August 27th, 2008

krazy koati

From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel

With the conclusion of the carousel we started to walk up the Boardwalk, to see what we might see. It was along here we discovered another copy of the area map with the baffling image of dental offices, for example, and along the way was also a sky lift, finished running for the night, the length of which we walked. At the far end of the walk and down the stairs to the beach was a bonfire, and some sort of party going on, and a loud drunk guy demanding to know where his girlfriend was while other people attending this little party walked far around him.

When we went down we also gave him a wide berth, although since we took our time going down it's not obvious that this was a useful diversion. But we did walk to the shore, to the Atlantic Ocean pounding its way up the shoreline -- there had been a number of people endangered by rip tides in the preceding fortnight, something I did not think about in sufficient detail -- and I walked into waves. It had been something of a tradition for me in Singapore to break in my sandals by walking into the Straits of Singapore in them, and it felt very good to have something similar by stepping into the Atlantic Ocean. (In point of fact, and in an incident I haven't described yet because bunny_hugger's visit got ahead in the queue, I actually ``christened'' these with a walk into the Niagara River, but I was not in serious danger of going over the Falls.)

And she took off her shoes and socks and put them where we thought the waves were unlikely to reach -- she had to relocate them only once -- and we walked into the shoreline, taking in the ocean and watching the night come to its conclusion. Despite sinking some into the watery sand we had a wonderful, peaceful, delightful time, and when we finally decided it was time to walk away we only had to search for her shoes briefly. After a short trip to the bathroom to try washing the worst of the sand out of our footwear we walked down the boardwalk, with everything not previously closed shuttering, and just bits of sprinkling rain telling us to find the car.

Trivia: Ice trade pioneer Frederic Tudor was confident enough that he had solved the problem of long-distance refrigerated shipping by sea that in August 1816 he borrowed three thousand dollars in Havanna at 40 percent interest to ship fruit back to New York City. Source: The Frozen-Water Trade: A True Story, Gavin Weightman.

Currently Reading: How The States Got Their Shapes, Mark Stein. Definitely a book to be skimmed rather than read in a chunk; there's a lot of repetitive writing in it. Granted, that's because of things like the Missouri Compromise line being used over and over and over for states, but, still. I am surprised to learn that the whole Liberty Island/Ellis Island spat between New York and New Jersey was not so terribly sad as I had believed it to be.