Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Coney Island Adventure

Since we're both working full time now, my sister and I never have a day off together, except Sundays, but that doesn't count. So we took advantage of Memorial Day to spend the day together doing as many fun things as we could think of.

First of all, I have a question for all the men out there. If a girl were to invite you to brunch at Sarabeth's, would you go? It's a very very good restaurant, with fantastic breakfast food, but just because of the word brunch and the name Sarabeth, my sister's boyfriend refused to come with us, saying it sounded too girly. It wasn't even technically brunch, since we ate at 9 in the morning. Oh well, he missed out because those were some delicious potato waffles!

Our next stop was Brooklyn, where we wandered around for a little while looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and the gorgeous view of Manhattan across the water. The day could not have been finer--sunny and warm but not hot. That section of Brooklyn has a charming personality, with public artworks everywhere and strange architecture like a Di Chirico painting. Of course we had to stop and visit the telectroscope, which I wrote about a few days ago. To our surprise, there was no line at all to look in the thing, so we did, and waved at random Londoners. We could see that it was raining in London, but that did not deter people from waving at us and hoisting their babies up on their shoulders to wave too.

It was hard to get a good camera shot, even though the view inside the telectroscope was really clear to the eye. In the photo you can see a smaller circle--that's the London end. And here is a picture of the whole thing (I love how they piled rocks and sticks around it to make it look like they just finished excavation):

Our next destination was the famed Coney Island.

Our goals were to ride the Wonder Wheel, eat a Nathan's hotdog (E had never heard of Nathan's!), find the candy popcorn that one of E's coworker's told her about, and just join in the general festivities.

We did ride the Wonder Wheel, which was indeed wondrous. It's like a Ferris Wheel, but with an added level of excitement. From the top, we had an amazing view of the carnival, the ocean, and Manhattan in the hazy distance, but despite the sun it was freezing up there in the seaside-wind. Back on solid ground, we found much to amuse us. I had my fortune told by an animatronic grandmother. She told me that one day I will be in possession of a beautiful home. Nice!

My sister got a smashed penny with "Deno's Wonder Wheel" on it, and another charm with our names and the date, and then we sat in one of those photo booths and took silly pictures. But alas, we could not even come close to the beauty of Miss Coney Island:

There is so much about that picture to love. I was curious about the "25 cents to fall in love" message, but we could find no explanation. And the "Alive" chimp was just precious. Some other bizarre things we saw:

What exactly is 3D motion anyway?

Are they implying that dreams don't come true in real reality? I like this picture because it kind of sums up all that Coney Island is or tries to be--a sparkling rhinestone on an otherwise drab landscape. It sparkles, but the glitz and glamour is just greasepaint, and behind the Wonder Wheel is a barbed-wire covered fence beyond which a junkyard dog patrols a graffiti covered trailer surrounded by piles of empty beer bottles and old seats from broken down rides. The games and rides and spectacles are colorful and loud and flashy, but at Coney Island there is a thin line between grit and glitz.

We didn't find the popcorn, and the line at Nathan's was about a mile long, but we had a fantastic time!

We headed homeward in the late afternoon, with still enough day left to do more holiday things. E met up with her BF and went to the Met's game, and I wandered down to Riverside Park to meet up with some friends for a cookout. We roasted hamburgers, had genuine jello salad, and made s'mores while children played football all around us. Directly across the river there flew an enormous American flag, which eventually caught the last rays of the setting sun.


rachel said...

i don't want anything to do with a man who wouldn't go to sarabeth's with me. the last time i was there, my friend and i stayed for three hours drinking tea and ordering more and more and more scones. it is maybe the happiest place in my world right now.

jeff said...

Girls and food are two of my favorite things, so I would love to be invited to brunch.

Coney Island is one of my favorite places. I went out there my 2nd to last day in the city. I bet it's pretty creepy after dark, though.

Donnie Barnes said...

First, I'd do the Sarabeth's thing, but that's because thanks to Alisa I've been there and know how wonderful it is. True story...we were in NYC with my parents, Alisa, and my friend Dave. Dave really liked the hostess at Sarabeth's and Alisa and I talked him into asking her out several hours after we left. So we took a cab back and he did it. He only had the one evening available, though, and she was busy. Too bad, they would have made a cute couple.

How has anyone made it past the age of 20 and not heard of Nathan's?

What is 3D motion? Well, it's motion in three dimensions, silly. Up/Down, side-to-side, and forward/backward. Usually there's a 2D screen in front of you playing some sort of flying movie and the movements of the thing are synchronized to the video to make you feel like you're really flying or racing a car or whatever. I've been in several of those and most are actually pretty good. Star Tours at Disney is really just a bigger version of that same thing.

I've never been to Coney Island, but I have read a bunch about it and "grit and glitz" echos everything else I've read, too. Still sounds like fun, though!

Lis said...

E's BF is CRAZY. Sarabeth's is only the greatest restaurant ever. And Donnie beat me to the best story to ever take place at Sarabeth's.

Next time, eat the pumpkin waffle and the eggs benedict for me.

Lady Holiday said...

Why not come and eat it yourself? :)