Ramblings: The beach in September


I love the beach in September. Just after Labour Day the beaches are much quieter, and there is more room to spread out and enjoy the sound of the waves breaking on the shore (as opposed to people shouting and blasting music from every side). September has always been my favourite month in NYC (even though it signifies the end of summer and the beginning of autumn which is always followed on by cold, cold winters…): the air is cleaner and les muggy, the sun is still shining and warm and the nights are cooler. There really is nothing like walking barefoot in the warm sand, relaxing right by the water and soaking up the sun, never knowing if this will be the last time you will make it to the beach before the cold sets in.


The Rockaways have always been my favourite part of NYC. I’ve written many times about my trips to the beach, to Rockaway Park or Fort Tilden (when you could still go there before Sandy). A 45 minute subway ride from my home in Bushwick finds you in the middle of a lovely beach community, with miles of beaches to choose from, a perfect place to get away from the oppressiveness of the city and the humidity that coats everything through-out the summer. There have been years when I have spent at least a day per week on the beach, and then other years when I have struggled to make it out there more than a couple of times a month. I have to say that I have done better this year than I did last year, and mainly because I felt the need to support the place that I love so much after all of the devastation that happened there during Sandy. The first time I walked down the street towards the beach the boarded up places (especially the Sand Bar, a regular stop-off place for my friends and I), made me sad, although the fact that so many businesses were back open and ready for customers surprised me and made me realize how hard people had worked to go on with life even after part of it was destroyed. The beaches themselves were completely different. Smaller, with only partial boardwalks, the rest swept away during the hurricane. Fort Tilden closed for the foreseeable future, but beaches that were still accessible, comfortable with all of the amenities that one would need. I’ve always preferred the Rockaways to Coney Island – it’s more laid-back and less noisy (and there is always Pickles and Pies deli where you can buy sandwiches and fruit, not just places where you can only get fried food like hot dogs and fries). Coney is fun, but the Rockaways are my real place to go to, to relax and swim and be in the sun. 



I realised this week, listening to the Psychedelic Furs and contemplating the future while lying in the sun on Beach 106, that this is probably my last summer in NYC and that my future visits to the Rockaways may just be that – visits. There are oceans and beaches all over the world but this one will always have a very, very special place in my heart. Today some of the beaches are “closed” (although if you listen to the construction workers they will just tell you to walk over the dune and hang out on the beach – that no one is going to stop you from going there), but only because there is still so much work to be done to clean up after Sandy. I just worry that we will get hit by another super storm again this year… Or next year. Hopefully the work done will help avoid the extent of the damage that we all suffered last year. Right now a huge man-made dune has appeared all the way down the beaches, exposing a large pipeline (carrying water?), and the beach is even smaller, especially at high tide. But the same feeling is still there, it will always be the same place, no matter what the natural and man-made changes are… And it will always be a place that represents freedom, happiness and beauty in my heart. Hopefully I will still make it out there a few more times until the end of the month as I still want to finish a photography project I started using film earlier on during the summer. Fingers crossed that the weather will hold out until October. 



Photography: Spring equals Happiness




Springtime!!!

Pink blossom 1BroadwayCashPainted wallsFlower standNamaste
Free moviesChildrenBushwick buildingWall artA wicked thing to doOn Troutman
Doll in a truckMagnoliaBushwick AveGreen and brownFreedomOK
Lost hensSuper truckWhite blossomGeneral strikeStreet artStrange
Springtime!, a set on Flickr.

Finally. This past winter dragged on and on and on and I never thought it would actually start getting warmer and brighter and more colourful outside. I woke up this morning and went for a walk around Bushwick, taking random shots of tree blossom, flowers, new and old street art and enjoyed feeling the warm sun on my face. I can't wait for it to get even warmer and for all of the adventures I aim to go on over the next six months... To be continued...

See full set of this mornings shots HERE (and link also above).

Light

Between the branchesSunset over ManhattanWinter SunshineSunrise over the bayMastic Beachbay side SmithpointCity viewSunset from the roofSwirling cloudsBig setting sunWinter skies Rising MoonRising coloursMixed coloursStark lightColoursPink views Pretty skiesReeds and skiesRising over the waterSetting on the baySunset on the bayLight on water

Light, a set on Flickr.

I suppose it sounds silly if I say "I miss the sun", but in all reality, it isn't. I really mean that I miss watching the sun. Setting my alarm to wake up at 5am, and waiting for the sun to come up over the bay, wearing layers of leggings and legwarmers and sweaters and gloves to bear the freezing wind. Or rushing to find the best sunset angle over the water. Or catching the golden orange colour coming in through my living room window and rushing up to the roof to capture those last rays on camera. Even, and I am loathe to actually mention this one, watching the summer sun set over the city from my old desk on the 40th floor.
I've been focusing so much on taking black and white random portraits recently that I forgot the sun. I put the above together from photos take over the past two years with a bunch of different cameras... DSLR (Canon) and film SLRs (both Canon AE-1, one from the late 70's, one from the early 80's). I think it's time to find the sun in other places and to capture it again and again every time it inspires me. Or something along those lines.

There is one of the moon in there. Just because everything should have some sort of balance, somehow.