Last Saturday, Bay Ridge hosted an annual parade charmingly referred to as the Ragamuffin Parade. The participants of the Third Avenue march consisted primarily of children from the area dressed in their Halloween costumes. For a few hours, itty pirates and miniature Disney princesses skipped down the street; Yoshi and Mario tromped next to the Tin Man and a horde of Despicable Me minions; a bumble bee wearing a buttercup yellow tutu was paired with a mini Derek Jeter; and a brown wagon packed with brown blankets to resemble a nest, cradling two babies dressed as fluffy chicks rolled along the parade route.
With a cuteness factor of “Oh m’gosh it’s just too much!” the stream of warriors and animals and characters and even one enthusiastic astronaut toddler was interspersed with marching bands and a Tai Kwon Do class and Santa and Mrs. Claus in a convertible. (Guess how much Babe loved those marching bands?)
The very next day, a festival took place along Third Avenue. Completely unaware of any events planned for the day, I woke up that Sunday morning to find vendors outside our front door setting up a stage for music. Next to them, a food truck, then a carnival game stand. On the other side: decorations for sale, bags made in South America, roasted corn on the cob, turkey legs, Native American jewelry, cashmere scarves, Italian shoes, more carnival games, more live music, bouncy castles, clowns, cotton candy, candy apples, African jewelry, slides, disco, Greek desserts, Schawarma, massages, Margaritas, etc.
The street was absolutely packed for the whole day. Children with noise makers squealed up and down the sidewalks; music of every kind came from all directions; ringing and sirens went off intermittently at the carnival games; peddlers yelled out their low prices; and constantly the hissing and spitting of grilled food filled the air with the sweet aromas of barbeque and candy.
We spent a little time walking around. I really considered buying a very inexpensive jewelry set from the African tent. Then I thought seriously about getting a couple new scarves as they were such a screaming deal. But, as always happens, I talked myself out of it, since we have better things to spend our money on, and just gave a couple bucks to the Vietnam Veterans fund.
Despite partaking very little in the festivities, I love carnivals! I love the energy and the transient collection of such a wide variety of people. I adore walking around and seeing such a collection of sellers and their own unique products. When else would I see those perfectly adorable little handmade magnets that were only $0.50 apiece (Oh, why didn’t I get any?). The smells are tantalizing and the noise is just part of the fun… albeit annoying when I’m left with a dull ringing in my ears for hours afterward.
By nine o’clock that evening, the streets had emptied and, from our windows, we could see the stretch of asphalt like a wasteland after the festival, covered in bits of garbage and debris.
Perhaps due to the sudden rush of visitors to our area, Starbucks ran out of soy milk. So when we stopped by to pick up a drink last weekend, we were most unfortunately out of luck (Ivan and I are lactose intolerant and wholly dependent on the mighty soy bean for our pretentious coffee drinks). I did what any other hopelessly coffee-dependent semi-kitchen savvy person would do: bought some pretentious ingredients and made an entirely too-fancy coffee drink for Ivan and myself. And as there is absolutely no point in making an entirely too-fancy coffee drink without showboating about it, look! Look at the pictures of the entirely too-fancy, pretentiously frothed, pompously staged and, subsequently, arrogantly Hoovered drinky-drink that requires absurdly too many adverbs to describe!
Want to know how I made aforementioned pretentious, pompous, arrogant drinky-drink? Soy milk, instant expresso (or espresso, depending on your affect and/or interest in being right all the time), chocolate syrup, raspberry syrup, cinnamon and a blender to froth it until it’s all poofy and pretentious. Drink with pinky extended, for the love of all things entirely too-fancy!