Sunday, July 15, 2007

So Two Hours Later....

We ended up on Brighton Beach. The Professor brought PerpetualMotion, The Diva and Poohbear, (MoodMagicBarbies half-sister who spent about the first two years of her life under the Professor's care). The shadows were long and the wind had a nip that I couldn't get past, and I was tight cuz who ends up on the beach at 4PM in the afternoon???? We do! About the only other people arriving after us were a cute interracial family with an adorable baby. I enjoy watching interracial families. They crack me up. Particularly ones where the dad is the "inter"loper. The lone white guy surrounded by the mama, the mama's mama, and the mama's mama's other children and a cousin or two. I didn't get a picture of them, and I don't know why.

Anyway. The Sun and PerpetualMotion had a great time. The Professor has already pegged PM for her Therapeutic Nursery, not because he has learning issues--the kid is scary bright and picks up things incredibly fast. But he has no fear at all. Of anything. Not heights, not people, not large bodies of water. After getting a feel for the sand (no fear there!) he ran straight into the water right behind the Sun. He so adores the Sun and copies absolutely everything he does. So if the Sun runs into the surf to jump waves, so does PM. It took both the Professor and the Diva to keep him from running too far out. He got knocked down by waves once, sputtered, caught his breath and jumped right back in. The very brief quiet times were spent digging in the sand.

Me, I slowly let the past 24 hours dissipate in the sun and the sound of the waves and people-watching (my favorite thing to do), and the family wisely left me alone which is why I love them so. The Diva in particular understands me; we have the Aquarian thing going on which is that sometimes, we just need to be left the hell alone.

Like most places in the Big Apple, Brighton Beach always has an interesting assortment of people, but Brighton in particular still has a large Russian population. And I think it's sort of grown to include all kinds of Eastern European types, so sitting at the beach you hear any number of Slavic-type languages being spoken. (Note: "Body Consciousness" is apparently a uniquely American "ism", since nobody out there had any fear of wearing a bikini--no matter the size.) And they react differently to things than other places in NYC. For instance, most NYers have a famously short attention span. We see something we've never seen before, we gawk, go "Ah yes, only in NY!" and then we move on. So this guy shows up on the beach; a walking petting zoo. He had two parrots; one perched on the handle of his backpack and one perched on the backpack; a boa wrapped around his neck and a green lizard on his head. And something in that bucket; God knows what. It must have been "yucky" because people would periodically scream and run away. But then they came back. Around his neck he had several Polaroid cameras--he was hawking"exotic pictures". No one got their picture taken that I saw, but where ever he went he had a large tail of people following him, sort of like the Pied Piper.

Some other pictures:

At about 6PM PerpetualMotion was completely overwhelmed by it all and was reduced to a squawling, snotty mess, so we packed up and left the beach. I suggested that since we were so close, we should go to Coney Island so the Sun could see it before The Borg (which is slowly assimilating the Big Apple ...Resistance Is Futile...) tear it all down to make room for premium condos make improvements.

When I was a teenager we'd walk over to 8th Avenue to the D train, and ride it all the way out to Coney Island. It took at least an hour from 'Two Five. It's pretty much the same as I remember it, and I haven't been to Coney Island in years. The D train still terminates there at Stillwell Avenue, but the terminal has been completely renovated. The buildings are seedier and more run down, boarded up and waiting for the Borg to come. But the atmosphere is still the same. We ate at Nathans (seriously long wait for a hotdog... Nathan's is now too "Famous" for it's own good) and then the Professor took PerpetualMotion back to the car to sleep. The Diva, PoohBear, the Sun and I walked around, and bought a ticket to the Polar Express. Unlike Rye, where you buy a book of tickets (actually, now a swipeycard or a bracelet) and redeem however-many per ride, Coney Island still makes you buy tickets for individual rides. And it's expensive... Polar Express cost $5 each. EACH. (The public toilet actually cost a quarter, with a large evil woman manning the turnstile and barking at you to "exit the bathroom once you have washed your hands".) But I gotta tellya... you get what you pay for. That ride whipped us around frontwards to loud hiphop, and then whipped us around backwards even longer to dancehall, the dj/operator taunting us all the while. I actually was afraid I'd fall out of the clackety car.

Afterwards, we bought candy apples (you can't leave Coney Island without a candy apple) and chocolate-sprinkle-covered-marshmallows on a stick, and some candy popcorn... and then came on home.

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BigBear news of the day was delivered again by Poppy, who reported that The Luggage had been located in Beijing. (I betcha it never got off the plane, and then went back around the world again before returning to China). Hopefully she'll get it by Monday. She was in a competition where she said she did well, but the judges were squirelly. Which they always are at these competitions... at least in my limited tournament experience. But anyway... we're still instructed not to call, though the Professor can't help herself.

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