Photos by Martei Korley
The 49th edition of the West Indian American Day Carnival, known to New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors alike as the West Indian Day Parade or, simply, “The Parkway,” took place once again Labor Day Monday.
As usual, the parade, which runs down Eastern Parkway in the largely Caribbean community of Crown Heights, was full of colorful masqueraders and loud trucks booming the past year’s soca, classic kompa and the latest dancehall. And, also as usual, there was just as much to look at on the sidelines as there was on the parade route.
That’s where many of the images in this series, by LargeUp creative director Martei Korley, take place. These photos could probably come from any number of parades in the last few years, as the demographic and feel of the Labor Day parade has changed little over the years, even as the community surrounding it has begun to. “The Parkway” is the anti-Afropunk, the opposite of Fashion Week and the images of “New New York” we’re bombarded with on Instagram and fashionable blogs — a stalwart staple of NYC holding to tradition, following no trends. (No signs of Justin Bieber or “tropical house”were heard anywhere!)
Let’s hope it stays that way for a long time to come.