03 September 2016

The World Is About To End, Again, And I Decided To Enjoy The Ride!

The world is about to end, again.

So what did I do?  I went for a bike ride, of course.

All right...I wasn't as cavalier as I might've sounded.  For one thing, the situation isn't quite as dire as the end of the world, or even the end of the world as we know it.

But tomorrow the beaches will be closed.  Think about that:  Beaches closed on the day before Labor Day, a.k.a., the penultimate day of summer--at least unofficially.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Hermine has plowed across northern Florida and Georgia and is in the Atlantic, where she is surging her way toward New Jersey, New York and New England.  Even if we don't get the wind and rain she's dumped to our south, forecasters say that the strongest riptides in years will roil in local waters.  So, as a precaution, Mayor de Blasio has declared that our beaches--Coney Island, the Rockaways and South Beach of Staten Island among them--will be closed tomorrow.

I decided to ride toward those littoral landscapes.  First, I took my familiar jaunt to the Rockaways and, from there, to Point Lookout.  

The view to the east was ominous--at least, in the sky.  Those clouds looked as if they could have solved all of my hydration problems for a while.  But, as the day was relatively cool (high temperature around 25C or 77F) and the sun wasn't beating down on my skin, I didn't sweat much.

People seemed to think the beaches were already closed (well, the Mayor's pronouncement wouldn't affect Point Lookout).  Not many of them were on the sand or in the surf--or even on the boardwalk--in the Rockaways.  With those skies, it looked more like a mid- or even late-fall day than the End of Summer.

And Point Lookout was deserted!  Even the streets were all but empty:  the few cars I saw were parked.  A long, wide sidebar surfaced in the water, belying the predicted storm surge.  Normally, people would walk themselves and, perhaps, their dogs, on it.  But today the seagulls and egrets had it all to themselves.

Vera, my green Mercian mixte, seemed to be enjoying it.  Or, perhaps, she was anticipating the ride back:  We had pushed into the wind most of the way from my apartment to the Point.  So, of course, it would give us a nice push going back.

Except that I decided not to pedal directly home.  The ride felt so good that as I approached Beach 92nd Street in the Rockaways--where I would normally turn off the boardwalk (where we rode today) or Rockaway Beach Boulevard for the bridge to Broad Channel--I decided to continue along the boardwalk to its end in Belle Harbor, and from there along the Boulevard to Riis Park and Fort Tilden.

Then I rolled across the Gil Hodges/Marine Parkway Bridge to Brooklyn, along the path that rims the South Shore to Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach and Coney Island.  

Along the way, fissures split the cloud cover.  By the time I got to Coney Island, the sun had reclaimed much of the sky.  And, when I got there, I saw crowds of the size one would expect on a summer day.  I wonder whether they had been there all day or if they started to stream in for their "last chance" as the sky cleared.

Sunlight glinted off the water as I rode the promenade from Coney Island to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, where I once again saw the kinds, and numbers, of people one normally finds there on a summer Saturday:  cyclists, skaters, skateboarders, fishermen, young couples, older couples and Orthodox Jewish families enjoying their shabat.

Speaking of enjoyment:  Everyone has his or her own definition of that word.  Apparently, some Nassau County officials have their own interesting interpretation:

For the record, that women's bathroom in Point Lookout Park was filthy.  And the doors of the stalls didn't shut.  Nor did the front door of the bathroom.  I thought about calling Supervisor Santino, but didn't.  I was enjoying everything else about my ride and didn't want to interrupt it--especially since, if we incur Hermine's wrath, I won't be able to take another like it for a while!


  1. always learning from you Justine.
    although i am a coastal gal, i will always be a lifetime esl student (in my mind, it will never stop. why should it ;)
    and today, i have learned a new word: littoral.
    lovely fotos, hope the weather passes without much damage xo

  2. Meli--You always make my day when you stop by. Thank you for the compliments. I admit: I discovered "littoral" by accident. I'm glad I did.