Yesterday was a gorgeous autumn day. We had no plans, so in the morning we decided to head to Coney Island. It was a perfect day.
I don’t know why, but Coney Island is totally one of my happy places. Many people don’t like it there. It gets overcrowded in the summer, the beaches are dirty (hello, broken glass and used band-aids!), and the locals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
But I love it there despite (or perhaps because of) all those things. I love that it’s a place for everyone. If you live in New York, Coney Island is just a subway ride away. Things aren’t ridiculously overpriced (yet), and it hasn’t been completely commercialized (yet). Watch the documentary “Zipper: Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride.” It’s pretty sad. But it’s the people’s beach. The rides make children happy; there is cotton candy and funnel cake. I mean, what’s not to love?
Anyway, we played on the beach. Arthur threw sand in the air to see how much of it sticks (answer: quite a bit. I found some this morning in his ear.) while Julian and I took off our shoes, rolled up our pants and wiggled our toes in the cold water of the Atlantic.
Then we walked on the boardwalk, had some beers and snacks and let Julian ride on a few rides. He loves them all, despite his game face. It’s such a joy to see him on these rides. Then Jules and Jeff went on the Wonder Wheel, and Arthur and I waited and waved.
Lunch at Nathan’s is obligatory.
Then we went to the aquarium. The boys loved the fish. It was oddly serene and quiet in there.
And then we rode the train home. Everyone was so tired. Both boys fell asleep on the subway.
I want this for my boys. I would be so happy to know that they will have memories of coming to Coney Island as children. I want them to go to imperfect beaches and not think twice about it. I want them to eat hot dogs, fries, and funnel cake and then feel slightly nauseous on the Wonder Wheel. I want them to see the local old ladies and men sitting on the benches and smile.