Mermaid Migration Alert: Film at 11

We are jumping on MTA NYC Transit to attend the annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island.

As filhos de Iêmanjá and friends of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, we can do no less. [Note: We participate fully clothed — well, in bermudas and T-shirts showing knobby knees and elbows — and no one is generally to be found showing their tits for beer at the annual event.]

Film at 11.

Mildly decadent neo-burlesque artsy-fartsiness and
arrivistes with trombones — the best kind of arriviste, by the way. If you are going to invade and gentrify, the least you can do is bring a trombone.

UPDATE [Jan. 3, 2007] How can women so minimally attired strut the streets of Coney Island, a reader asks?

From the NYC Municipal Code on indecent exposure:

245.02 Promoting the exposure of a person. A person is guilty of promoting the exposure of a person when he knowingly conducts, maintains, owns, manages, operates or furnishes any public premise or place where a person in a public place appears in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.

And there is caveat, as to a similar provision that proceeds this:

People v. Santorelli restricts the applicability of § 245.01. The Court of Appeals of New York ruled in 1992 that exposure of a bare female breast violates this law only when it takes place in a commercial context. As a practical matter, proper enforcement of this section can be a problem, since local enforcement agents are often unfamiliar with the case law that interprets the statutory language.

In the case of The Brazlian Federal Stalinist Republic v. Globo, for example, the fictional soap opera character promises to show everyone her tits if they buy out all of the beer she is selling.

The episode was sponsored by a beer company (Schincariol).


I think read that they liberated topless sunbathing at Coney Island, but hardly anyone took them up on it. I could be wrong about that. Let me check.

Some law bloggers get into Constitutional aspects and recent jurisprudence:

In the 2000 case of City of Erie v. Pap’s A.M., the Supreme Court upheld a ban on public nudity, which had the effect of forbidding dancers at an adults-only private club from completely baring their breasts.

What this may or may not have to do with comparative lawyerly parsing of female mammary gland exposure — on which see also

To be sure, there are three reasons why the Pap’s precedent may be inapplicable [to the Janet Jackson Super Bowl nipple incident]. First, the Court was fractured, producing no single opinion that spoke for a majority of the Justices.

Skipping over some boring stuff. I think the poster makes a factual error here:

Third, the law at issue in Pap’s required female erotic dancers at least to obscure their nipples with pasties. Janet Jackson’s breast was adorned with a pasty; if Pap’s can be read to say that there is a constitutional right to display naked breasts in public so long as they are decorated with pasties, then perhaps the halftime show falls on the protected side of the line.

Wrong: I believe the Jackson breast was adorned with some kind of [painful looking] jewelry that left the areola entirely visible.

Pictured above, however, are your old-school, NYC Municipal Code-compliant retro-burlesque Barbary Coast pasties. No areola showing.

At any rate, the film at 11, where you can see that WE, at least, are wearing our Polar Bear T-shirts. We only tend to get naked in public places where there is no one around for miles, like our favorite beach on the litoral norte. The public would likely thank us for it , too — or me, anyway. My lovely wife, of course, is a regular Venus on the Half Shell.


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