This year’s Battle For Mau Mau Island, the annual art-raft extravaganza that raged last month in the Rockaways, was as crazy as we showed you last year and the “combatants” had wonderful weather to enjoy it. Nary a cloud could be found in the sky all day as rafts were built and launched into the calm waters of Jamaica Bay. By mid-afternoon enough of them were lashed together to make the Island of Mau Mau, where jousting, swimming races and flag stealing had each team on their pruney toes.
I even got caught up in the madness– when I went to go take a huge portrait of everyone at sundown, I made the classic mistake of standing in a canoe, which sent my friend and our beer right into the drink. It was a tough scene as my Polaroid bobbed in the water in front of a gorgeous golden-hour group of folks but I was soon rescued by the “Jerkville” raft, whose assembly I had documented earlier.
As I was brought back to shore with a cocktail in my hand I remarked on how their raft had been the best “battleship” New York has launched since the Monitor left Greenpoint in 1862. Artist and co-captain Giovanni Scotti laughed and exclaimed, “Oh yeah, we’ll make a movie about it!”