My feet are sunburned with the outline of my favorite pair of flats. These huge giant red spots that mark my feet, remind me of the joy I felt yesterday afternoon, walking along the boardwalk at Coney Island. (And yes, I need to remember to wear sunscreen, even on my feet).
Despite having lived in New York for nearly three years now, I have never been able to make it out to Coney Island. Yesterday, I decided to remedy that. I woke up with the sudden (or not so sudden) urge to have an adventure. I needed to get out of this city and breath a different kind of air, so I packed my backpack, charged my camera's battery, put on my sunglasses, and headed south.
Upon arriving there, I was nervous that it wouldn't be at all what I expected it to be (having people built up this touristy destination in my mind for so long now). I even had visions of those scenes from Uptown Girls (that brilliant Brittany Murphy/Dakota Fanning movie from 2003) plastered in my memory. You know you love that movie too, it's okay.
Well, needless to say, I was pleasantly (well, more ecstatically) surprised when I found myself perusing restaurants, gift shops, and being able to walk bare foot in the sand along the shore. While taking a slew of photographs (200 to be exact) of the beach and the rides, I was able to completely forget everything I left behind back in the city, and was able to simply enjoy the wonderful scenery and watch the people milling about.
There were even moments when I found myself flooded with memories of my dad and I at the county fair back in California. We would go every year when I was a kid, both of us enjoying rides just as much as the other. My dad is the kind of guy who even used to hold me up at the "you must be this tall" sign to show I was tall enough to go on the rides, when in reality I was three inches shorter. Regardless, it got me over any fear of heights I might have had at a very young age.
As these thoughts of youthfulness and being a kid again drifted around my mind, I wandered into one of the ice cream booths and bought a delicious scoop of Dulce de leche (in a cone of course) and sat down on a bench in Luna Park. I continued watching everyone around me. The kids screaming on the rides, the parents snapping photos of them, and the teenagers dancing around, laughing at the people terrified on the Cyclone. Each of us transported to a different world, a place where we were (even just for a day) able to leave behind all our stresses, worries, and fears. We were able to drop everything and remember what it feels like to be a kid again. All of us (probably) needing a break from the city and our daily lives. We were allowed a chance to escape everything and be able to just catch our breath for a moment. Which sometimes, in this city, should be a requirement.
Oh, and if going to the beach doesn't help take away all your stresses and fears, I wholeheartedly recommend this little remedy: