Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Coney Island Dreamin'

Tired of the same old excuses keeping you at home all weekend, or buying things with money you don’t really have, or trying to convince yourself that the bars you frequent are worth the exorbitant cost of drinks, or sitting in subways waiting to do any of these things? Look no further- come to Coney Island. Ever see an “open 24 hours” sign behind the steel-shutters of a store that probably hasn’t been open in 24 years? Ever see someone from Dominicans Don’t Play pistol-whip a Blood after the gun jams (attempted murder and assault/battery- how many points is that?) We’re reaching the median of this summer of love 2005- what better time to visit this most famous beach in our five boroughs? Coney Island, straddled by sewage and housing developments, New York City’s curse on the Atlantic Ocean for rejecting our urge to build suburbs south of Brooklyn.

It’s the Coney Island so familiar from images in a million movies- the Ferris wheel, the abandoned drop-ride, the immortal Cyclone (an extra ride for a buck less!). The crowd, at least in these summer months, puts me on serious edge because I grew up in relatively quiet suburbs while these people are half my age and pass the school year at gladiator academies like p.s. one hundred fifty fuck-knows. God is the only reason tough kids don’t pick fights with civilians like me.

Looking out from Nathan’s Hotdogs to the boardwalk, seeing nothing but blue sky- it’s a halting feeling- truly the edge of the city. All at once a New Yorker’s hustle/bustle attitude can fall away. There’s nowhere left to go, the finish line is in sight- go take off your shoes and rub your feet in the sand. And watch the pressure because glass from a million broken Snapple bottles lines the beach just below the surface.

Being the only one of our group to bring swimming trunks, I thought I was ahead of the game- yeah right! You know that salt residue left on your skin after swimming in the ocean- a dry/rough/sticky… anyway, why after swimming in the ocean at Coney does that sticky feeling seem multiplied and dirty? And why, after drying in the sun, was my hair more matted down then it would be after the same treatment at Long Beach?

Wait- don’t tell me, it doesn’t matter- I’m not so paranoid as to think I could get herpes just from swimming at Coney Island.

No comments: