Saturday, March 05, 2005

joni mitchell could have sung about it

finally today, fulfilling a long-held fantasy, i went to coney island. the cars had all been stripped from the ferris wheel and the roller coaster was only bones. little puddles of snow flecked the beach. the whole place, in fact, looked frozen, packed away in a freezer to be brought again and thawed and fed to the masses in may.

it was an incredible feeling to be there with the gulls, the photographers, the occasional old russian couple and young orthodox family. the water was a bold, thick blue. what body of water is it, anyway? i don't know my geography. i would have liked to stop and write something by the anonymous water's edge but the wind kept whipping me around and i could see the sun setting above nathan's hot dog stand so i came home.

from an american history perspective, you know, coney island is a treasure. when it was built over 100 years ago it was one of the first places young men and women could go to mingle. in public and with no chaperones and incurring no disgrace. essentially it was the beginning of dating. women could scream as loud as they wanted if they were on a roller coaster, and anything was permissible to say in the tunnel of love. coney island killed the parlor.

or maybe i'm making all that up; i didn't pay that much attention in seminar. anyway, it's pretty out there. you should go.

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