The traditional Caribbean celebration of J'Ouvert brought thousands of revelers out to the streets of Brooklyn early Monday morning for the annual predawn party preceding the West Indian Day parade along Eastern Parkway. The festivities featured steel drum and other percussive music, accompanied by dancing masqueraders in colorful powdered paint and oil.
Photographer Christian Hansen stayed out until dawn photographing the scene. He did not personally witness any of the violence that left an aide to Governor Cuomo in critical condition after gunfire erupted between rival gangs. And hours before the official J'Ouvert kickoff, a 24-year-old man was fatally stabbed and a 21-year-old man was shot in the buttocks at Grand Army Plaza and Eastern Parkway.
Revelers on the streets in Crown Heights appeared to be unaware of the earlier spate of violence, and an exultant mood prevailed through sunrise, when Eastern Parkway was gradually flooded with over a million people for the parade. Check out those photos here.