Friday, August 31, 2007

Coney Island

At the end of the subway line, the beach!

August in New York City is hittable hot in the heat, and if you exhausted all the drinkable, refreshable, and coolable solutions you might want take a trip to the other side of the road and see the sea for a whale. I am not talking about the Hudson River on the side or the bathtub on the tap; no I am talking about the salty sea in front.

So you decide to talk the F line to watch the crowd in a Sunday afternoon. And what you discover at first is the line up for the food stand. Anybody who decides to come to that part of the American world has to eat a Hot Dog, Fries and Pop drink. You execute yourself, and while you line up you start to think about what is the big deal to have a Hot Fog – Dries - Pop all at once, you give up because it’s now your turn to order. It’s part of the tradition to arouse your taste bud with the world famous Fot Hog – Pries - Dop combo. So you eat!

America flag everywhere dispute the space with colorful sign claming that the oldest is the best. From my point of view, I usually see the latest as the best in a very consumerist traditional society, and not the oldest. I would probably leave the oldest the best in a more traditionalist society like Europe. But, for once, if tradition forces you delight your body, what else can you do, but eat the world famous Pot Dog – Dries - Fop combo

When your system has digested a plentiful satisfaction, it’s time to move around and investigate the place. Camera on one hand, hope on the other, you start walking in the oldest attraction park in NYC. The wooden riding train is the key attraction in this family fun park featuring Sunlite Pool, and 17 classic family and kiddy rides.

Lights, rides, screams and sounds are mixed in a cacophony close to the youth sweet music you remember from your childhood when you parents used to bring you to see the circus in town or the amusement park next door.

The best Madeleine I had was the smell of the cotton candy machine. No other smell can drive me back to my childhood faster than the smell of a cotton candy: the pink ones, not the brand new ones that have many different layers and colors, no, no, the sweet, gigantic and pink ones.

I stare at many kids during my trip to Coney Island to watch them enjoying a cotton candy, and I guess it crossed ages and generations. Kids still like cotton candy. It is probably the taste, the shape and the softness of the bit you do that make it so special. It’s hard to eat yet easy to get messy. What a beautiful invention that of a cotton candy, it’s the most delectable sugary stick kids love.

A bloc away from the smell and scream, the pier was longing the shore of food stools on one side and the beach on the other. The large wooden pier manages the traffic from one part of the country to the other, mixing classes, families and ethnics.

There a group of old ladies facing the human sea talking about what their life would have been if… there another group of old man facing the sea talking about the their life if they did not meet their respected wife… there a group of Puerto Ricans dancing and singing salsa… there a group of homeless people shrinking at the last bites of the summer… there an entire family who is playing on the beach an ancient and sport called tanning on a towel… there a group of bikers refreshing their machine with beer and other beverages… there a group of Japanese taking pictures for their return in their island… there us imitating the Japanese.

No place in the world can make people look in the same direction as the sea. Everyone at one point looks at the horizon and wonder what could be on the other side.

I am glad that I saw the last days of Coney Island.

I am sad that Money Island will replace it soon.