Okay, so I’m pretty banged up from last weekend. I’m not going to be jogging or swimming anytime soon. And I think I’ll stay off the bike path for the next few weeks (until I’m in Nantucket…)
So what’s a girl to do on summer weekend?
I was out to run my errands, but instead I let the city decide.
Turns out there was a parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Of course there was music, and girls, and cars, and flags, and floats…
Here come the girls, all ages, marching, twirling, dancing. Some are crowned and ride on floats, some are enthroned on cars.
Most stride, and strut, and spin, and dance their way down Boylston Street, to the pounding music. There are tiny tots, and seasoned campaigners. Some great dancers, some accomplished twirlers… and if someone drops a baton, just keep on moving.
Some of the teenaged dancers have spent so much time and energy on preparation – hair styling, makeup, and body glitter, that they are now almost to self-conscious to perform. Emprisoned by the very glamour that they hoped would transform them into stars.
And of course there is music, salsa bands mounted on trucks, Latin disco from boomboxes, marching drums, DJ’s on floats. The loudest music of all blares from the custom sound systems installed in dozens of macho cars and trucks, Pimp My Ride style. They provide the soundtrack for most of the performers.
These vehicles drive slowly down the street, keeping time with the dancers or marchers who have trained to their beats. Their sun roofs are open, windows down, doors swung wide, and trunks popped open so that every bit of volume can reach the crowd. There is so much power in these multi-speaker systems, so much base, that the music thrums through the crowd, vibrating inside my chest, and seeming to rock even the roadway beneath my feet.
Yes, they are blasting it for the parade, and their proud owners are beaming with pride, friends and supporters walking along side to share in the glory. What do they do with these incredible sound systems, and all this volume, during the rest of the year? Terrorize their neighborhoods? Troll down the streets at night blasting away? Stage impromptu raves in empty parking lots?
Spread out through the parade, separated from each other, are politicians running for office, and their campaign supporters and volunteers, carrying placards, banners, posters. The candidates shake hands all down the route, and run through the parade crowd to demonstrate how literally fit for office they are.
The music continues to pound, the sequined dancers stream by. The twirlers twirl.
There are even a few volunteers, who join the parade for kicks.
It’s a summer pageant. You know I love a parade.