Aug 1, 2010
There is a club in Coney Island Brooklyn called The Polar Bear Club. Every new year's day they gather at the shore of the beach in Coney Island and then everyone goes for a dip in the freezing cold ocean. A hot Saturday afternoon in August was my first time ever going into the water there. I was always under the notion that Coney Island was a disgusting dirty place to swim. It actually turned out not to be the case. It is very clean and fun. The first thing you can't help but notice is the diversity of people. There are Africans, Haitians, Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans, Russians, Indians, Muslims, Chinese, Japanese and also an occasional Irish person. One of the most fun things is the amount of illegal vendors on the beach. There are so many regulations in New York City since Guiliani, that it was great to see so much blatant rule breaking. People are carrying coolers and openly selling cold beers which they hide in paper bags. It's pretty easy to see that everyone around me was downing cold brews. There are many illegal food vendors also. Selling meat pies and empanadas. I saw a Jamaican photographer walking around offering to take portraits of people on the beach. Another selling jewelry. There is a whole other world of craziness on the boardwalk as well. I took my cousin and his girlfriend and her sister there. They were in from Ireland. All in all it was a fantastic experience.
A cool website called Recave did a little thing about me. Check it out here.