Trashed: recounting the agony of throwing away souvenir cups at Coney Island

Dressed in mismatched patterns and vibrant colors, my friends and I exited the subway platform into what felt like a parallel universe.

Mermaids, everywhere.

It was the Coney Island mermaid parade — a New York City tradition of sorts. Every summer solstice, the nutty, nautical side of the city shows itself in a celebration of art and culture. The southern end of Brooklyn was brimming with people excitedly snapping photos of glittery get-ups, Nathan’s hotdogs, and amusement…