Scenes from Island City Waterways

As a local historian, the prospect of seeing the vibrant amusement palace that once stood in Alameda, Neptune Beach, brought back to life is a dream come true. Myself and hundreds of other Alameda residents and visitors to Crab Cove realized that dream this weekend, thanks to Rhythmix Cultural Works’ Island City Waterways. 

From bathing beauties to bare-handed boxers, from Alameda’s Mermaid Nellie Schmidt to the Dragon Queen of the Ocean herself, the roving mixture of music, poetry, dance and history proved a dynamic, mesmerizing performance.

Clockwise from top left, carnival barkers Ed Holmes and Bob Ernst welcome the audience to the Neptune Beach midway. The duo doubled as poetic narrators and comedic historians; Acrobats performed and games of skill challenged dancers at the midway; Performers and audience recreated the Neptune Beach tradition of the family picnic; Stilt walkers brought some exotic flavor to the performance; The grand finale featured traditional Balinese dance and music courtesy of Gamelan Sakar Jaya and Japanese Taiko drumming from Maze Daiko; The former maritime officer training facility and monument at Crab Cove provided the background for another era of history. Below left, an unrelated cyclist passes between performers and audience. The park setting made such interesting interactions possible.

Island City Waterways is the creation of Rhythmix founder Janet Koike. For more information, see