Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Trip to Coney

At first glance, it looks like a Coney Island bathing beauties shot from the early 1900s. The subjects' legs are crossed, hands neatly folded in their laps, and a few even have demure smiles for the camera. And of course, the lady suits. Men's bathing suits never drape that well.

But then you begin to notice the brawn - slouchy postures, broad shoulders, short hair, and square jaws that are sort of smirking, not so much smiling. Coney Island has a rich history, most of it revolving around fun, the having and creating of. Perhaps they were preparing for the annual Mermaid Parade, or just experimenting. Adolescence is tricky for everyone.

Another notable feature is the half moon, an image ubiquitous with Coney Island, perhaps because it is the location in Gravesend Bay where explorer Henry Hudson's ship the "Half Moon" docked on it's way to Asia. Or, because of the Half Moon Hotel, which you can read more about here and here. Also, in 1933, the popular song "It's Only a Paper Moon" was written, and over the years has been used and/or covered by just about everybody.

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