Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

You Think It's a Day at the Beach? It Was., posted June 18, 2007 at 02:30 AM

Adge & I spent an amazingly lovely day at Jones Beach today. The weather was out of a storybook, the waves were HUGE, the sandwiches were yummy, and I had the smarts to rent an umbrella this time. Seven hours of pure summer perfection. Jones Beach sits on the southern shore of Lawn Guyland, just east of New Yawk. Since it's a state park, it's clean, well maintained, and big, natural, and beautiful.

Adrienne wore a white bikini, and looked rather dramatic parking her tanned figure on a bright white sheet. I wore a pair of floral trunks, and I must have looked, um, rather ridiculous on my pink floral sheet. Sorry, world.


We swam twice today. The first time we only lasted a short time--just as long as it took for one killer wave to knock us on our asses, and hard. It was one of those beach moments you savor in memory, but at the time it's awful and you're certain This Is It I Am Going To Die. You scramble under water to find your footing, which you can't. You try to swim up for air, but you don't know which way is up. There were about 10 people right near us and every one of us got slammed by this killer wave. Eventually we surfaced, snot and salt water pouring from our noses. We stumbled up onto the sand and collapsed onto our blankets.

We lasted much longer on our second swim, but I finally got too scared of the big waves and suggested we get out of the water. Sure enough, as we tried to find the safety of land, Adrienne got knocked down. It was in shallow water at least, but she really took a beating. There were so many shells and rocks in the sand that she really scraped herself up. See for yourself:


Ouch. I took that picture on the train. Oh lord the train. Let me just say that if you think I'm impatient and hotheaded about public transportation to the beach, look no further for proof than the story of last year's visit to Sandy Hook. Today was simply one of those days where every leg of our trip was screwed up by something--but I kept smiling through it all!

1. I started off on time this morning, early even. I showered, dressed, hit the supermarket for fruit, sandwiches, and chips, then I entered the subway. There's a certain breed of New Yorker who amazingly has the ability--despite being short and skinny--to take up the entire sidewalk or, in this case, the entire stairs down into the subway. Of course, she made me miss my train, by about one second. The conductor must have laughed as the doors closed right in my face. Thanks a lot, honey. I paid Ms. Slowpoke back by throwing her on the tracks. Made me smile.

2. Twenty minutes later my train finally comes. We cross the bridge, descend back underground, and then... we just sit there between stations. For five minutes. Is a grimace a smile?

3. I arrive at the Long Island Railroad only five minutes late. I laugh about it! Ha! No hot-headedness for me. We board our train, and Adrienne presents the tickets she bought for us--from Jamaica to Jones Beach. Thing is, see, we're not departing from Jamaica, we're just changing trains there. We're leaving from Flatbush. But really, the Jones Beach Special package is the same cost--$11 each roundtrip--from either Flatbush or Jamaica, so we're probably fine, right? Wrong. The conductor makes us pay an additional $4.50 for not having tickets from Flatbush to Jamaica. Still smiling!

4. To be fair, the next leg of our trip was fine. We got the express train to Freeport, then boarded the bus to the beach. No fuss, no muss. Oh! Not true! The bus was held up in traffic as some rich person drove a tall yacht under a draw bridge. But this was a short interval. So I'm still smiling.

5. Later, as we left the beach, ambling back to the bus stop, slowly dragging our tired asses back to reality, we see the last bus of the day pull away just as we reach the stop. Curses! Well, we think it was the last bus. There's no telling really. Four other folks arrived at the bus stop, also cursing that last bus. One of them actually read the schedule on the sign--which indicated that it was indeed the last bus. Alas! Just at that moment a taxi pulled up. A van taxi. With room for six. We asked him how much to take us to the Freeport train station? $50. Bastard.

6. We paid our $50 ($20 for me & Adge), and arrived at Freeport. Only to find that our return tickets from earlier in the day were now missing. The train conductor didn't give them back to us. Okay, $13.50 more to buy new tickets.

If you've been keeping count, you know that we spent $59.50 for transportation, on a trip that should have cost $22. Still it was a perfect day at the beach, so it was worth the money, and it got so ridiculous by the end that not only did I keep my good humor about me, we actually laughed our asses off about it. And it was still cheaper than Sandy Hook.

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