Coney Island’s annual Mermaid Parade is always a hot time, summer by the sea! A this past Saturday’s parade, there were no naked midgets, no monkeys in bathing suits or bathing humans in monkey suits, but a dozen Marie Antoinettes as well as a woman with a Cyclone atop her head! When you walk down 14th Street and Broadway and see a 300-pound bikini-clad beauty on any Tuesday afternoon these days, you realize how far one has to go to shock or awe –- let alone both!

Photojournalist Dennis Van Tine, who shot these amazing photos of the Parade, carries a battery charger that reads in bold block letters “LOCKED AND LOADED” under a skull. He would have been comfortable shooting a stagecoach robbery in the old Wild, Wild West, as he will be in a tux at the next Presidential inauguration ball. Thanks, my brother, for all these photos!