Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gallivant III: Coney Island to Brooklyn Bridge

The last day of Jason's visit.

But first I have to tell you about the best instance of self-queueing that I have ever seen.  The other evening walking to 86th Street, here in Bay Ridge, I saw a line stretching for half a block and wondered what they were waiting for.  They were queueing for a bus that wasn't there yet.  I crossed the road laughing.  So, Matt, the Brits have competition!  

Indeed, I noticed that the last time I took a bus here, there was a small queue.  Getting onto the bus I braced myself as usual, prepared to have the people behind ending up on the bus in front of me (never figured out how that happens).  I was pleasantly surprised as I climbed the stairs to discover I had retained my place.  Felt quite civilized.

In London, the crowd sort of mills about and when the bus comes it's a slow but sure free for all as a glob of humanity attempts to climb on at approximately the same time.


The last morning was a slow one.  Chris made scrambled eggs with tortillas, and then after we'd left, we kicked ourselves for forgotting to pack some of the oatmeal cookies we'd baked the night before.  In this freezing weather you get hollow in no time.  Without flour we had improvised with some Bisquick mix and Quaker oats, and we made cookies to go with our cocktails.  Chris measured the ingredients, Jason whipped the mix, and I volunteered at the wrong time - to stir as Chris added the oats, man that was some stiff stirring, so Jason took over again, and I spooned the mix onto the baking trays.  They were very good.  I made sure to leave them in the oven beyond the estimated time to get a bit brown and crispy :)

Anyway, the boys carried my bags back to Brooklyn, we retied our shoelaces, and headed a few stops north on the R so we could catch the N down to Coney Island.  The Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum, we can do another time.  

They were arguing last year about Astroland, the old theme park at Coney Island: Chris insisted it was closed, and Jason insisted it was open, and I agreed.  Chris and I were supposed to go there before he started his job, but we ran out of time. Then, in August, it did close suddenly, and many rides were auctioned off.  So we went to see it before any more changes take place.

N Train terminus at Coney Island

"Let me turn your cup around so you can see the name."  As though the signs above his head don't already show it.

Who are they kidding, sure the menu is huge, but everyone goes for the dogs.  Corn dogs, hot dogs, chili dogs, cheese dogs, you name it, they got it.

My camera had been hijacked for a few minutes, so there's me in the corner

Lurid Lomo colors of a bunch of flowers on the fence of Astroland.  Nobody wanted the park to close.

The legendary Wonder Wheel in Lomo style

Coney Island Boardwalk

Long shadows of a winter afternoon

A fake palm tree on the frigid beach

The 1950s-era Parachute Drop

In trying to fix it, he broke it more

The sun was setting fast

The legendary Cyclone is very old


Temperatures were near freezing, but armed with hot chocolate we made our way across the Brooklyn Bridge.  It took just over half an hour to walk across the bridge to a subway outside Brooklyn City Hall.

Eerie arches of Brooklyn Bridge

Halfway to Brooklyn across the Hudson River

The Manhattan Bridge to the north as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge

Pier 17 and South Street Seaport to the south

Looking back towards Manhattan

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

In Brooklyn, I parted with them and wished Jason all the best in his flight test later this month.  

Then I went home and came down with a cold a couple of days later!  But it was worth it.  All in all it had been a great few days with truly good friends.



Selba said...

Woohooo.. Jason and Chris look cute!!! ;)

Rathna said...

I am really enjoying the pictures of this blog along with chris:-) I think he is an expert in Photography.I really like the photo of sunsetand te view of legendary Cyclone Excellent!!

Flighty said...

Wonderful photos! I especially like the last few! xx

Jo said...

Excellent photos of Coney Island! I so want to go there when Dave and I return to New York!

Carol said...

great photos. the longest lines I've seen that look like they go nowhere is people waiting for the park n ride buses in downtown Houston at quitting time.

nikkipolani said...

Liv, I've been enjoying your tour with these two friends. There's something kind of sad to see Coney Island rides empty. I like the Lomo effect on those photos - the deeper saturation, almost movie-like effect. The night views of the bridge and city are spectactular.

meimei said...

ooh I loved the pic of the rollercoaster

Glo said...

Liv ~ I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing your time with you and your friends. The photos and your commentary make it all seem so close although you are miles away. The Coney Island photos ~ so nostalgic ~ a bygone era. As usual, you hit all the senses and moods ~ Thanks, Liv :)

Olivia said...

Selby - ahhh, I am sure they would blush if you told them!


Rathna - welcome! Are you from Thunderbird? Chris has gotten over the tourist thing much faster than I. He never takes photos! I can take a picture of the Empire State Building every time I look at it. :)


Flighty - you liked the Bridge? Wouldn't it be weird if I wrote a post with no photos? The next is quite likely to be image free unless I come up with something PDQ! xx


Jo - it does seem like the sort of place you would enjoy!


Carol - I forgot about those things! I imagine Texans would be very good at queueing because they have to do it so infrequently, and being in the South they're probably nicer about it :)


Nikki - the park closes for winter anyway, so it probably looked much like this last winter too. I hope they don't let it fall into disrepair. I mean, the sideshows will return next summer, it's just Astroland that's closed. I hear a couple of the Wonder Wheel belongs to the City so will stay.


Mich - I've been on one like this in Astroworld in Houston - before that closed a few years ago too. Sad trend.
Anyway, have you ever been on an old wooden roller coaster? They are clackety and boneshaking and not that fast, but imagine 80 years ago when most people hadn't been in an airplane yet, what a thrill it must have been!


Glo - ahhhh you're welcome. Although I too enjoy looking at my photos, I wish I could be you for 5 minutes so I could feel what it's like to view them from the outside without being me.

Glo said...

Interesting thought, Liv ~ well, take it from me, visiting your posts is like really experiencing being there ~ you put so much into each one.

Oh, by the way, do you recognize this statue?

beginninghere said...

Don't know how you could do all that walking in such cold weather. Burrrrr. I want one of those famous hot dogs. The fake palm tree cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

Word up Olivia, long time no talk.

I love the pictures of Coney Island, a place that has a very special place in my heart, for assorted reasons.

Will email soon, it's been so long!

Retired suburbanite x

Olivia said...

Glo - oh my goodness, or should I say oh my goddess, is that me????

Woot, I am scared of me!


BH - believe it or not, I did some walking in even colder temps this evening...think I may blog about it.


Britpopsurvivor - thank you for visiting. Do I know you from elsewhere?