Although I was only at the Mermaid Parade for a few hours this year, it seemed to be the perfect amount of time. I don’t go for the actual parade, I arrived hours after the parade. The idea of photographing people “parading” down a street doesn’t interest me at all. But afterwards, as the worlds of spectacle and spectators intertwine on the boardwalk and side-streets, that’s when the true magic of the day happens. I never ask anyone to look at my camera and if they do, I rarely like it. I prefer to be invisible during my time there. That’s always been how I preferred it and how I did it when I first started photographing Coney Island 12 summers ago when I lived in nearby Manhattan Beach and would spend every weekend on the boardwalk listening to the soundtrack of Requiem for a Dream and shooting film. It’s great to see Coney Island back in full force after Hurricane Sandy and along with it being preserved I hope that it continues to grow and never loses its distinct mix of seaside excitement, artistic expression and the awesome people who make it what it is.