Photography: Summer 2013 sets - Coney Island

I have always loved Memorial Day weekend, just because it basically means the start of summer, of beaches, of sunshine, of wearing shorts and dresses and no sweaters. Lying on the sand in the Rockaways or Fort Tilden, going on mini road trips towards adventures in the sun, late nights and early mornings, thunderstorms and humidity, and most importantly again, the beach. It doesn't really matter which beach (although I will miss Fort Tilden this year, as it won't be open due to the damage caused by Sandy), any beach will do as long as there is sunshine, sand and water.
The weather on Saturday was later winteresque - cold and windy and rainy. The weather on Sunday was a little better, apart from the rain, but it didn't bode too well for a summer kick-off... And then Monday dawned with sunshine and warmth, and there wasn't a better way to kick start summer with a visit to Coney Island with my Brazilian newly-wed friends Bela and Jerome. Of course I made them go on the Cyclone (and watched from afar - once in a lifetime was enough for me!).
Hopefully I will be able to document many more adventures this summer...
(Link below for the full set of photos).

AmusementTwisting and turningWatching the oceanThrillsRuby'sRemain seated
HappinessIntricate towerCarouselUnityBela and Jerome on the TwisterGoing up
ScaryCaricatures on the boardwalkCreepyBela and meMoving carriagesUpside down
Cyclone plungeFrom belowNewly wedsBrace yourselfSea buildingIntricate design
Summer 2013 - Coney Island, a set on Flickr.

Stories from the beach (Fort Tilden)

I've been reading a lot of really heavy non-fiction lately, so I decided to grab a good old roman noir based in Berlin in 1934 and take it to the beach for some light reading. So there I am, engrossed in my book on the beach at Fort Tilden, when I hear Michelle Hel deadpan "There's a hipster doing yoga on the beach. I'm instructing him from my beach towel! Oh, he just missed a move and fell over in the sand!".

Let's just say the hipster-doing-yoga-on-the-beach was by far not the weirdest sighting I was to have today... No day at Fort Tilden is without a little excitement and/or strange encounter. Take the man who had dug himself a little sunbathing grave in the sand, wearing just a red sock on his penis. I don't know if he was channeling RHCP circa 1993 or if he just felt like the Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the summer was a look for him, but it did produce a few chuckles from my end. Especially when he got thrown about in the waves and I started to bet on him losing his little sock of dignity.

The yoga dude didn't grasp my attention, I mean when DON'T you see hipsters doing yoga on the beach?; it was Michelle Hel's deadpanning that actually made me raise my head from my book, and lo and behold, what did I see a little to my right? A young, tall, skinny, blond and very naked guy just chilling on the sand, not a care in the world. Look, I know Fort Tilden is lax about the wearing of bikini tops, but I have no idea when it actually became a nudist beach. Someone should have seriously warned us because when the guy got up and jogged, yes jogged, down to the water I nearly choked on my coffee I was laughing so hard. Must have been Russian. I can't think of any other reason for this.

And to top it all off, on the way back home, on the subway, as soon as I sat down a very scary hippie-devil type man, with crazy long blond hair and round red-tinted glasses, a big fat tummy and spike bracelets tried to shake my hand and then told me several times to "Fuck my God".

I'm so glad I have the whole of September still under the cold weather comes - this beach-side entertainment makes for a multitude of memorable moments (and stories).

(The book I was reading is called If The Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr

Excellent stuff).

Labour Day weekend 2010 - Part 1

Yesterday, after the so-called Hurricane Earl left us with blue-washed skies and a strong breeze, I decided I wanted to take pictures ALL DAY. Luckily Mum was game, because I don't know how I would have got around if she hadn't been (yes, learning to drive is on my list this year).

First came the usual amazing sunrise over the bay from the East. I am only using the manual settings on my camera, and I still need to work more on the lighting settings, but I'm getting there:

I finally figured my direct sunlight settings once we were walking Bella, and got the rising sun over the bay, with Fire Island in the very back:

We made our way to Smithpoint beach to see the waves. As it was low tide they were not as impressive as I thought they would be, but I wouldn't have ventured in myself:

After a trek to Best Buy, Borders and HomeGoods we stopped of at Manor St George, just off William Floyd Parkway in Shirley. I had no idea that behind all of the trees there was a amazing piece of land looking out onto the bay! Despite getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (literally), we had a really good look around. The house was first built in the 1600's and then added onto in the 1700's.
Interesting flag ;):

We then drove West along Montauk Highway towards the Westhampton Beach area, and I noticed a signpost for a graveyard along the way, and made Mum turn around and go back to it. It didn't look very impressive from the road, but it was literally huge. We spent about 30 minutes driving up and down the lanes and taking pictures of the stones. My favourite part was definitely catching the crow on the gravestone:

And then finally Westhampton Beach where the waves were very impressive. The people who were braving them were pretty dumb in my opinion. I was actually surprised that the lifeguards were letting anyone except surfers swim. Granted, there was only a tiny area of the beach where swimming was allowed, and also about 20 lifeguards hanging around in case anyone got pulled under and away by a riptide.

We ended the day with a two mile walk (a mile each way) to Paradise Ice Cream Parlor in Mastic Beach, under the blue velvet sky twinkling with stars.

Here are all of the pictures I took: Mastic Beach-Smithpoint-Shirley-Westhampton
Here is my Mum's blog (her pictures are amazing as usual): Alison's Blog