Tens of thousands of colorfully costumed revelers partied down on Eastern Parkway from Crown Heights to Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn yesterday for the annual West Indian American Day Parade with millions of people lining the street.
This year's celebration was somewhat muted by Gustav's damage to the Caribbean. Mayor Bloomberg, who led the parade with Gov. Paterson, told the revelers, "We know Mother Nature is a powerful force and there have been some deaths in the Caribbean so our prayers go to all of them." Bloomberg did end his address on a high note, however, declaring, "by order of the mayor of New York, everyone is a little Caribbean-American today."
No one was more Caribbean-American than Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who rode in a float with Keeth and Erinn Smart, the brother and sister who both won silver medals in fencing at the Beijing Olympics. "They live right here in Flatbush! And they're proud to be Jamaican," Markowitz shouted through a megaphone, according to WNBC. And, happily, there are so far no reports of violence marring the festivities. (Last year a man was shot twice in the leg, in '06 there was a shooting and stabbing and, in 2005, a man was shot to death.)