Today is easily the loudest day of the year on my street. I happen to live on the route of an annual parade celebrating Puerto Rican culture. It's my own fault that I didn't get enough sleep before the noise started. I thought they'd wait a bit longer than 9:30 am.
Well, it isn't really a parade, and unless Puerto Rican culture revolves around ear-splitting engines and burning tires, they probably aren't hewing too close to the other part of the name either. Plus it goes well into the night. So maybe none of the words are quite accurate. Lots of Puerto Rican flags of all sizes, though.
Each year for the last few, it's been a quieter and smaller affair than the previous one. This afternoon, the police kept shutting down my street entirely, to punish the rowdy, I suppose.
My first year in the neighborhood, I had no idea such a thing existed. It took me three hours to get home from band rehearsal, most of the time spent within a mile of my house. The rule since then has been not to go anywhere by car. Way less angry-making for me. I either go somewhere on foot or hang out on the front stoop and enjoy the insanity. I opted for the latter this year, armed with my handy camera.
I like the ordinary, festive family portion of the day. There are picnics and barbeques and families gathered all along both sides of the street. The puzzler is the thing with the tires. Kids rush out to any car that stops and douse the rear wheels with water, which helps to keep the car from moving forward immediately and also prevents actual fire from breaking out. The driver slams down the accelerator and the kids sort of rock the car back and forth until it takes off noisily down the street. The point is to produce as much smoke as possible, which is often quite a lot of smoke. Completely obscured vision, instant headache amounts of smoke. Also, the amount of smoke is apparently focus-fooling. I lost a lot more shots than normal.
Makes me miss the days when I was mostly irritated by the noise.
Anyway, I got some shots from the brief intervals when the police were not around to dampen the shrieks and squeals and rumbles of an orgy of internal combustion.
I did not stop anyone to ask about their carbon footprint, as they tooled around and around all afternoon. It just didn't seem like a good time to do that.
A few more pics on the Flickr page. Thank you for your time. Now excuse me, please, as I go get some sleep.