on October 17, 2006
Coney Island is a great place to bring the kids, which is what we did. It was a hour-long subway ride from uptown Manhattan. It was fun being on the subway and seeing the different parts of the city.Unfortunately, it started raining as soon as we got there. We had to duck inside Nathan's, which is open to the street. As long as we were in there, we got hot dogs and french fries and sodas. There aren't any tables, so we had to eat standing up and holding the food. By the time we finished, the rain had stopped, so we headed to the boardwalk. Of course the kids wanted to go on the rides. After only one ride, though, it started raining again. We ducked into an arcade and played Skeeball and other games until the rain cleared up. Then the kids got a few more rides. We adults joined them for the Haunted House, where you ride in the dark and skeletons jump out at you. Kept me laughing! The kids also did a balloon-popping game and won a stuffed animal or two.There were plenty of people at the beach and on the boardwalk, but not very many at the arcade or on the rides. Some of that was the rain, but Coney Island does seem a bit rundown. In a way, that's part of its charm, but I'm sure it was different in its heyday.The teenager wanted to see the freak show, so we did that. I didn't really want to, but it was excellent. Today's "freaks" are pierced and tattooed young people with a definite knack for theater. Too bad no photos were allowed. Four people did about eight acts, involving, among other things, swords and a beautiful, giant snake. It cost, I think, $4 each to get in, and we felt like we got our money's worth. It was evening by now. The plan was to stay and see a free concert at a park a quick walk away from the beach. The B-52s were playing. We settled in on our blanket. But then the rain started. We waited it out for 10 minutes, it cleared up, and the opening act started playing. Soon enough, though, the skies opened up. The rain was pouring down about as hard as it could, and the lightning and thunder were right on top of us. Staying for the music wasn't a possibility. We ran several long blocks to the subway station, with a few hundred other people in the same predicament. Everyone was soaked through and through, and we couldn't do anything about it. People seemed pretty cheerful, considering--after all, it was an act of God. But I ended up chilled and bedraggled for the long ride home, not a happy camper. Oh well.
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