Thanks to the awesome group of people who participated in today’s mission at Coney Island. If you were there, please leave an Agent Report in the comments. I know there are hundreds of funny stories waiting to be told. Also leave links to any photos you might have taken. Photos from our official photographers are posted below, and we hope to have our video up in a couple of weeks on our YouTube channel. (Subscribe to it!) When the video is posted, we’ll post our official mission report here. [UPDATE – video embedded above]
– Agent Scott’s set (165 photos)
– Agent Sokoler’s set (146 photos)
– Agent Fountain’s set (89 photos)
For those of you who were not there– we had several hundred agents spend a day at the beach at Coney Island / Brighton Beach wearing black tie attire. We covered a mile-long stretch of beach with a diverse group of people of all ages (from babies to sixty-somethings) laying out, playing games, and swimming in the ocean, all in formal wear. Agents were instructed to find cheap tuxedos and ball gowns at thrift stores for the occasion.
The mostly Russian crowd of beachgoers appeared to have a blast watching the spectacle unfold, laughing, taking photos, and asking questions. (Brighton Beach has a huge Russian population.) My personal highlight involved a group of ten middle-aged Russian people chanting “Swim! Swim! Swim!” to me, not letting up until I belly flopped in the water in my tux. One of them then waded out in the water to take a photo of me, not for himself, but so he could email it to me.
Thanks again to everyone who participated! The official report and video will come out in a couple of weeks. Join/follow/subscribe our mailing list, Twitter, Facebook page, or YouTube channel to be updated.
Hey, where can I find out about the missions before they happen? I would have liked to participate!
This question is answered on our FAQ.
I was there with my 5 and 8 year old girls and I took a few notes of comments:
~My 5 year old tried to make friends with a few little girls in the ocean and the older one said to the younger one: I don’t WANNA play with her…indicating her wearing a dress in the ocean.
~”Maybe there’s a wedding”
~”But, why are they all, like, separate?”
~”Did you all answer an ad in the paper?”
~”Are you shooting a movie?”
~”You’re gonna ruin that dress if you let her swim in there”
One guy in a light brown visor just would NOT let it go, he approached EVERYBODY in formal wear trying to figure out what we were doing.
Thanks for a great experience!
I saw that guy! My friend and I fed him some story about how the two of us were trying to fight the “Jersey Shore” culture and bring a bit of class back to the beach…
We saw the same guy. We were leaving, and it looked like he’d been there a while. He finally yelled “You’re all driving us CRAZY! What is going on??” We just said it was a nice day, so we dressed nicely.
I just wrote this as a comment on one of my photos but I LOVE parents who bring their kids to IE missions. Those kids will have such great memories.
I brought my 2 yr. old along…she had a great time playing in the surf in her favorite yellow dress!
Thanks for the beautiful photos!!
My 3 year old had the greatest time being allowed to trash his tux.
Thanks to IE for giving parents a chance to bring such whimsy into our kids lives. :)
I wasn’t able to attend as I was committed to a similar “impromptu” event (ironically, Also at a beach) and we had a bunch of children along as well. It’s great that parents are exposing their children to the lighter side of society. Maybe the next generation will be more light hearted and forgiving.
This was one of the most fun IE missions I’ve ever photographed! I took so many pictures. I’m in the process of sorting through them now and will have them online soon.
I only had one set of people directly ask me what was happening, and it was on the walk to the beach:
Man: What’s going on?
Woman: Why is everyone dressed up?
Me: I don’t know!
Woman: What did she say, she doesn’t know?
Man: Yeah, she doesn’t know.
Woman: You know what, I don’t even care.
A few moments later they approached some fancily dressed participants.
Woman: What’s going on?
Participants: We just like being dressed up.
I got a photo of the man throwing his hands up in the air in frustration.
That is so funny! I love your summary. I can just picture it. The woman saying she doesn’t care, but then going up to the next group of people asking! Lol! I love it. I can’t wait to see the videos.
This was amazing, thank you so much for making it happen :D. My friends and I were approached by a very nice Russian lady, who asked us if we were celebrating a graduation. We informed her that we just enjoy dressing up for the beach, and my friend convinced her that she was afraid of swimsuits. Also, a couple of people were convinced that we were extras in a movie and applauded us as we got out of the water.
I came alone and within 15 minutes I met 6 other people who also came alone. We all decided to stick together and we had so much fun. When we got down to the water and put our towels down we got so many crazy looks. We just hung out and did beach stuff. Swiming in my dress was so much fun and when I came out of the water all of the sand clung to me and I just looked ridiculous.
We ended up burying one of the guys in our group in the sand and made him look like a mermaid. That got a few people to come over and ask to take pictures.
When we left the beach, one group of people thanked us for coming and applauded for us…I’m still not sure what they think we did, but they were pretty excited about it.
To top off our day we rode the cyclone … I call this day a success!
I’m one the six! This pretty much covers all of the highlights of my day except for the dress part since I was in a tux. I hope we all meet again to cause another scene!
I was part of this group! :D It was my first mission and it blew all of my expectations out of the water. This was a pretty accurate depiction of our day but I might add that on the boardwalk, someone asked us why we were dressed up so we got to use the magic line: “We like to get dressed up for the beach.” I hope to meet up again at another mission!
my experiences were similar to everyone else posting so far (ie-‘is this a wedding?’ followed by confusion with our response) but my favorite exchange was with a guy who thought he was being smart and asked me why i took my shoes off while swimming in the ocean with a suit. my response: “swimming with my shoes ON? now that’s just silly. who does that?”
my wife and i loved it! great times. can’t wait to see more pictures!
My favorite moment was as we were playing a fierce game of frisbee and a family leaving the beach yelled over to make sure I was wearing sufficient sunscreen!
Since I failed to entice any of my friends and family to come along (losers, all of them) I had a very lovely solo time at the beach playing with shells since I was wary about leaving my belongings alone for too long. Most people assumed that I was attending a wedding, to which I’d explain how I’d simply come to the beach and dressed up fancy. One older man who was with his wife asked me if the party was going to be later, pointing out the lack of music and food. He continued to be suspicious for the rest of the afternoon.
I think I was most amused by an Asian couple who stopped by and were more intrigued by my shells than the fact that I was decked up in inappropriate beachwear. They even took pictures of the shells, and then the woman offered to take my picture with them. They were all sorts of awesome and adorable.
I really loved watching everyone have a blast. From building sandcastles to running over to get ice cream to the general chaos in the water. The folks who ended singing hits such as Don’t Stop Believin’ rocked my world! Overall, a wonderful excuse for a trip to the beach with many of the best sorts of people.
Ahh singing “Don’t Stop Believing” and Backstreet Boys and a bunch of other songs was probably the highlight of my day!! It was so awesome to not only run in the water in a dress, but to sing songs with random strangers who are just as crazy as me. I love Improv Everywhere :)
I was just a few feet from you Becky. I saw your wonderful shell artwork, and took a picture of it, but you were away at the time. It was cool. It must have taken you a while to collect all those shells.
I remember you!
It was secretly my revenge on the shells. One of them actually sliced my foot early on, so I had to bend them to my will. Plus swirly patterns are fun. Thrilled that you liked it though!
And if you forgot to get a pic of the shells, I can email it to you. Just click on my name to get to my website and contact details.
My companions (who I’d never met before today) handled the onlookers brilliantly. We were building a sandcastle and someone asked if he could take our picture. Their reply: “sure, I guess? It’s not really finished or anything but…” He got this look on his face of “that’s not why I want to take the pict… ok, whatever.”
The highlight was definitely a big group of us standing out in the water singing Bohemian Rhapsody.
That was definately my favorite part of the day, too.
That was so brilliant!
Heh, that was me who said that about the sand castle we were trying to build. (BTW, I wish we’d gotten a pic of the other folks’ sand castle next to our base camp. It had turrets, decorations, and even a draw bridge!)
My favorite exchange was when I was walking behind you guys heading towards the beach because I’m a slow walker. These two bicyclists who’d stopped on a section of the boardwalk and were watching the parade of people asked me what “all this” was as I kept walking by him.
Me: It’s a boardwalk!
Him: No, I mean, what are you doing?
Me: I’m going to the beach.
Him: *frustrated* Well, what’s with the fucking ice cream.
Me: *yelling back at him* It’s tasty!
I love playing “Yes, and…” with people.
I have to say, I was thinking it would be a total drag, especially when I was putting on my suit and it was hot and humid and then we were sweating on the platform waiting for the train. I figured 20 minutes on the beach and I would be ready to be out of there. Then as we started seeing other agents on the train, the sheer ridiculousness of it made it more and more fun.
We met a young woman, Claudia, on the train who recognized us as agents by our formal attire. She’d forgotten her instructions, so she teamed up with us. Once we saw the crowd of people, I was in. Down on the beach, she suggested building the sand castle, and started in. A couple other young women joined her so I finally pitched in. They had mostly finished it, so I started embellishing. I did the drawbridge over half a styrofoam cup. Thanks for compliment! Our friend Maria was a hit in her single strap hot pink sheath with the silly inner tube and silver heels.
We got reactions similar to those of other people, and we used various stories. One woman near us was most concerned about us ruining our “expensive” clothes. When I asked her where the johns were, she said, “I’ll tell you if you tell me what this is all about.” I just looked at her and said, “What what’s all about?” She looked exasperated and told me which building was the john. Then I was walking back from the john and a pair of guys looked at me and said somewhat aggressively, “Yeah, we know — this is how everybody dresses for the beach in Ohio!” I just gaped at them and said, “How did you know I was from Ohio?” I *am* from Ohio! Only when I got back to our blanket and told my wife Cindy about it did I find out that she had used that line.
It turned out to be perfect weather for wet formal wear. Despite my earlier predictions, we ended up spending about 3 hours and enjoyed every moment and every double take and quizzical expression. Once we’d changed into our regular duds and headed to the amusement park, it was like Cinderella returning from the ball: no more coach and horses, only an old pumpkin and some mice. But it was definitely the most memorable day at the beach – one of the most memorable events – of my life!
My girlfriend and I had a fabulous time being applauded and congradulated on getting married everywhere we walked despite the lack of wedding rings or the fact that her gown was straight out of the 80’s.
This was our going away last hoorahh before we both go off to college and it was an incredible day.
I’m upset that I missed this mission! It sounds like you had a blast!
That sounds awesome!! Do a mission in LA please! :)
Yeahh, Orange County Would be great, especially in the Newport/Irvine Area! How about the Spectrum!
Yes plleeease I would definitely drive the 4 hours to participate!
Do one In San Fransisco! Or somewhere in N.Cali! I would totally do one of these things!
My daughter and I were there today, had a great time! On our way to our car a group of kids stopped us and asked what we were doing. We told them “we just like to dress up for the beach. On Long Island, we said, almost everyone does. One of the girls asked my daughter “well are you allowed to lower your sleeves to tan?” to which my daughter replied, “Actually, it IS frowned upon!” thanks so much.
As my two friends and I were leaving, we got stopped by a group of people who quizzed us on the usual, i.e., who are you, how do you know those people, why are you dressed for a prom. Then, after we answered those questions, one of the girls got this look on her face and asked with great suspicion, “Are you from Long Island?”
Now we understand why.
I recruited two of my friends to come with me and after a morning of furious getting dressed, we were set. Throughout the car ride, we didn’t know if we were lost. “How will we know?” “Just look for a huge group of people dressed like they’re going to a wedding.” We found the meet up, finally.
I think people’s expressions were my favorite part of this mission. Some were quizzical, and some were just “Meh, its New York.”
My friends and I dropped our stuff and ran into the ocean, Baywatch style. There was a lot of screaming and laughing, but onlookers didn’t quite get it. Everyone we saw had cameras out, some secretly (others not so secretly) trying to take a picture. I think the agents were spread enough so if you walked down the beach, you saw classily dressed folks everywhere.
I loved what others brought. Scuba gear, a metal detector, and I saw a hardcore game of frisbee in water made it all worth it for me.
Afterwards, we went to ride the Cyclone. The workers seemed slightly confused at out drenched attire, but I don’t think they let it bother them.
This mission was awesome, and I’m so glad we could participate!
haha, i was in that hardcore game of frisbee.
i came with one other girl friend and we were disappointed that we didn’t have a tuxedo in our company. no matter, we had fun on our own.
highlights: when asked what’s up with the gowns, i shrugged at the lady, told her i liked to feel fancy and walked away singing “i feel pretty” from west side story.
also, the couple with the toddler and the metal-detector guy were hilarious! i love that everyone got really into it.
this mission is definitely something i’d do again!
I had so much fun at this mission today! I tried to get my friends to go, and no one would come. I ended up hanging out with a few other ladies,and we had the best time.
Whenever anyone asked why I was all dressed up and swimming in the ocean,I’d tell them matter-of-factly that I always try to look my best at all times.
Everyone who participated looked fabulous, and it was really nice to meet so many new people!
The highlight of our day was when an older couple approached us and pressed us for information. They eventually gave up, but the woman said “I live across the street and have been going to this beach for 45 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this! You guys are wonderful!”
We had a great time, and to make that kind of impression on an old-school New Yorker was worth its weight in gold.
Fun day! Building sandcastles with a few people, including Maggie, whom I had just met. Some nice lady was questioning us and asked “How do you all know each other?” Our honest reaction came out simultaneously “We just met today.”
Thanks for another great mission, folks.
We were able to get our tuxes and evening gowns at thrift stores dirt cheap. Mine was the most expensive at eight bucks, and the cheapest was five. Bow ties we got online for a couple bucks each plus shipping. All told, it cost us about forty bucks – plenty cheap for this adventure.
Parking was a hassle, but seeing hundreds of folks all decked out in their evening wear was reward enough when we reached the rendezvous point for the mission briefing. Great weather for a day at the beach wearing heavy clothing: cloudy in the low eighties. And the water was warm!
We swam and made sand castles most of the time. The reactions were wonderful. Everyone we ran into loved the spectacle – no one was put out. That made it a rousing success in our books!
Favorite moments were floating on my back in the water (a woman said she thought I was dead), and hanging out with the kids in the sand as the world walked by.
Even with the tuxes and evening gowns, this was one of our best beach days in a long time. Thanks for a great time!
when we were walking to find a space to put our towels down, I overheard a couple talking to each other about what was going on:
“maybe a wedding?”
“that one looks like a drag queen.”
A brave 8 year old boy ran up to me when I was building a sandcastle with my elbow length gloves on:
“um… can I ask you a question?”
“um…um…… what’s your name?”
I told him and he said ok and ran after his departing parents. Clearly not what he wanted to ask, but he didn’t want to press further.
This was my first mission – and it was everything I ever dreamed it would be, times a thousand! Met awesome people, got lots of questions/speculation/applause/laughs/suspicious stares/sideways glances/double takes/picture requests, got buried in sand, etc.
I also didn’t change before riding the subway back – and got some very strange looks, understandably!
Thanks so much for a great day.
So many ladies just came up to us to say, “You look beautiful!”. No further questions. We answered, “Thanks! So do you!” Others thanked us for making their days. Just doing our part, you know?
Among the funnier responses we received were NYPD authoritatively asking us, “What’s going on here?” “Uh, we like to dress up?” and a non-participant proposing marriage on the spot, with various other strangers offering to be best man, etc.
The highlight of the day for me (and my friends John, Jon, and Brad) was definitely around 6:00. We were swimming in the ocean, and an NYPD helicopter flew overhead. We all waved our arms, and somebody in the helicopter waved back at us. After that, word must have gotten around in the chopper that there were some people down in the water in tuxes and a gown, because the helicopter idled for a bit, and then actually TURNED AROUND so that (presumably) the guys on the other side could see! The guys on the other side then proceeded to wave down at us, and then the helicopter continued on its way down the shoreline. An awesome moment during an awesome mission!
We saw that as we were packing up to leave, and wondered if they were looking at what was left of the mob of us! We figured it had to be when they turned around for a closer look!
We saw the helicoptor too! Myself and three others (Liv, Mark, and Brad) were walking along the shore when the chopper flew over us. We waved at it and it totally did a double take and came right back and hovered over us. There was one guy who was sitting on the edge trying to get a glimpse. It was pretty awesome!
Not everything is about you. Sorry. The people in the NYPD helicopters always wave back no matter what you are wearing. They go up and down the shoreline from one end of the beach to the other and back again. The only time they don’t complete the entire run is when they get a call. I was there and saw the sudden turn. I also noticed that there were sirens in the distance.
Way to be a kill-joy.
Wow, you are a major jerk…
I saw the helicopter, too, and it definitely turned around, and then turned BACK around and continued in the direction it was INITIALLY going.
No seriously, the guy in chopper did a double take as it passed by us. The thing turned around, flew STRAIGHT for us and then hovered there for a minute no more than 300ft out. (There were umbrellas tipping over and trash started flying around) Then someone leaned out to look at us, or take a picture, I’m not sure, and then they continued on the way they were originally going.
This was our first mission, and boy was it fun! I had my vintage Parisian gown from a couple of weeks ago, and on the spur of the moment yesterday, I invited my friend Rich. He scrambled to get a tux and accessories together, and I fortuitously found a tuxedo at the thrift store around the corner *this morning* for $8. It took a bit of altering in the car, but in the end, he looked amazing – definitely one of the best-dressed men among the crowd.
We met and shared space with a few other well-dressed agents farther down the beach than many. One of my favorite moments was early on, when Rich and I entered the water. There was a whole crowd watching, and as Rich dove in, they applauded loudly, followed by applause for when I immersed my red-gowned body. That’s the first time anyone has ever clapped for my swimming, and it was a memorable moment! And when we got out of the water, there were more paparazzi than Paris Hilton would have as we walked back to our towels.
We received many, many questions about why we were so well dressed, and why there were so many of us. Toward the end, I had refined my response to, “I always wear my tiara to the beach. Don’t you?” But our favorite question was asked of our younger buddies, “Are you *normal*?” We had a blast thinking of possible answers to that question after the fact.
I really enjoyed swimming with my gown on, and I would do it again. It was fun being the center of attention in such a theatrical way, and walking around seeing all the creative ways others were experiencing this day. We even came along at the right moment to photograph a group of agents who had buried two men (heads with bow ties). Thanks for the memories!
The best parts of today for me was the following: Overhearing and understanding conversations about us in Polish and Russian. (The words “stupid” and “crazy” were thrown around a lot.) Being photographed by men in tight, ill-fitting, Speedo swim-trunks. Playing frisbee and taking a dip in a dry-clean only dress. Standing out and yet fitting in all at once. Great fun!
The mission was amazing. There were a lot more people than I expected. Maybe it makes to turn it into an annual event – a la No Pants Day?
More pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/111890152303396885395/BlackTieBeach?feat=directlink
It should definitely be an Annual. Hands down the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Perhaps change the beach?
Oh, please do! I would love to make a vacation of it next year!
Charlie, please consider making this annual.
@John I think doing it on a different beach each year is a good idea.
My friend Dan and I got there just a little before the set meet time, and already there was a crowd. I was stoked to see such a turn out, but the group simply multiplied exponentially in the few minutes we were waiting! I was having fun just seeing the various flocks of people gathering together before we set out.
People cheered intermittently as instructions were given, and it was really just fun to be part of a group of strangers with one single thread of commonality between us. We hadn’t even gotten onto the beach yet and already I was having a blast.
Another first-time Agent named Max came over to my friend and I and all three of us had such an awesome time at the beach that we ended hanging out all day together! I’ve never had that much fun with such a fast friend before, I was sad to realize I’d probably never see him again after we said goodbye.
As we made it to the beach, my dress made the unfortunate decision to rip on me (irreparably down the back) so for the first hour or so I jaunted around with a torn dress and hoped people wouldn’t notice.
“What happened to your dress?” a lady asked me.
“It ripped when I hopped the banister!”
“A likely story!” she retorted, both of us laughing heartily.
A woman and her son approached me while my friends Dan and Max were swimming in the water and asked very carefully (and repeatedly) what was going on.
“We just wanted to dress up for the beach today,” my response.
“Who is WE?” she demanded, thinking that I was amid the whole crowd of people dressed for the beach today.
“I don’t know any of these other people! I just came here with my friends Dan and Max! See? They’re over there!” and I would point out to the water where my two friends were swimming. The lady would not believe it was just my little party of 3 that decided to dress up today.
“You must be making a movie. I have to call my husband.” then she walked away, confused as ever. I was telling the truth, after all, I didn’t know anyone else who was dressing up.
I overheard some people talking about what was going on, a man sitting in a chair and an inquiring mother and kid. The man said “They all say the same thing, they don’t know each other, I have no idea what’s going on.” I smiled quietly to myself, as I was laying back and working on my “dress tan.” Those ankles are highly ignored, you know.
All in all, it was an incredible day of brightening people’s days and meeting new friends.
You owe me lunch someday, Max!
My best time was getting to play vollyball with the life guards….They told me this is a first….I said what playing with a 50 year old lady….They said no playing with a hot lady in an evening gown on the the beach.
I managed to convince my sister and father to come along to this, and my sister brought a friend. And it was so worth it, We all had enough fun for ten people! Maybe it was just new york, or maybe it was the strange event happening that day, but everyone was really nice. One stylish couple lent us a kite to fly around for 15 minutes, and we had a very nice conversation with them. The lady selling ice cream gave one to a friend for free, just because we made her day. However, their were two major highlights of my day I would like to note-
We started a chorus group somewhere in the center water, with about twenty people singing hits together like “Hey jude” and family guy songs. Can’t touch this got a few minutes, as did can’t stop believing and some I didn’t recognize.
Around 5:30, the group of well dressed people in my area started a game of red rover. Instant win. I was unaware it was such a violent game though, we had people who could of been james bond crashing through two ladies holding hands. It was very comical.
SHOUT-OUT TO TEAM #1 WE’RE BETTER THEN YOU, TEAM TWO!
Ok, Jake, yes, you are right. I got caught by Team One and they brought me over to the dark side. And they ended up winning, although Red Rover ended up devolving into everyone falling on the sand face down and crawling to the sea like baby turtles that had just hatched – Jake’s dad
I had 2 of the guys walking up and down the beach selling cold water meet and stop right next to me and start talking. They kept it up for over 5 minutes saying things like “they just came out of nowhere!”, and “I have no clue what is going on!”. They were wonderfully baffled by it, and finally walked off shaking their heads.
Today was amazing! The men around us were very frustrated by our response of “we always dress up on Saturdays. Last week we went to the movies” Someone mentioned we must be from Germany as they do that sort of thing there. Can’t wait to do it again!
Today was extremely cool. I was only stopped and asked once, by someone who worked for the beach, why I was so dressed up, though I was stared at constantly, from the time I got out of the car. Personally, I had two favorite moments: The first being when a group of about 15 people all dressed up started singing together in the water (I was glad I was part of that group!) And the second being when a young kid said he was dressed up to “pick up some ladies.” It was my first mission, and I’m definately going to do another!
I’ve been following IE for awhile now and was so excited to finally participate in a mission! My friend and I got so many questions, similar to everyone’s experience so far. She’s not a fan of the ocean so one of my highlights was that I managed to get her waist deep in the water, in her gown!
Another highlight was a older Russian man on the boardwalk on our way out:
“Why are you all dressed up? What’s going on?”
“Oh, we just like to dress up for the beach!”
“But I saw 60 or 70 people in the park all in suits and dresses and then everyone went over to the beach. Is this one of those flash things?”
“Um, no, we don’t know them…”
I was so amazed that he knew about flash mobs!
This was such an amazing way to end my summer. Thank you!!
thanks for a great day!
my favorite was pretending like wearing a nice dress was perfectly normal and everyone wearing bathing suits was under dressed!
This was certainly an awesome mission. My friend and I happily told anyone who asked that the two of us were personally protesting the “Jersey Shore” and “beach-bum” culture and were trying to bring a little class to the beach.
My favorite encounter was with a lifeguard who promised us that we could walk out on the rock jetty (something that is generally forbidden) if we would just tell him what was going on. When we fed him the usual story, he looked at us incredulously, said “You can’t bullsh*t a bullsh*tter!” and stormed off.
Ariella, did that lifeguard have Rad Rick written on his shorts? If so, we talked to him, and he tried the same line on us. Excellent cover story.
This was my first mission, and I’ll definitely be back for more! Two highlights:
-My girlfriend and I were some of the last to actually get onto the beach. After we set up and had been sitting a few minutes, a woman in front of us woke up from a nap. It was great watching her process what must have happened while she was asleep!
-On the way out, I stopped at the men’s room, where another agent was using a urinal. I stood at the urinal one space away. A man (non-agent) arrived at the urinal between us, and looked back and forth between us suspiciously the whole time.
My first mission. My absolute favorite parts
1- Man in the brown visor who was SO frustrated because he didn’t understand what was going on! He asked EVERYONE that came by him
2- Overhearing a man in a tux tell a man in a speedo that he (man in tux) thought the man (man in speedo) was overdressed for the beach!
3- Woman on the phone telling her friend she had to call her back because there were people in formal wear, carying beach stuff and eating corndogs.
4- Man at the parking lot saying “look, here come a princess” then asking me what was going on. I said “If you can’t dress up to go to the beach, where can you dress up to go?
Thanks for a great first time IE experience!
After getting to the beach, I quickly befriended a stylish Russian woman who was sitting alone. She told me that she was watching her grandson who visiting for the day. I introduced myself and asked if she would mind watching my things while I went for a swim.
Smiling, she looked up at me from her striped chair, said that of course she would not mind., But then, in almost a whisper, she asked why all of us were so dressed up.
I told her that I couldn’t speak for anyone else, but that my two friends and I had never been to Coney Island, and we had been told how beautifully the Russian women here dress , and we did not want to feel out of place. Besides, I added, my friends were visiting from Ohio, and they always dress like this on Lake Erie.
Then, with a puzzled voice, and pointing to my one-strapped bright pink dress with sequins down the front, she added, “but that must have cost more than $100 (actually $19), and your silver shoes (which I walked the beach and swam in), here you are ruining them.”
I told her that especially in NY, that sometimes one had to risk ruin for style.
She told me I had a point, but again asked about the others. I told her that I could only speak for the 3 of us, as I didn’t know anyone else at the beach.
There’s nothing quite like a large group of finely attired beach-goers singing a rousing rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” then playing Marco Polo to pass a beautiful day at the beach! I came alone, and within minutes met a lot of folks who had done the same, and it was the best time! I think my favorite outfits included the man in the top hat, the woman in the fifties dress, and a woman in a lovely steampunk style outfit. Of course, the woman with the wrist corsage, and the ones with full length gloves were quite stylish!
We told curious onlookers that we had heard we should always dress up for outings in New York, and it drove them crazy trying to figure out what was going on. Our little group was near the Red Rover game and the concert in the water, it was great! We flew kites, made sandcastles (or applauded the efforts), and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I think the poor attendant in the ladies’ room went quite mad with all of us changing our dripping dresses in her nice clean facility!
This was my first mission for IE, and I know it won’t be my last. Props to everyone today, excellent fun!
This was amazing. I went with my daughter (12mo) who wore her best party dress and my two friends Andrew and Reina. We went straight for the Nathan’s hot dog stand where we were asked if we were in a wedding–a popular question. When we started spilling chili cheese dog all over our formal wear, we got a lot of gaping. One lady walked by us slowly three times before we stared at her and she said, “Thats a uh cute baby you got.” hahaha. We went over to the Cyclone where we got straight out “congratulations to whoever got married” and “you all are some kind of crazy #*!@*& wedding party” To which we casually replied, “no wedding, just enjoying the beach.” I loved the faces. We also had a young boy of 10 or so ask Andrew and Reina, “Is it because of your religion or something?”
I concur with others that this could be annual. ;-) I would love to swim, eat messily, ride roller coasters, and play in the sand in an evening gown again. How constrained you normally are in evening attire! A liberating experience for sure. ;-)
Thank you IE! We had a blast and will ready ourselves for whatever you have in store for our next mission!
Check out our pics: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2171705&id=1005919&l=d1a3bd9c75
Hi guys! I attended the black tie event today allong with my step daughter. We were both extremely excited to see the turnout. My personal highlight was at the very beggining where I got the oportunity to very briefly say hi to Charlie Todd and I got to shake his hand ( I wanted to jump up and down and hug him… but I did my best to keep my cool… I think I did pretty well! Lol).
It was a first for my step daughter and I and it really has been a great and fun experience. We got a lot of stares, and since we were one of the few latinas there, some spanish people approached us…asked if we spoke spanish in very broken english,, and once I said yes, she asked us what we were doing?! It took some time convincing her that we just love dressing up and feeling glamorous, even if its just to go to the beach. She then asked to take our picture.
Right after her, we had an older man come to us and told us we looked beautiful in our dresses. He too asked what the occasion was, after telling him our dress up excuse, he thank us.
He said”thank you for doing this, there are soo many of us here that are very sad, and you guys just put a big smile in our face”
He then proceded to take my picture, and shook my hand.
Thank you once again IE…. I love what you guys do. We can’t wait to see what pranks we can join in next!!!
We camped near a life guard who kept trying to figure out what it was all about. We wouldn’t tell him, but he guessed right away that it was some sort of “mission” and one of those things you see on the internet.
We had a great time swimming, kite flying, sand pyramid building, and then the highlight was definitely UNO H2O. UNO will never ever ever get boring!
Haha mmy friend Dan noted your waterproof Uno cards. That was definitely another detail which made the day great. Thanks!
Also dogged by a guy who wanted to know what was going on, when we repeatedly gave him the party line… he said “THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING. THIS BETER NOT BE SOME CULT!”
My friend Zoe casually told several people that she read on a NYC website that “this beach is formal on Saturdays” adding, “I thought everyone knew that”. Great line.
Wait, forgot one more overheard comment from a bunch sunbathing behind us “Hey, I think I’ve seen this kind of thing on the internet. They do stuff like this.” The guy’s buddy replied “What is it asshole.com?”
Just wanted to say, if anyone has photos or video of the game of red rover, please post as a reply to this comment!
This is awesome. You guys should plan something in a small town in middle America somewhere, I would love to see the reaction in my town of 10k people.
This needs to be an annual event..it was just so much fun!!!!!
This was the most fun I’ve had in a while! Everyone present absolutely made my day with the wonderfully imaginative ways of celebrating the day. I swam in a tuxedo with my shoes on! (I’ve always wondered if I could swim in shoes, now I know!) I helped build a sandcastle! I flew a kite for the first time in around 20 years!
I also accomplished three of my favorite things to ever do with any situation: I confused people, I amused people, and I made brilliant new friends. Mission accomplished!
Count me in as another agent interested in making this an annual mission.
My friend Ellen and I had a wonderful time today. We started making a hole in the sand to bury ourselves in and recruited some people to help us. We made some new friends today. :)
Afterward in the bathroom while I was changing I overheard some workers discussing our event:
“Do you know how many hours I need to work in order to get a dress like that?”
“Do you think they’ll all come nude next time?”
“Must be some kind of ritual…”
I burst out laughing but I don’t think they noticed.
I agree with what someone said about making it an annual event. Like the annual New Year’s Polar Bear Dip. :D
My first mission, and I might have been the oldest one there (62). Had a blast! As I was leaving the beach in my dripping-wet gown, a middle-aged Russian man tried to hit on me. I was very polite and told him several times that I was married. He finally said, somewhat mournfully, “You are nice.”
I had a great time! I was able to walk up and down the water line.. and seeing all the other participants doing their regular beach activities in their black tie out fits.. you couldn’t help but smile.
So much fun! It was my first mission and I invited two of my friends to come along. We had a blast from getting ready to go at my place, to seeing everyone at the meet up point, to hanging out on the beach and seeing the reactions!
A few highlights:
– We stayed at the meet up point for a bit to spread the crowd out. Some sweet older folks taking a stroll through the park kept looking around and wondering what was happening. We just smiled and waved.
-When we made it on the beach, there were several other agents already set up. Walking down the boardwalk, folks did a few double takes and there were a few whispers of “There are more of them”!
– We had a great time working on our tans, playing horseshoes, flying kites and swimming. There was a large sandcastle making group in the front and folks were all taking pics and staring at them:) Then they would turn around to head back up the beach and stop, stare at us, look back at the other group and shake their heads.
-The number one highlight were two NYPD officers in a little mobile unit. They came down the beach and asked what was going on. We simply told them we liked to dress up for the beach. They went through the usual round of questions about weddings, do you know each other etc, we said no to all. Finally exasperated one officer shouts “You are all in cahoots with each other!” He and his partner had the most amazing Brooklyn accents! We just laughed and said great word-cahoots, but nope just a day at the beach. He then proceed to drive by another group of agents down the beach and asked them questions. He then shouted back at us “CAHOOTS!”
– We made a change out of our gowns for the ride home. It was hilarious to see the agents being questioned as we walked along the boardwalk back.
– At the end seeing the Improv Everywhere crew celebrating at the ice cream truck at the end of the mission:) You guys rock!
Thanks for a GREAT time!!!
Looking forward to more missions.
Remember that dude selling ice cream, whom Charlie asked to turn his music off while he was giving instructions and answering questions? And after the meeting was over, a bunch of us actually did go over and buy ice cream? That part was totally awesome, too.
After changing in the bathroom of a certain chain restaurant, my fellow agent and I began walking to the park. We asked for directions from an elderly couple, and after peering at us with what I assumed was a mix of curiosity and jealousy, they pointed us in the right direction. An hour or so of frisbee-throwing and sandcastle building later, we strolled down the beach to see just how far our black tie compatriots had wandered. A lifeguard approached us, saying he would let us stand on the jetty if we told him “what was up with you people” but he wasn’t satisfied by the explanation we came up with. Apparently, he doesn’t think that bringing elegance and class back to the beach is a worthy cause. Another man came up to us and said that he’d been interviewing “the others” and couldn’t get a straight answer. Of course, we didn’t know what “others” he was referring to, we just thought the beach was a perfect excuse to get dressed up. We were sure the other people in formal attire had their own reasons, but he shouldn’t expect us to know them! After weighing the excitement of a wooden roller coaster against the possibility of getting our gowns caught in the machinery, we boarded the Cyclone. The operator didn’t blink an eye – he just told us to be careful of the greasy bar, so as not to ruin our dresses. We took the Q back to Times Square, where we ducked into the Marriott (where we meshed well with the theatre crowd) to change back into jeans and tee-shirts.
Blisters from uncomfortable shoes notwithstanding, it was a beautiful and highly entertaining day at the beach!
I look forward to many more missions.
Wonderful time… look forward to the next mission.
Katie Sokoler’s photos are up. 146 of ’em!
THE KICK BALL GAME WAS AWESOME. There was a russian lady who asked me why i was so dressed up to go to the beach she siad that she also just came from russia and asked if it was a holiday and if they dress like this to the beach all the time. I said to her i guess its a holiday but i just like dressing up. She went back to her towel very confused
My first day at the beach this summer, and I’ve never had a better beach day. I went alone and quickly met several others – spent the day with them and had a great time. I’ve posted my pictures on Flickr.
Some pictures on Flickr.
Out of all the questions people asked the best one had to be when a Russian woman asked me “How does it feel? How does swimming in a dress feel? Is it better?” I told her it was fun and she looked as if she was about to go home grab a dress and join us.
It was so fun just swimming and enjoying the beach all decked in Black Tie gowns and tuxes, but it was great when two women came in and froze in the cold water just to ask us why we were wearing dresses in the water.
Cold water?? Which beach were YOU at?
This was sooo much fun!! I got questioned by the guy in the brown visor that a lot of people are commenting about–He was sooo funny and persistent! He kept asking where he could find out about the next time we were all coming to the beach dressed up! He was like ” I have a tux! I want to do it next time!” And he got very frustrated when we answered that we had tickets to the opera later and just wanted to spend the day at the beach and wouldn’t have time to go home and change first!! And he was even more frustrated when we swore that we had no idea why everyone else was dressed up!!!
Definitely one of the most fun times I’ve had in ages! I had a poofy yellow dress and several people commented that I looked like a princess!
Of course, lots of questions about what “all this” was about. My friend Lucy and I (who just met that day) just replied that we wanted to dress up today and bring a little extra class to the beach, and that we were surprised so many other people shared the sentiment. Could tell that response frustrated a lot of people, but it was fun! Highlights:
1 – A woman ran up to us with a camera. At first I thought she wanted to take our picture, but then I realized she wanted her picture taken with us!
2 – Another woman was shooting photos of us in the water for a while. We thought she was a journalist at first, but she said she was a fan of IE and had guessed it right away.
3 – Trying to play frisbee in the wind and with a probably 20lb wet dress on! Not easy, but fun!
4 – Right before we left, we got in the water to wash off and my dress ballooned up to where I could barely move! I never thought swimming in a dress could be so side-splittingly funny!
I will also submit my vote for this to become an annual event!
Sad that I bailed at the last minute. Long weekend and couldn’t get my act together. Was such a beautiful day too.
It’s interesting how far we’ve shifted in the past 50-75 years. If you look at old photos of Coney Island, everyone is in formal wear, even on the beach.
The Brooklyn Museum may still have a photo of a family on the beach on their 5th floor American wing.
Imagine my surprise when I opened the Bergen Record this morning and found this: http://www.northjersey.com/community/101246084_Couples_get_striking_wedding_photos_by__trashing_the_dress_.html?c=y&page=2
Thought it was about us, but it’s really just an odd coincidence!
There is a local photographer here in Oregon who does “trash the dress” photo shoots. A friend of mine got married in October and just had hers done at the OR coast a few weeks ago. They were all over in the water, sand and rocks. They took the dress directly to the cleaner’s afterwards and said that it looks as good as new!
@ THE CROSSWALK
Russian Passerby: What is happening here?
Fancy dressed gal: Uh… my friend and I are going to the beach
Russian Passerby: But how did you know to meet here?
Fancy dressed gal: My friend and I made arrangements to take the subway here together and we got here around 3?
Russian Passerby: So you do this on Saturdays at 3?
Fancy gal: Well… we’re doing this TODAY at 3… I’m sure we’ll do something else next Saturday at 3.
ON THE BEACH
* Particiapant: “Oh I’m from Virginia Beach”
* Standing, astonished beach-goer: I’ve gone to this beach for 40 years… and I’ve never seen anything like this… right, Herb?!? We’ve never seen anything like this!!
* Group on blanket behind us: “These people are so annoying. We’re leaving” To clarify, we were the closest group to this group, and we were probably 15 or 20 feet away.
My second mission (if the All Points West MP3 experiment counts) and I loved it. Every single second. My best friend is going off to college tomorrow, and once we saw the email for this mission, we decided it’d be our farewell to each other.
We were the 2nd and 3rd people to show up at the meeting point–coming in from NJ made us an hour early. The guy who showed up before us had a foam noodle, and inspired us to run to a nearby drugstore and buy a giant inflatable lizard, which my friend blew up ALL BY HIMSELF in the span of half an hour. That lizard got a lot of publicity (and we couldn’t even bring him in the water!).
We got a lot of weird stares walking down the beach–the girls on one side of us, laughing hysterically, asked “So what kind of prank IS this?” We assured her it wasn’t a prank, we just didn’t go to the beach much so we wanted to look good. “Are you with Improv Everywhere?” she asked. “Who’s that? Oh, the people, like…they did the, um, no-pants subway ride? Nah, we’re all by ourselves here.” They muttered vaguely about other flash mobs and we continued on our way.
I immediately went swimming and found that swimming in an evening gown is not unlike being a mermaid–you can’t move your legs! Joined a pickup game of water Frisbee which got bigger really fast. Protip: Frisbee in the wind and water is bound to go horribly wrong. It was great, though. Also spent some time singing “Don’t Stop Believin'”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and…Family Guy songs? Then we headed up to the shore to play some 3-on-3 volleyball, which there’s a couple shots of on Flickr. We made friends with a couple people and headed to Coney Island afterwards with them. Yay, new friends! Thank you, IE!
The best excuses for the way we were dressed that I heard:
-“I’m from Nebraska. I’ve never been to the beach. I HAD to dress up.”
-“Well, look at all you people wearing bathing suits! I’m not questioning YOU!”
-“Wh–what–Whoa! There are other people dressed like us?! That’s awesome!”
-“I’m just classy.”
And my favorite moment of the entire day–as a bunch of us stood and socialized in the water, a man in a Speedo, blue goggles, and a top hat silently breast-stroked by. IT WAS AMAZING.
Thank you, IE, this was so much fun. You should make it annual! :D
My husband and I participated in the Invisible Dogs Mission last fall and wished we lived closer so we could do more missions. We live in Tennessee but if you decided to do this annually we would totally plan our vacation around it. Kudos to all who participated!
best one ever
Participating for the first time and by myself, I must say I had a blast regardless of these details! Lovely games of frisbee were had – I sincerely hope someone got photos, because no luck so far…
I loved overhearing people saying things like “There’s another one!” When I was directly approached, I tried the old trick of turning the question around:
Them: Why are you in a dress?
Me: Oh, do you like it?
Them (politeness instincts kicking in): Oh, yes, it’s lovely.
Me: I was worried it wouldn’t be quite, you know, enough…
Them (confused!): No, no. It’s quite nice! I like the flower…
bravo bravo. this has to be an annual event. next year all over the world just like no pants. the silver fox and i will organize the litchfield beach sc effort. please advise on the date.
I wish the next time i will be one of you guys
I’ve followed IE for a while and we just moved to Brooklyn… So excited that I was finally able to be one of the participants!!!
My first mission and I had a blast!!! I fell in love with Improv Everywhere when I first saw their Frozen Grand Central video online. And fell in love with them even more when I found out they were the ones behind the New Yorker/Tourists lanes on the sidewalk. (Brilliant!)
It was great catching other agents’ eyes on the subway and smiling in acknowledgment that we were all going to the same place in our formal wear. Seeing everyone’s creativity as we met in the park (innertubes, scuba gear, etc.) was fantastic and watching people look on in confusion as we started to head over to the beach was priceless.
Being with so many fun people and putting smiles on unsuspecting beach goer’s faces was such a great experience. So lucky to be a part of it! The families that brought their kids – you guys are awesome! What lucky kids to have such fun parents.
Thanks to the pool noodle guy who gave me his mat to sit on! :) (I attempted to build a sand castle but my castle building skills have diminished since I last made one at age 10, so I gave up and just dug a hole and sat in it in my dress to relax after my dip in the ocean)
Can’t wait for the next mission :)
This was my first mission, and I had the best time!
(in the ocean)
2 seven year old girls: why are you dressed up?
me: i like getting dressed up for the beach!
girls: so you’re swimming in your underwear? (giggling)
guy: why are you dressed up?!?!?!
me: we like getting dressed up for the beach!
guy (had clearly heard this many times before): dressed up! ****in’ wise guys!
i also heard many people say it was a colt.
this was such a fun mission! you should totally do it again!
I really hope that you mean “colt” and not “cult.” Colts are way cuter.
yup i meant cult. lol
I brought along my 2 yr. old daughter who had a great time playing in the sand.(As shown on the Home Page in her fav yellow dress) This was our first mission…it was a BLAST!
So many people kept asking me why we were all dressed up. Were we in a wedding? Do we all know each other?
Of all the answers I gave, my favorite one was “No, I just like to look nice, put my best foot forward. I’m trying to teach the same thing to my baby.”
Thanks again! We can’t wait until the next mission!
Here are our photos, mostly just of us, but a few with others, including the group that buried two guys… we didn’t make it into the official photos (well, Rich made it into a large group shot), so it’s just as well. We were farther down the beach than most people.
This was the first mission my husband and I participated in and it did not disappoint!!! We had such a good time enjoying stares and looks of confusion from the local beach goers. We even ended up in a few of the pics, one taken just after we made a purchase from the ice cream cart. I had one woman question me directly about what was going on.
woman >> What is going on? why are all of you dressed up?
me >> We just like to dress nice for the beach.
woman >> No really, is this some type of movement or something?
me >> No, we just like to be formally dressed…you should have considered wearing your dress today.
That last comment really got her. Again thanks to IE for letting us join in on this hilarious prank! Can’t wait till the next mission!
My first IE mission was a blast! What a fun day!
Our group of friends joined in one of the dance circle’s on the board walk, ate Nathan’s and mangoes, and got a huge range of looks and responses from people.
“What’s going on?” “Why are you dressed up?” “You all look beautiful!” “Look at these idiots.” A police officer even asked me why he didn’t get the memo!
My friend, Jade, was wearing a horrible pink bridesmaid dress and kept getting compliments on it! So glad I was able to use both my junior formal and Bat Mitzvah dresses more than once! Thanks IE :-)
One of the best comments I heard (from an older woman with a Russian accent): “I think the men have something wrong with them that they can’t have the sun.”
I went with a huge group of friends since it was my 17th birthday yesterday and we made it part of my party. Swimming in the ocean with friends and formalwear? Best idea ever?
When asked, we told people we were celebrating my bar mitzvah. It made as much sense as the actual mission.
Thanks for organizing such a great event!
thanks for the fun beach day! a few highlights:
– a woman asked if we were all in a cult.
– one guy, clearly dissatisfied with our claim that we like to get dressed up for the beach, said “That’s what you all say. You should know that you all sound retarded.” the frustration he must have felt to say that to a stranger!
My husband and I had an incredible first mission! Gary was very reluctant but in the end he said it was all worth it. A few people thought we just got married when in truth our 24th anniversary just past! What a way to celebrate. Coney Island was a big part of our courtship. When we first met I was a school bus driver. I always volunteered for the class trips going to CI from Long Island. Gary would come with me all the time.
After we left the beach we rode the Cyclone. The only problem is I couldn’t get him to stay in his clothes so we went to our van to change. We peaked the curiosity of the aquarium security guard so we told him that this is how we chose to celebrate our anniversary. He said if he sees the van rockin’ he won’t come knockin’! Too bad we all didn’t ride the cyclone as a group!
Very fun mission. My son (14 y.o.) decided he HAD to go with me when he heard about it, so we got him a nice black suit and a lovely yellow tie. We left all dressed up and even in the subway had people staring and trying to surreptitiously take our photo.
At the beach my son got the best comments – when he went swimming (in his complete suit and tie) a girl came up and asked
“What holiday is it?
When he said he wasn’t celebrating a holiday she said
“Are you German?” (!?!?)
Where upon a guy behind them (who WAS German!) leans over and says “You’re GERMAN?”
Then later when he went to get a hot dog, two older men spotted him. One starts jabbing the other one with his elbows, points and shouts, “Look! Another one! I TOLD you I saw a guy in a wet tuxedo!!”
Here a pix of us (yes I was wearing gloves as well)
Did you take the photo offline? If not, you need to choose the public link or no ‘non-friends’ can view it.
Since I was solo, I took my time getting over to the beach and walked quite a way up the boardwalk first. Several agents had already gone by so I got a lot of “hey, there’s another one!” looks from passersby. I spent most of my time taking a leisurely stroll up and down the beach, making sure to walk just enough into the water so my dress shoes and pant legs were getting regularly soaked by the water. A lot of people were staring at me with various confused looks – “Doesn’t he realize he’s getting his tuxedo wet?”. There were tons of laughs and giggles as well as plenty of surprised looks with people grabbing cameras to take my picture. I didn’t get any “why are you wearing that?” questions, instead I got asked “what are you doing?” to which I was able to reply: “Oh, just going for a walk. Great day for one isn’t it?”. And when someone asked about the others dressed up on the beach I was able to honestly answer them that I was there by myself. Finally, I found a group of female agents willing to watch my bag and I went swimming for a bit. Then I helped 3 other agents bury their female friend in the sand. We got her completely covered, except for a little bit around her face and her feet. It was a great day, lots of fun, just wish it got started earlier so it could have lasted longer.
This was the most fun I have ever had at the beach! :) Please make this an annual event! I had to contain myself all day! A huge kudos to all of the men who were able to find tuxedos-and ruin them :) I just wanted to share my highlight of the day, A Russian man came up to me and asked me what was going on, why I was wearing a dress (and another few hundred peeps too) I just commented, “What else am I suppose to wear to the beach?” He would not let it go and before he left he told me, “I have been living here and coming to this beach for 15 years and I have never seen anything like this.” Thank you to everyone who participated and Improve Everywhere. I can’t wait to see what you guys are up to next!
Also, The hunky lifeguard told me, “I don’t know what is going on, but I like it!” :)
Who was in this event that lives in New Paltz?
Was awesome!!!! everybody was looking at us like “this people is crazy” hahahaha I’m ready for the next one
This was my 4th mission (mp3 experiments 4 and 6 and the Brooklyn Bridge Camera flash being the first 3) and it turned out super well.
It became super normal after like 5 minutes to wear a tux at the beach. I went with my brother (Agent Joel) and his girlfriend (Agent Sarah) who met a new agent on the train and invited her to join us. Our new pal Agent Emily helped us bury Sarah in the sand and make her a mermaid:
We got tons of people asking us what was going on:
A few guessed it was a movie,one guessed it was an ad.
One Russian lady who didn’t speak much english asked what was going on and when we gave her the “This is just how we dress for the beach” line she was genuinely befuddled. Until a Russian man (Who had asked us earlier) came up and talked to her in Russian.
There was also a Canadian man from french Canada who gave us a whole preamble about how they usually don’t wear evening wear at the beach before asking us why we were. As if it was some American trend that Canada hadn’t heard about yet.
Great idea and I second the others for making this one a yearly mission!
Me and my friend had the best time ever! Considering we made it there just in time for the event, even though we missed the breifing due to sucky traffic on the drive over. But the best part was we got to play Kick ball, and I even brought my skim board and got a bunch of people to join in! Best day ever.
This was so much fun! First IE mission for me and I can’t wait to do another one. We (myself and two friends) walked down a little further on the beach so we weren’t near the larger groups. Here are some highlights:
When I first waded into the water (which was the warmest it’s been all summer)3 kids were asking why I was dressed up and were telling me I needed to dive into the water…which I did. I also raced one of the kids in a swim race and won. =)
So many people with their iphones and cameras out taking pictures of us as we swam in the water. Not sure how many random facebook posts I ended up on.
A kid asked my friend why he was wearing a tux and he replied “I burn easy”
Waiting online for hotdogs at Nathan’s the cashiers was talking about our outfits in Korean.
The helicopter that did a double take and turned around when they caught sight of us waving at them.
A great beach day! Thanks IE!
This was an amazing event, when my girlfriend and I got there we headed further down the boardwalk than most, which provided us the great pleasure of acting surprised when people asked us about the all the people in formal wear. “Oh, other people are wearing suits too? looks like a trend is starting.”
we got some great photos, here is a link http://www.flickr.com/photos/arproto/sets/72157624785042534/
my favorite photo is of my Girlfriend and I riding the Cyclone. She was terrified!
What a great mission! I agree it would be great to make this an annual event, and pretty easy to do it in multiple cities at once.
A few people asked us why we were dressed up, but my favorite comment was from an older man who asked if we had an extra tuxedo so he could join in.
Here are a few photos I took while we were there:
It was an amazing day for me and my 13 year old (Agent Ben), who looked the part with his long blonde surfer curls and his boogie board (and tux).
We picked up tux jackets from Goodwill (mine: $3 with a cigarette burn, his $6 like new) and cobbled together the rest of our ensembles from our closets. We spent most of the day in the water (with a little hero worship thrown Charlie Todd’s way for good measure, it was our first mission after being IE fans for a long time).
One Russian guy on the beach kept pestering us for what we were doing (“I took my son to the beach, that’s what you do on an August Saturday”) and he was clearly jealous of the well dressed seeming impromptu party going on all round him. In his East European accent:
Him: How can I be like you? I want to be like you!
Me: You want to teach statistics for a living?
Him: No! How I can I be like you? In your group?
Me: It’s just me and my son. We’re here for a fun beach afternoon (Ben nodding and agreeing and chiming in). I don’t know any of these other people.
Him: (laughing and clearly enjoying this puzzle, his accent thickening) But I want to be like you!
Me: Then I suppose you’d better start taking statistics courses…
We had a number of these exchanges all afternoon…similar to what everyone else reported. The best was at the end of the day.
We were leaving, and were walking on the boardwalk. Sopping wet and very sandy, still fully dressed with our bow ties on but with our tux jackets now under our arms, two younger guys stop us:
Guys: What is going on with you guys?
Me, quizzically: We’re leaving after a day at the beach
Guys, firmly: But what’s with the suits?
Me: We always get…
Them, cutting me off, since they had obviously heard this answer a dozen times already: …DRESSED UP TO GO TO THE BEACH! F***ING WISEGUYS!!! (they stormed off).
My son smiled, and we descended into the streets of Brooklyn, listening to the strange remarks being whispered behind our backs (“there’re two more of them!”).
A great and memorable day. Thanks to all the new friends we made. We sincerely hope to see you all again soon!
What a wonderful experience!
You got some photos with me in them! I was there with my friend, and we didn’t get enough photos, since we were too busy enjoying the day!
My favorite “double take” the entire day was towards the end of the mission. I was walking down the beach in the water a little bit, and a NYPD helicopter flew over pretty low. I saw a head pop up from one of the back windows and I waved as it passed. The helicopter banked sharply and flew straight back at me for another look. I waved again, they slowed near me and then flew off.
I was very proud.
Seriously?? This is what you people do for fun? Act like overgrown children and lie to and otherwise disrespect the local people in the areas you are trying to gentrify? Grow up already.
Where’s the fun in life if you can’t be young at heart?
Also, there was no disrespect intended toward anyone. I believe everyone at the beach was intelligent and knew very well that we were just a group of people having a fun time in a creative way.
I think the comment below by “Liv” disprooves the point you are trying to make.
Why do you care? If people want to look and act like idiots why shouldn’t they be able to? As far as I know this didn’t hurt anyone and it wasn’t illeagle. Yes, people may have been confused and frusterated but what’s the harm in that? Why is it so wrong to act like children once in a while?
Uhhh. Becasue you’re not children? The one commetor stated that she was 50 years old.
My problem is not so much that you people act like children, but it’s the utter disregard for the people around you. Friends of mine who were there that day said that all the hipsters in evening wear stormed the beach, essentially running over the people who were there before them, and completely ignored or gave the run-around to even those people who were interested in what might be going on. How is that fun? That’s disrespectful and rude.
And how exactly is any of this “improv”? You plan this out for weeks in advance and then you have a “mission briefing” and you call it improv. Congratulations. You are basterdizing the language one word at a time.
And what seriously is with all the so-called “agents” and the “mission” talk? Did you people seriously not get enough make believe time back home in pennsyltucky when you were actually children, and now you’re making up for it? Or what’s the deal?
Like I said, I’m all for having fun. But from what I’ve seen these events are typically just a bunch of overgrown children being rude and obnoxious for no aparent reason.
As far as I know, nobody was rude or disrespectful, just had some fun at the beach. We were careful not to run over anyone; in fact, people were much more likely to come up to us while we were just doing our thing.
As far as how it is improv, read through the comments to see the clever and interesting ways people handled the challenges of this mission. It was live theater, and it even included applause! Overall, it was a positive experience, and for those who were left in suspense, a google search reveals all – otherwise how did you learn about this? I think you are the one who needs to grow up and stop pouting.
Did you just say disprooves?
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
– George Bernard Shaw
Please folks. Feeding the troll is never a good idea. Just sayin’.
Well said. :) I feel sorry for those who don’t get it anyway.
I feel sorry for so-called adults who don’t have a clue as to how incredibly rude and disrespectful they are.
I feel sorry for meghans and joshes who can’t get the attention they apparently desperatly need without acting like idiots.
Every single one of these people bragging about lying to hard working local new yorkers makes me sick. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.
But we’ve created a whole generation of mindless slackers who do whatever the other hipster sheep do and have no shame.
Where does that leave our future?
I can’t speak for everyone, but the 2 other people which were in my group told the truth and were respectful (i.e. we didn’t trek sand onto their beach towels or kick over their sand castles and when asked we told the truth about what was going on in that we just felt like dressing up to go to the beach).
What makes you think that the people who did this mission don’t work hard themselves? It’s not like people go to the beach to work hard. They go to the beach to relax, just like we did, only in a quirky way to make people smile. As a matter of fact I myself am planning to go in to the Army in a few weeks, an action which most people do not judge to be “slacking” in any way. How many push ups can you do? I can do 10. (The amount of pushups I can do is completely irrelevant to the argument I’m trying to make, but since you insist on bringing irrelevant information into your argument clearly leaves the door open for me to bring irrelevant information into my argument to iterate the same point).
Just because you’re not smiling because of your own problems doesn’t equivocate to agents being rude. You yourself you weren’t even there and only heard a secondhand account of the mission. Simply ignoring the idiocy of the day is as simple as never navigating to this site again, but I suppose you thrive on trying to “shame” us into never having legal fun ever again. Misery does love company and I suppose I’m just feeding your own justifications but an impartial third party reading this will at least be able to decide for themselves where to stand on this issue.
I think the whole idea behind this website “leaves our future” in a path which inspires hope and kindness. It seems you don’t agree which I find reason for which to pity you.
Lizzy. Seriously. It’s pointless. Feeding the trolls is like fertilizing poison ivy. Just don’t.
Dragged my roommate along for our first mission! We were pretty exhausted from the week and decided not to do much but nap in our dresses atop beach towels and observe the insanity. Here are some stories:
1. We woke up to a couple lying a few feet away from us. The girl was very seriously slathering sunscreen all over the guy’s tux. He even flipped over so that she could do his back. This made bystanders stop by and say things like, “At least put the sunscreen ON HIS SKIN!”
2. This conversation happened on the beach as we were lying down:
Man: “So why are you all dressed up today?”
Us: “We’re fancy.”
Man: “But what about all the others?”
Us: “We don’t know them.”
Man: “This never happens, you know?”
Us: (Dead serious) “We’re from New Jersey (we are), and it happens all the time there.”
Man: (Actually convinced) “Really? Jersey, huh? … wow.”
3. As we were leaving and walking on the boardwalk, two middle-aged women walked up to us, demanding to know why we were dressed up. We fed them the line about liking to dress up for the beach, to which she responded, “NO ONE will tell us the truth!” This was especially delightful, knowing that no one gave up our ruse!
Thanks to IE for a fun afternoon!
*Walking alone on the shoreline way down the beach with my bag in my gown*
Guy: S’cuse me, can you tell me why everyone is all dressed up?
Me: *Blink* Uhm… *Looking around, I don’t see anyone else near us dressed up. I look back at the guy like he’s a little odd*
Guy: “Seriously, there are other people dressed up. Are you with a wedding or something?”
Me: “Oh, uhm… No, I’m just looking for a good spot to put my stuff down”
Guy: “But everyone is dressed, look! Look, see over there?” *Points off to someone else in a gown*
Me: *I appear confused, and continue to look at the guy like he’s a little nuts*
Suddenly, a dude in a tux who was neck-deep in the water up until that point, runs out of the ocean and goes right past us. I pretend not to notice him, he does not make any notice of me either.
Guy: *frustrated* Y’know what, forget it!
This was my first IE mission, and I LOVED IT! I went with two friends, and we had a blast. We changed into our dresses before we got on the Q, and spent the ride taking prom pictures on the subway car.
We had a great time looking at how our dresses floated in the water, building a sandcastle, and generally goofing off.
There were a few people who asked us what we were doing. There was a Russian couple sitting near us. We swam in groups of two so that someone would always be watching our stuff, and when I came back to the beach to sit down, the Russian man asked me why I was dressed like this. I told him that we always dress like this for the beach, that it’s fun. He repeated, “For fun?” his voice dripping with scorn. I said, “Yeah, for fun! You should try it some time.” He looked at me for a bit before saying threateningly, “You should know that you are already on YouTube.” We assumed this meant he had filmed me and my other friend in the water and had uploaded it already. We have looked on YouTube extensively and haven’t found any such video (unless he titled it in Russian), so let me know if you see anything like that!
There was also a Phillipino family sitting on our other side. At first they just stared at us. Then they started taking pictures of us, and eventually they asked us to take pictures with them. They clearly got a kick out of the entire thing.
My favorite, though, was a guy who started asking us questions as we were about to leave:
Guy: What’s going on here? Why are you all dressed up like this?
Us: We always come to the beach like this, don’t you?
Guy: No, really, what is this?
Us: No, seriously, it’s really fun to dress up for the beach. It’s fun to see the dresses in the water.
Guy: Well, what about the others?
Us: What others?
Guy: The others who are all dressed up! Over there!
Us: Oh! Wow! Look at them! They must have had the same idea as us.
Guy: I saw the photographer, you know.
Us: What photographer?
Guy: There was one who looked really official and stuff! She walked by!
Us: Cool, a photographer! I want to be in her photos!
Guy: Ok, now really. Where can I get in on this? Is there a Facebook page?
Us: What do you mean?
Guy: Like, how do I know when I’m supposed to dress up for the beach? I want to know when to wear my tuxedo, too!
Us: …There’s nothing like that that we know of. We just like doing this.
He gave up at that point.
When we were on the boardwalk, a group of teenagers stopped us and started asking us similar questions. We gave the same answers, and one of them looked at us and went, “Wait. Are you guys from Long Island?” as though that was the only explanation that would make sense.
I’m also casting my vote for this to become an annual event! Thanks, IE!
Re the video – maybe he meant this?
Maybe we should have said we were time travelers!
Hi beach buddies!
Remembering the 2 Russian guys next to us, when our folks went into the water:
“So you do this once a year?”
“No, I’m on the beach all the time.”
*confused look* “The clothes…”
“I can’t take that much sun.”
Then they called their neighbor to come down and check it out.
I wouldn’t say the suit is ruined… just have to somehow get the sand out from within the hems!
Was a great time… we spent about 3hrs at the beach… the entire time in our formalwear. After we had changed into actual beach attire to travel home, we thought it would have been appropriate to stop by a wedding!
Some people were so excited to take pictures with us, I think it really made there day (in fact, numerous people told us just that!). One woman with a camera loved that we came along because her friend who was upstate had just sent her a picture of the pristine landscape to rub it in; she sent photos of us and pretty much ended that battle.
Photos are mostly of my friends and I, but there are a few good ones: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2427403&id=14210469&l=94fab98c75
You guys were attacked in your forum by guys from DieHipster.com. They have a good point – you could have been ruining the beach experience for others – but I doubt it. I’m sure you didn’t take over the whole beach. Anyway if you did, I am sure police would have said something. So don’t mind them. Sorry about the mess.
A fat guy in a thong could ruin the beach experience for everyone too.
What Wannabe Agent said. People in ill-fitting thongs and speedo’s are a welcome sight. But a tuxedo? Oh for Heaven’s sake? *Le faint*
A police officer asked me why he didn’t get the memo. This guy is just sad and bitter.
i just love you people. i am so jealous. i lived in ny in the mid-80’s, so i missed you by a few decades. i love what you do. you give people something to talk about, laugh about, get befuddled over, and much more. anyone who doesn’t appreciate it simply doesn’t now what it is to have joy in his/her life. one day i may have to fly up there for a mission!
I agree. I think the angry poster would rather have had you join a hate rally at Ground Zero because someone wants to put up a Muslim church where Burlington Coat Factory used to be- that’s what adults do.
I”m glad you felt the need to chime in here Eddie, but I actually fully support the Mosque at the old coat store, and any other place than Muslims or anyone else want to gather to worship.
I grew up with a whole bunch of Muslims and guess what? I’ve never once seen a Muslim do something simply for the satisfaction they’ll feel when everyone is looking at you. Why do you people have this deep seated need for attention?
If you like “Improv” (this planned out scripted nonsense is not improv) why don’t you get jobs as comedy actors? Did you ever think that everyone in the world doesn’t want to see adults acting like children??
But you know all about me and what I’m thinking and everything else, don’t you?
You’re so smart and urban and cool.
Grow up children.
Grow Up – wow you’re not a mean old man who loves to shout at people? Wait, isn’t that what you’re doing right here? Maybe you have that in common with those Mosque protesters. God for Muslims that they don’t like to have a good old time. Somehow I think media coverage of a bunch of people dressed up like those old Coney Island photos is what the world needs instead of non-stop painful and boring news stories. A lot of these people are comedy actors. And you don’t need to be a professional to have fun. Why don’t you calm down, Troll? Guys I apologize for argueing with a troll on your forum. I will go away now.
You are such a tool. I love how you said I backed down last night over on your desperate for attention blog. Guess what Edo? I didn’t back off, I just don’t spend my whole day on the internet like you do. Maybe a few hours a day.
Why don’t you make a documentary about how unwatchable your terrible documentaries are?
First off, I just film the documentaries. Second of all, the chocolate bars cost $7, not $10. Third of all, I am glad you didn’t back down. GROW UP – hold your chin up – try to make a point to these Improv folks. Tell them that you had a friend there and he said people were disturbed. Stand by with facts, not just hate. Be a man. Don’t be a little kid. Don’t go back on DieHipster and hide with your friends. You can win this one. I believe in you.
its so sad that people like you have to come and physically look for people like us to try and rain on our parade. if you have a problem, or you dont like what we did,( I LOVE IT AND HAD A GREAT TIME) than may i ask why in the world you took the trouble to look us up and continue to drag on and on about how much you disapprove of what we did. I really must agree with you though, some people do need to grow up, and by “some” i mean YOU!!! where you an only child?! were your parents strict?! you didnt get enough play when you were young?! because those are the only reasons i can think of why you would keep talking on and on. if you dont like what we did, all you have to do is turn the other way. its so sad that there are still people like you around, that take it upon themselves to be the party poopers… i really do hope you dont have kids… because if you do, i really do feel sad for them. because i can just see it now how it was growing up with a grouch as a parent.
there are WAY more things out there that could use some serious attention, and your wasting your time trying to get your point across here. (what ever that may be)
i come from an abusive family, (by abusive, i mean sexually, by my father) and it has taken me years and years of therapy to actually have the guts to start socializing, and i thank CHARLIE TODD and the IMPROV EVERYWHERE crew, for the opportunities they provide us regular folks to forget about everything else, all our problems, even if its for just a couple of hours, and even if its just to make a fool of ourselves…. point is, we had fun, there were lots of spectators who had fun watching us make total fools of ourselves.
you say grow up children?!
i say lighten up old man!? are you really that old that you forgot what its like to have fun!?
This joke of a story was linked at another site and I just wanted to stop by and let all you douchebags know that not everyone thinks you’re cute, and certainly no one thinks you’re creative. Culture theives is more like it.
Do what you want, I’ve always been a firm believer of “to each their own”. But don’t be surprised when your little childish antics backfire on your pasty asses.
Good luck to you all.
Oh yeah, and I love how all you “improv” people always spout the same bs rhetoric in defense of your shinanigans. I don’t know how to have fun. I’m old.
No meghan, I act my age. I laugh and joke and have fun about 75% of each and every day. I’ve got a great job, too many friends to list, and I quite honestly love life.
I don’t need to make a scene and have strangers looking at me all the time to feel validated.
It doesn’t surprise me that you were abused. And I’m very sorry that you were. But it is a very common thread among the “me-complexed” of our society.
Again. Good luck to you all. I hope your next “mission” is even better than this one.
Sincerely, Agent I Don’t Have To Pretend I’m Some Sort Of Agent On Some Sort Of Fake Mission To Feel Validated In My Wonderful Life.
Yes please GROW UP TROLL, it’s okay to have fun. Take a deep breath, Troll, relax a little. It’s okay. Everything is going to be okay.
GROW Up – you’re fighting against a bunch of comedians who make people laugh and smile. Why don’t you go on HitlerYouth.com and start up a fight with them with their parades?
Hey Grow up – unlike you – they are actually doing something. Why don’t you do what that guy said – actually do something instead of just bitching on the internet from your Grandmother’s basement in North Carolina? Oh yea you can’t – cause you don’t have a car and your mother is not around and your grandmother’s car sucks and you feel all alone.
Thank you for the great day! It was especially fun meeting the Russian bathers and getting to interact. And of course playing with the other agents. Here are some of the pictures I took along with Agent Maria Applewhite and Agent Gordon VanMetre. Enjoy! http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=249659&id=620861135&l=2613c2a62a
Well, three days later and my tuxedo jacket is 90% dry from swimming in the Atlantic on Saturday. This evening wear has served me (and IE) well but I’m not even sure the Salvation Army will accept the donation with a layer of dried saltwater on the lapel and sand-caked pockets. It survived the “McDonald’s bathroom” for an hour and the rainy “Surprise Wedding Reception” but I’m afraid that our Fellini~esque body surfing in Coney Island was the end of the line for that suit. On the bright side however, it turns out that a tuxedo makes for very effective SPF+. I am tan from the bow tie up.
Can Improv Everywhere go on Diehipster.com and cheer them up? Like overload their blog with posts of happiness and positivity? That would be the greatest wish I could get . We need to cheer up this poor lonely sad sick children.
I must say that I DO appreciate the confusion and the rage that this prank has generated. I heard more than a few Russian bathers exclaim that next to our actions on Saturday, “Stalin seemed like Willy Wonka”. A little much IMO but the point was well taken. What we did was abominable. No question.
However, I don’t think we did an official head count ~ you’d have to ask Charlie ~ but I don’t believe we were exactly top-loaded with “hipsters”. The bulk of us were dorks really, rounded off with a few jack wagons and douche-nozzles and at least a baker’s dozen of nimrods and ass-hats. Although the under-7 “agents” we had on the “mission” seem irreversibly bound for a sad “hipster” life after this horrifying incident. Ironic facial hair and wryly mundane tattoos appear to be their destiny after the havoc we wreaked on the shores of Brooklyn that day.
I have to agree with GROW UP. I felt ridiculed when I was lied to by so-called agents when I was where and I felt even more ridiculed after I read all this.
I don’t understand the point of it. How is that mission? A mission is supposed to have a goal what needs to be achieved when mission is accomplished. What did you achieve? You rinsed your dusty thrift shop outfits in the water and made fools of Russian immigrants? You call your group “Improveverythere” and what did you improve after all? Unlike those Russian immigrant you were lying to when and laughing at now. They turned ghetto what Brighton Beach used to be into beautiful and safe place with the fancy restaurants, stores, theater and luxury apartment buildings. They don’t deserve such treatment. And believe me that was nothing fun about watching people in badly fitted gowns and tuxedos that were wet and dirty. I was especially puzzled by looking at a little baby-girl who was wearing white pantyhose and a dress. It was sort of cool and windy at this day. I don’t think there is anything “fun” for such a little child in spending few hours wearing wet clothes covered with sand in that kind of weather. And she was eating crackers picked right from sand while her parents were hardly watching her being busy with mingling with the other agents and “having fun”.
I think the whole thing was stupid and disrespectful to other people.
First of all, how in the hell is this disrespectful? If I were you I would go back to elementary and get your facts straightened up. If I were you I would stop being such an ignorant prick and listen up. Ok troll, I see no disrespect here. I haven’t heard of any reports of racism or harassment, have you? Since when was dressing up to go to the beach disrespectful? In my opinion I find dressing up in speedo, half naked, very disrespectful. I mean, they weren’t bothering anybody. I think you should grow a sense of humor. Just because you have a bad attitude doesn’t mean you have to take it out on people having fun. Tell me again how you were being “ridiculed”? Well, surely you can go waste your time bashing on a website, when a group of people can not dress nice to go to the beach? It seems to me you are a bit of a hypocrite. Also, it is none of you business about a “baby girl in the beach eating cracker out of the sand.” I think you are making it up in order to “make us feel bad.” You see no point in these missions, well… I see not point in your stupid statement. Another thing, I haven’t seen any comments about people SPECIFICALLY laughing at Russian immigrants. So please stop contradicting yourself, you sound like a child. Also, this site is called IMPROV EVERYWHERE. Not “Impoveverywhere.” No one has ever had it their mission to improve things. So, please stop making things up. I believe you need to grow up instead of ruining other peoples fun.
A hundred comments about the joy you people took in lying to and snickering about the local people at the beach, and then someone who is supposedly one of those very people you were disrespecting comes on here and points it out to you, and you attack them.
Russian Beachgoer: I’m truely sorry that all these transplanted childred ruined your day at Coney. Please continue using the beach, we need more people like you there.
Agent Noodles: “No one has ever had it their mission to improve things.” Quote of the day. Nothing could be more true. You people don’t improve anything.
Surely you can see how “http://improveverywhere.com/2010/08/21/thank-you-black-tie-beach/” appears to have the word “improve” in it, can’t you? Especially if English wasn’t your first language.
You people are a joke. That’s about the only thing funny about your scripted bullshit “improv”.
Go feed your daughter some more sand.
I feel bad about pointing out all of your many faults. I’m going to go hang out with my friends in a way that doesn’t draw attention to myself because I don’t have any character flaws that make me act out in public so that people will look at me.
– Agent You Don’t Have To Look At Me, I Already Feel Good About My Self.
LOL, hey Ramen, for a group of fun loving alleged comedian types, you are one CRANKY MOTHER FUCKER!! LOL. having a Michael Richards stand-up moment there? LOL!!!!!!!
“Stalin seemed like Willy Wonka”
Stalin died 11 years before Willy Wonka was created.
Alright, looks like the conversation here have ceased to be productive so I’m going to go ahead and close comments a few days early.
Thanks again to everyone who came out and participated!