Partially as evidence that I actually leave the apartment (well, sometimes), partially to point out design-y stuff outside our cozy walls, and mostly just because I want to, I’d like to start writing occasional posts about some of the other things I enjoy besides the aroma of drying latex paint and the sweet melody of my electric screwdriver. To kick things off, I present to you the annual Coney Island Beard and Mustache Competition.
Aside from being one of my very favorite places in this fine city, Coney Island boasts a pretty cool mix of design elements. Colorful hand-painted signage everywhere, graffiti, extensive use of neon– it’s dazzling. It’s a haphazardly layered testament to 90 years of history, a constant contrast of old and new. At once charming and revolting, it never fails to warm my heart.
I sport neither a beard nor a mustache, but hold a great deal of respect for people who do. Growing one seems like a difficult and humiliating process, a true labor of love. It takes gumption. Which is why, once a year, it’s important to recognize and support these brave pioneers of facial foliage while drinking locally manufactured beer on the southern tip of Brooklyn.
This dude should have won, but he didn’t.
I was enchanted by this couple, and I wish their fetus the best of luck with its hair-growing aspirations.
As a show of support, we donned fake mustaches with the help of some eyeliner. Here I am, applying a trucker-style ‘stache to my friend Emily.
The judges were some of the characters from the daytime sideshow acts, including the sword swallower, an elderly gentleman who looked like Buffalo Bill and performs a lasso act, and, appropriately, the bearded woman. That’s our emcee, Donny Vomit, assisting the sword swallower.
The “Best Natural Mustache” (as opposed to styled mustache) came down to an extremely tense arm-wrestling competition. The guy on the right won, but it was close.
The assorted winners. In the back row: Best Natural Mustache, Best Natural Beard, Best Sideburns, Best Styled Beard, Best in Show. Front row: Best Styled Mustache, Best Bearded Woman, Best Fake Mustache, and Worst in Show. The awards were their red fezzes.
I didn’t want to show this. But since I had to see it, so do you. The show ended with the other emcee/sideshowman feeding a small rubber tube through his nose, out his mouth, and then feeding whisky into it through a syringe for people to take “shots” from. It was disturbing and I could have watched the procession of audience members all night. No, I did not participate, I was raised right.
My friend Maya and I wore our mustaches all the way home because they suited us so nicely. Which kind of goes without saying.