The countdown begins: Coney Island

nathans-coney-island-1My days in New York are numbered. I’ve done nearly a year’s time in Harlem and will soon be paroled for adequate behavior. I’ll miss this wonderful and exciting concrete jungle called Manhattan.

Although I’ve done a lot in my nearly four years here, there’s still so much more to see and do. In between working and packing I’m getting out to check out some of the things I’ve put off.

Being a hot dog lover, a visit to Coney Island to eat a hot dog at Nathan’s was atop my last things to do list. I rode the D subway for an hour to get there and I must say it was a pleasant ride since we were above ground for part of the time. Since it was 90 degrees and a Sunday, Nathan’s was jam-packed as you can see from the photo above. Nonetheless, I waited patiently in line to order a frankfurter, fries and a Corona while Stacie and her 11-month-old son Alessandro grabbed a table.

Of course I’ve had Nathan’s many times before but the unhealthy meal seemed even more delicious while in Coney Island, which wasn’t too bad either. Outside of the overflowing trash cans that were eyesores on the Boardwalk, the place wasn’t half bad. The wind was horrific, as you can see from my out-of-control coif in the photo below, so it was impossible to lie down on the beach without ending up with a head full of blowing sand. And the wind made it much chillier than I expected so I kept my beach towel wrapped around me like a cape. But the sound of the crashing waves, the relatively debris-free sand, the blue skies and the soaring seagulls made everything bearable.

Up until yesterday, I didn’t even know I could come to Coney Island and enjoy a beach. Granted, it’s not the French Riviera, Anguilla or Malibu but all things considered, it was a fun little journey and peaceful. The old-fashioned Boardwalk put me back to a time prior to my birth. I thought the rides had closed but a rickety roller coaster was still operating. I even went out on a limb and used a public toilet. I thought I would have to hold my nose in there but it too was decent, all things considered.

The funniest thing was watching a seemingly cracked-out woman entertaining herself and the crowd by seductively dancing with a singer who performed on the Boardwalk. At one point she unloosened her belt and I gasped, waiting for her to strip. Thankfully she thought better of doing so. I was able to leave Coney Island with pleasant memories.

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