Saturday, November 07, 2009

Seafood wearing hats

One summer in Coney Island, my friend Louis and I paid 50 cents a go to view such quaint sideshow delights as the two-headed baby (actually a poorly rendered plastic infant in a large bell jar). That famous stretch of Brooklyn beachfront - faded glamour in the best possible way - is pretty much closed for business come November, lending a stroll in the late autumn sun an additional melancholy that, say, Weston-super-Mare will never have, with or without its burnt-down pier.

It's a treasure trove of crumbling Americana that would offer riches to even the world's worst photographer. One pleasing quirk I had never noticed, however, was the wearing of hats by the assorted clams, shrimp and crabs that adorn Coney Island's many boardwalk food stalls (you should head straight here, by the way, and skip the overrated hot dogs at Nathan's).

Were we in England, we would have to assume someone has taken the sartorial standard set by Homepride's Fred - faithful servant of the bowler since 1965 - and gone one grander. As we're not, we'll look no further than the topper, if not the cane and monocle, of a certain Mr Peanut.

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