|Coney Island Boardwalk in early winer. From Kinetic Carnival|
Since Hurricane Sandy, I've ridden to a boardwalk that has been completely washed away and another that has been ripped apart in some sections and collapsed in others. While others have hopes, however unrealistic, that their beloved seaside promenades (or some reasonable replica thereof) will be ready for next summer, I mourn the loss of them right now. I know I won't be able to ride them this winter; I am not entirely sure they'll be ready for next fall or winter.
Although I occasionally ride on a boardwalk during when the weather is warm and the sun is high, I much prefer them during when the sun is lower in the horizon (or when it's overcast) and a chill, or even pure-and-simple cold, blows in off the ocean. Sometimes I take such rides with others; more often, I do them in solitude. In fact, sometimes solitude is the very reason I take such rides: During such rides, thoughts seem to come as clear as the winter sky and feelings as intense, and even sharp, as the crisp salty air.
So, while others fear what they might lose to Sandy next year; I am mourning the rides I can't do now and won't be able to do during the coming weeks and months. On the other hand, I count my blessings: Other people have lost far more to the storm. Some are my students, and I have met others. At least I still have some things to offer them, even if they refuse. And I still have hope for those winter boardwalk rides, if not this season.