Thursday, July 05, 2007


To celebrate America's birthday, my comrades and I braved the blustery weather and journeyed to Coney Island. Here is a brief account of our adventures, excerpted from an electronic mail I sent to Noodles earlier today:

We ate hot dogs at Nathan's, then ate funnel cakes, and then--rather unstrategically--went on some rides. I was most excited for the Spook-a-Rama (a spook alley), which was among the lamest and briefest rides I've ever been on. A car along a curvy track in an only semi-darkened room lurched around and periodically a dummy of some sort would mechanically jump forward and sometimes it'd be dramatically lit and other times the light bulb must have burnt out. Despite the lackluster effects, I made sure to scream as loud as I could the whole time, so that when we emerged, a small, concerned crowd had gathered to see what the commotion was. Ha ha. We also rode the Wonder Wheel, which is an enormous ferris wheel with some stationary cars and some cars that swing along freely on tracks. We opted for a swinging car, and weren't disappointed. At the top, we had a great view of the ocean on one side and the Verrazano bridge (that connects Brooklyn to Staten Island) on the other side, plus the whole of Coney Island and many buildings sprawling out around. I think everyone would agree that the most exciting "ride" was the trip to the public pay toilets. You wait in a long line, and drop a quarter into a turnstyle then go into the separate mens/womens facilities. The entire operation seemed unattended, so my friend and I just paid and went through, then out of nowhere (as if our quarters in the turnstyle had activated her), an enormous-bosomed attendant burst out of a side door and bellowed "I didn't call women yet!" We said we were sorry and that we didn't know we had to wait for her, and she kept on yelling, so we just went into the ladies' room. Just as I was about to flush, the attendant burst into the room (where the sinks are) and started yelling that everyone was making too big of a mess. I believe the exact phrases she repeated were "why you all so nasty!?" and "quit bein' so nasty!" We were also going to ride the cyclone, the iconic roller coaster, but the weather wasn't looking so hot, and it'd have been another $5 or so, so instead we all took a quick promenade down the boardwalk, split another funnel cake, sought shelter in a partially-closed food stand while a storm raged outside, then headed for the train. It really did not feel too patriotic, but it was a darn good time nonetheless.

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