One of the benefits of living out here on the Rock is it's proximity to Oye Beach. The beach actually has a "real" name, but Oye ("listen" in Spanish) is quite apropos, considering that come summertime every Hispanic in the Bronx and Manhattan will most likely visit the beach at least twice. It's easy to get to on public transportation, and only a half hour from the city if you're driving on a good traffic day. The smell of outdoor cooking fills the air; salsa, merengue and bachata blare from hundreds of radios and CD players. There's no smell of suntan lotion though, as the object of the game is to get as brown as possible in as little clothing as possible--no matter what size you are.
You can't beat it for people-watching.
During the week though, it's fairly quiet and the outer ends of the horseshoe-shaped beach are sometimes populated by quiet groups of gay sunbathers, and/or nude sunbathers. The center of the beach is visited by NYC school kids.
Our school had a field trip there yesterday... and since it made no sense for the Sun and I to go ALL THE WAY into Manhattan to turn around and come back on a hot school bus, we slept in and then walked over to meet his classmates after breakfast. Shoefly and the Moon had discovered a shortcut through the woods from the foot of the bridge onto the Rock, so after picking up some sandwiches at the supermarket, the Sun and I walked down to the end of the Rock and found the path.
Wow. You could almost envision what this area looked back in the late 1500's/early 1600's before settlers got here (this area has been pretty much continually inhabited by Europeans since then). It was quiet, with glimpses of the ocean through the trees, and the air was sweet with the smell of honeysuckle. And then at the end of the path you hit a clearing, and next thing you know you're on the boardwalk.
We had a great time.
This is the Sun's teacher. She's showing off her neatly packed Korean lunch brought by Whitehorse, who had even labeled it. I always joke with the Sun that his teacher is hot. I tell him if I were a little boy I'd have a serious crush on her. It doesn't help that she's one of the nicest people I've ever met.
I saw very little of the Sun the rest of the day; he and Whitehorse's son ran off to harass people (girls) with SuperSoakers, but then the Sun dug in the sand which is second-favorite thing to do on the beach... his favorite thing is to jump waves but there are very few waves at this beach.
There was plenty of wildlife out (not too many seagulls, surprisingly enough--by summer's end there will be as many seagulls as there are people, and the gulls will be as equally bold and obnoxious). The kids brought up buckets of hermit crabs (we made them put them all back),
and the K-1 teacher and her class found a horseshoe crab. The class seemed to have done an extensive study of the crabs last year, and both kids and teachers were quite knowledgeable on the subject. For instance, it was surmised by the size that this one was a male...
...and that turned out to be true, since with some amazingly gentle unearthing by one of the kids, the much larger female was found buried in the sand underneath the male. The teacher joked in an aside to the Fatlady and myself that we had apparently interrupted an intimate moment...
Oh well, sorry! LilacBlue's daughter Ladybug found a ladybug to play with...
while us moms who came as chaperons sat around to shoot the breeze.
It was a great day. I think this picture sort of sums up the day...
...leastways, that's about how I felt. I love the beach. I love summer. Makes me forget all the other crap in my life.
Oh, I forgot to add that the day was also the Fatlady's birthday! She had threatened not come on the trip, as she was having a Greta Garbo moment, but to our great delight she got over that. We sang Happy Birthday to her as we were leaving...
The day ended well, too. The Sun and I made our way to Yonkers to the dojo. I'd forgotten that classes were ending early because a Tio from California was coming in to conduct a 3-day Salsa workshop. I was annoyed that after sitting on buses for two hours we'd missed class, but I got over it.... LittleSensei literally threw me into the room and next thing I knew I was rather awkwardly trying to catch that 2- and 6-beat in an 8-beat count. But by the end of it, I'd actually caught it. The simple step, that is. There was some other side-to-side step-tap-step-apart thing that escaped me totally... but I nailed those turns!