People in the News

Eds: Contains items on Moby and Theo Kogan, Spencer Tunick, Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, Shannon Essenpreis, Amber Brkich

AP Photos NYR101 of June 26 of Moby, Kogan; OHELY101 of June 26 of Tunick, NY112 of Lange, ALMOP313 of June 26 of Essenpreis, NY113 of Brkich

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP)- Moby, Dick and a Lunachick celebrated a rite of summer in Brooklyn’s annual Mermaid Parade, joining about 1,500 people who marched along the Coney Island boardwalk, many in nautical dress.

Techno artist Moby and punk rocker Theo Kogan of the Lunachicks were crowned as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid at the 22nd annual event on Saturday. Moby thanked the cheering crowd, joking that he was “enjoying the fruits of my power.”

The parade is the creation of the tattooed and goateed Dick Zigun, who marched beneath a top hat.

Mermaids were joined by walking cans of tuna, and several participants – including one in a gorilla costume – rode in a hearse. Sean Allison, 35, sat on the hood.

“It was a howl,” Allison said. “It was awesome.”

The parade, in the shadow of the world-renowned Cyclone roller-coaster, is held each year on the first Saturday after the summer solstice. It was inspired by Mardi Gras festivals that Coney Island hosted in the first half of the twentieth century.

“It’s an art parade for wacky New York artists,” Zigun said.

CLEVELAND (AP) – Spencer Tunick’s latest human art installation included 2,750 shivering people – all of them nude.

Tunick, a photographer known for taking pictures of naked people in public places, snapped the photos at a park behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum along Lake Erie Saturday as temperatures hovered around 50 degrees.

The sea of nude bodies set a North American record for the largest group of naked people in a photograph. Montreal had the previous record with 2,500.

For one photo, Tunick posed the crowd lying on their sides facing the city. After completing the shot from atop a 40-foot scissor lift, Tunick said: “That’s the best picture I’ve ever taken.”

A photo print will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art from Aug. 6-8.

“This is the only way I’m ever going to get in a museum,” said Scott Goodrick, 45, of Cleveland. “I think his work is beautiful. It’s an event I wanted to be a part of.”

STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) – Oscar winner Jessica Lange and her companion, the playwright Sam Shepard, are selling the estate where they have lived for nine years.

The 12-room Victorian mansion, which sits on a 21/2-acre site overlooking the St. Croix River, has been on the market since mid-May with an asking price of $3.3 million.

“It’s a remarkable property in every respect,” said real estate agent Sharon O’Flannigan, who is handling the sale.

In 1995, Lange and Shepard paid $415,000 for the house – a former bed-and-breakfast built in 1892 atop one of Stillwater’s highest points – and $125,000 for adjoining property.

Shepard also has land across the St. Croix near River Falls, Wis. Lange was born and grew up in northern Minnesota.

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – Texan Shannon Essenpreis was crowned America’s Junior Miss after belting out a Broadway showtune and soaring through interviews with her “bubbly” personality.

Though Essenpreis was crowned Saturday night, television viewers won’t see it until July as producers switch to a “reality TV” format. PAX Network camera crews followed the 50 contestants for two weeks leading up to Saturday’s contest.

Essenpreis was among five finalists who were given on-the-spot questions tailored to their individual interests. She was asked how she would use the enthusiasm she’s displayed as her school’s mascot into her planned career as a broadcast journalist.

“I was so nervous,” she said after the show. “And the question was so long that by the end of it, I wasn’t sure what they were asking me.”

Her answer? She’ll report on the positive aspects of life while maintaining her personal optimism.

After the contest, Heisman Trophy winner and Junior Miss judge Herschel Walker said he was particularly impressed with Essenpreis’ charm and “bubbly” character in her interview last week. Essenpreis won a $50,000 scholarship.

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) – Survivor winner Amber Brkich added a little heat to a local museum’s firefighting exhibit.

Brkich, who got $1 million and a fiancee while winning “Survivor All-Stars,” donated bikinis she wore on the show for the display – and helped draw 200 people Saturday to an exhibit celebrating firefighters in her western Pennsylvania hometown.

“Those guys (firefighters) are the real survivors,” Brkich said. “They’re out in the community every day, and they deserve a lot of credit for the work they do.”

Officials with the Beaver Area Historical Museum did their best to find a link between the 25-year-old reality-show contestant and the 170-year history of firefighting in the area.

“There are people making history right now in 2004, and Amber is certainly one of those,” explained Mark Minor, a museum board member.

Brkich’s display includes bikinis she wore on “Survivor Australian Outback” and “Survivor All-Stars,” a boomerang from an immunity challenge, a leather canteen and a blindfold.

AP-ES-06-27-04 1251EDT

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