Saturday in the park with George … Washington

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Saturday was the inaugural Dance Parade which grooved its way down a slightly damp 5th Avenue to end in a dance party in Washington Square Park. Dancers in the park included Simi Linton (above left, with banner), her husband David (aka Fuzzy, above right; the roller skates on his feet are sadly outside the frame), and some of their friends who are dancers, including the fabulous Lezlie Frye (above left with Simi; she had tacked a sign proclaiming “Gimps Got Game” on the back of her red top). Also in attendance were me as designated go-fer and impromptu interviewer, and film-maker Christian von Tippleskirsch (try pronouncing that after a few tipples; also above right), who is helping us put together a DVD trailer designed to attract funding for a documentary about how war manufactures disability.

Simi decided the group would dance under the name “Crip Machine”, politely declining my suggestion of “Crip City Rollers” (too English, perhaps). They attracted a lot of attention with their dancing and inventive choreography – at one point there were skates, wheelchairs, calipers and even a Segway in the dance mix.

Sunday’s New York Times reported on the parade in its Metro section. “We happened upon it, and it’s just blowing my mind,” said Marydale Abernathy, 47, a Web developer. “I’m from Maine, and I’m bringing my 7-year-old daughter to see the culture of New York City, and this is the feeling I came for, totally. There’s wheelchair dancers. How cool is that?”

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