Monday, September 07, 2009
Click any photo above for a larger image. If you want more, Nostrand Park has an excellent gallery posted here.
This was my first time at Brooklyn's legendary West Indian American Day Carnival, and it blew me away. The experience was total sensory overload of the best kind; colors, sounds, and aromas resplendent with joy everywhere I turned. Everyone I encountered was in great spirits, not that it was hard to enjoy the day and the perfect weather. I also had a blast on my morning run by taking advantage of street closures to run down Lincoln to Buffalo and back on St. John's marathon-style, in the middle of the street. It was a great tour of the festivities, and I got some fantastic cheers (as well as offers of food and drink) on the way.
You can read plenty about the Carnival if you search around, but two useful links I found were the official WIADCA organizers' site and this quick, thorough little history from the Brooklyn Public Library. Drawing up to three million people annually, the celebration is the largest of its kind outside the Caribbean, narrowly edging London's slightly-longer-running Notting Hill Carnival, held a week prior. Depending on who you ask, it may also be NYC's largest parade/street festival. Not bad, Crown Heights, not bad at all.