went to this event was waaay back in 2003. The incredible Insectovora won the crown that year, and for good reason -- her act was so outrageous, I can't even describe it here. All the performers were great, but the overall ambience of the event was just as much a part of the fun, from the PBR-swilling MC in the cheesy leisure suit to the surf band to the guy in the gorilla suit.
So this year I took Julie (who just moved here from Berlin) thinking it would be a suitable initiation to Brooklyn. This year's crop of contestants was just as bawdy and hilarious as ever. Mermaid get-ups, huge wigs, nautical drag. Raunchy songs, striptease numbers, audience-baiting. Wholesome fun!
The crowd, packed into bleacher seats, slung down Coronas and hooted and howled for the flawed beauties. Each contestant obviously had her contingent of supporters, but the audience loudly supported all.
Buxom NYC burlesque veteran Jessica Rabbit was on the bill, as was Nasty Canasta, who I used to work with when I dj-ed Friday nights at Galapagos. I voted for Nasty, but in the end, the crown went to a gal named Serpentina (brandishing a live snake). But hey, all the girls were winners!
I heart The Miss Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant!
Ok, unfortunately, I have to add a "Why I Hate New York" appendix to this story.
After the show, me n' Julie decided to get a couple beers for hour-long ride home on the F. We got on the train and, about 15 minutes into the journey, a fucking cop walked into our car and busted us for open container.
Just for a little perspective, there was a guy pissing all over the floor in the next car over. Stood up, unzipped and just let loose. He cleared the room fast. So we high-tailed to the next car with all the other fleeing passengers.
So there we are, little old harmless Julie and me, sipping our beers quietly and causing no trouble to anyone or anything -- and the law came down.
Some guy is showering the adjacent car in pee-wee, but Julie and I are the menace-to-society this cop decides to deal with on his Friday night shift in East Brooklyn?
The doucheag, I mean, fearless gendarme, made us get off the train at the Avenue N stop and wait for an eternity on the platform while he processed our offences. Julie was disgusted -- in Berlin, drinking on the street and in the subways is perfectly legal. What's the harm in it?
But there ya go, one of New York's tight-assed hang-ups.
I fucking hate cops.
But that's for another blog.
Long live Coney Island and the Burlesque Beauty Pageant! And may New York's next mayor declare public drinking a legal -- even encouraged -- activity!