CONEY ISLAND — He didn't bring a search warrant for his weekend exploits, but actor Vincent D'Onofrio, who plays a TV detective, tore up the beach in Brooklyn anyway.
With no cameras rolling, he put on quite a show in his civilian clothes — or bathing suit — and with his family won first-prize in Coney Island's Sand Sculpture contest.
It was a perfect beach day, and sand castles abounded, but the serious sculptors arrived at noon to begin shaping their giant mounds of sand into something a bit greater.
By 2:45 p.m., as the judges began to make their rounds, the stretch of beach between West 10th and West 12th streets along the boardwalk was decorated with larger-than-life sea turtles, mermaids and palatial kingdom estates.
Curious beachgoers watched from Riegelmann Boardwalk or strolled between the artists at work. Some looked fearful of taking an errant step into the delicate works-in-progress.
Feet protrude from a first prize winning sculpture on July 21, 2012 in the Coney Island Sand Sculpting contest. (DNAinfo/Alissa Ambrose)
Judges handed out awards in five categories, child alone, adult alone, group of adults, group of children and mixed groups.
D'Onofrio and his 8-member family took home the first prize in the 'mixed' category, for an elaborate treasure chest that was guarded by sand skeletons, and decorated with gold coins.
"We love pirates!" said a Carin van der Donk, a former model and D'Onofrio's wife, as they sculpted.
|Keith Bedford (Reuters)|