rachel-roze-puerto-rican-day-parade-thumb

The Puerto Rican Day Parade Through the Lens of Rachel Roze

Walking out of the subway on 5th ave and 59th street I could already feel the energy and chaos of the Puerto Rican Day Parade before my head was even above ground. I know it sounds cheesy, but that excitement of the people melts my heart…these are the moments that life is about and make New York classic. The city was buzzing like a good war was about to happen. This New York City parade is massive. It is surreal to see the same streets you walk every day smothered with red, white, and blue Puerto Rican flags swarming with like-minded people ready to party. The majority of the crowd are people living truthfully to who they truly are…this is not your artsy fartsy Chelsea crowd or lifeless anorexic fashion set or stuck up wall street businessmen.It has been the longest, drawn out winter-especially since hurricane sandy, and it’s the first week of June, so there was a lot of pent up energy inside thousands ready to party. For the last 2 years that I have been to this event I forget how intimidating it is to take my camera out and photograph it. I walked around shy and hidden for the first hour before I loosened up and started interacting with people.

The sun was hot and it looked as if every like-minded person from every nook and cranny of New York was piling into these streets to get wild. I love the blend of all ages and races. Cops and criminals, families and kids. Young girls dressed up tight in red and blue and tough guys with no shirts eyeing and flirting with each passing girl. Parents dancing with their babies on their shoulders while French Montana’s song “Ain’t Worried About Nothin” is glaring out of every corner you turn. I kept wondering what these little kids are thinking while seeing a bunch of drunk grown ups dry hump each other in public and at the same time smelling a blunt get lit up every 2 minutes. What other event will you see a bunch of bench-pressing thugs do pull ups on a parade float.

There are people kissing, dancing, laughing, flirting all while 70% of the crowd is standing around with crossed arms and hardened New York attitude across their faces like they are prepared to get into a fight at any moment. Those are usually the ones that I’m drawn to photograph, which, let me tell you, is not easy. People are scared just to walk around this event and that’s what makes it even more special. I love their pride and passion for their culture. It makes me proud just to experience that energy whether I am interacting with it or I am just a fly on the wall. Puerto Rican or not you can feel the love and pride of New York all around.

-Rachel Roze

Related Articles

Art
Art

VIDEO: “Finding Vivian Maier” (Trailer)

Photography
Photography

Shoebox Memories: Belgium’s Skate Scene from ’88 to ’99

News
News

Zoo Portraits

Events
Events

Let Me Coach You: Fast Times at Coachella

Events
Events

Let Me Coach You: Coachella’s Finest Moments

Art
Art

Bluntbreak Curates His Top 21 Instagram Photos

Ad

Latest News

lamar odom's lawyer writes espn a letter after stephen a. smith's "crack" comments Sports

Lamar Odom’s Lawyer Pens Letter to ESPN Over Stephen A. Smith’s “Crack” Comments

Stephen A. clowned Odom’s addiction on ESPN this week in a clip that’s now viral
Meek Mill's crew apparently attacks Safaree in Los Angeles. News

Safaree Gets Jumped, Calls Meek Mill “Biggest Pussy On This Planet”

Meek remains unfazed
Music

With ‘Project E.T.,’ DJ Esco and Future Gave Listeners “Too Much Sauce”

"Yeah, all of my diamonds they shine, Haters like knock that off"
Metro Boomin drops a new song with Drake and Offset Music

Metro Boomin Drops Surprise Drake, Offset Collab, “No Complaints”—Is Album Next?

The Atlanta producer's got everybody lookin'
Zola News

Viral Dancing Gorilla Sad Reminder Of What Harambe Could Have Been

Impressive moves but... damn
tupac filmmakers sued by former vibe writer Film

‘All Eyez On Me’ Filmmakers Sued for Using Fictional Characters in Tupac Biopic

Former ‘VIBE’ writer claims the movie steals his intellectual property
Call of Duty 4 Screencap Remastered Tech/Games

‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered’ Standalone Release Coming Soon

COD fans who skipped the $80 'Infinite Warfare' bundle are psyched
memesmahnegguh, coco mango cherry Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! @memesMahNegguh

Adult Swim, holler at your boy!
Banksy News

Goldie Refers to Banksy as “Rob,” People Freak Out

You do realize how many Robs there are in the world, right?
Music

New Music From Vince Staples, dvsn, Heems and More

The Listening Room (June 23, 2017)
2017 Draft Class Sports

The Major Takeaways from the 2017 NBA Draft

Last night we watched men both younger and way more talented than us become way richer than us. Welp
Sizzla-DJ-Khaled News

The Untold Story Behind DJ Khaled and Sizzla’s “I’m So Grateful”

Khaled and Kalonji go way back
Eric B. & Rakim will reunite to celebrate 30th anniversary of Paid In Full. Music

Eric B. & Rakim Announce First Show Together in Over 20 Years

Finally let the rhythm hit 'em
essex-market-featured Art

‘Market Surplus’ Gives a Building on the L.E.S. One Last Jolt Before Demolition

Mural art show features Faust, Lamour Supreme, ELLE and more
Silicon Valley: The Soundtrack is available now. Music

Stream ‘Silicon Valley: The Soundtrack,’ Featuring Nas, Run the Jewels, Wu-Tang ...

A Mass Appeal and HBO collaboration, streaming now
Jay 305 talks about Suga Free's 'Street Gospel' album. Music

Jay 305 Preaches on Suga Free’s Classic ‘Street Gospel’

Chuuch!