Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Improv Everywhere Flash Mob: Black Tie Beach

Saturday, August 21

The flash mob is a smash success.  It's "Black Tie Beach" with Improv Everywhere.  Everyone shows up to Coney Island as instructed: in ball gowns and tuxedos.  And then we hit the beach.  Dozens upon dozens of us spread out along the beach to swim, build sand castles, and generally create quite the scene, all in our formal wear.  The beach is swarming with leathery old Russian women who stare at us and snap pictures.  They are a sight to behold: brown and lumpy with peroxide-fried locks; it seems they all have a penchant for bikinis, not matter their body type.  A regular day on the beach would be entertaining enough, and those of us with the IE mission only add to the hilarity.  

Laura and I bum around on our towels for a bit before joining in on a group sand castle-raising endeavor.  It's a massive hit.  Lots of detail and massive in size, at least compared with anything I managed to build as a kid.  We are Atlantic-Ocean salty and eager as preschoolers. The sand is everywhere: in our hair, on our dresses, and rubbing between our knees (we call it a spa-free exfoliating treatment).  

Every few minutes, a swimsuit-clad beach-goer stops to ask us why we're all dressed up and swimming in our clothes.  We give them our scripted answer, as instructed: "We just like to dress up for the beach."  

"So you're not with a wedding?  You don't know each other?"

"No.  We've never met these people."  Needless to say, they're puzzled.

One man stops to ask me if I am part of a religious group.  "Are you here for a spiritual experience?" he queries.

Spiritual?  Sand castles?  "No, we're just here for fun.  We just happen to be dressed up."  I love being so confounding.  :)   The faces I get are hilarious.  But do you know one of the best parts of the day?  I make it through three hours of hazy cloud-blurred sunshine without any sunscreen.  And no burn.  Success.

After completing our sand castle--which was well-documented by both IE's staff photographers and the Russians--Laura and I head for a late lunch.  We ascribe our allegiance to the famous Nathan's Hot Dogs, buying two all-beef dogs and a jumbo bag of surprisingly-low-grease crinkle-cut fries.  And catchup.  Lots of catchup.

After cleaning up and trashing our Goodwill formals, Laura and I head back out of the park, stopping on the way for cotton candy.  Naturally.  It's gotta be about ten years since I've had that stuff. :)  

Today was my first professionally-organized flash mob.  And it certainly won't be my last.  I already owe it to Ben to do one with him after he gets here in September. :)  What a fun way to spend the day.  And I'm not the only one.  Who knows?  Maybe your office boss was here on vacation and decided to join in.  There were plenty of polished old guys, families, couples, and everyone in between.  It's good to see that everyone still knows how to have fun. :)

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