Sights, sounds and tastes of Carnival in New York

The costumes, the food, the music. Dating back hundreds of years, Carnival is an annual festival celebrated all over the Caribbean. The vibrant costumes are a feast for the eyes and take months to make.

Costumes must fit a theme. Within that theme, there are versions for men, children, women and a new category for curvy women. There are more simple backline costumes, ones considered "frontline," and others that are called lavish.

And no Carnival celebration is complete without the food. I got a chance to check out the kind of Caribbean specialties that will be offered along the parade route.

First stop was at Trinciti in South Ozone Park, Queens. This place stays packed. They're known for their fried shark, curried goat, and a popular veggie dish called the doubles.

In Laurelton, Queens, I stepped into Step One. The restaurant-lounge is mellow by day but not so mellow at night. But the food makes it memorable.

Finally, in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Caribbean Social brings together elements of all the islands. I met Jamaican music producer Ricky Blaze there. While the chef whipped up Caribbean specialties, we sampled a few of the drinks. I tried the royal society.