What’s the deal with charging for beach access on the east coast? This is a concept that, as a midwestern foreigner, seems strange to me.
Granted, it does cost something to comb the glass out of the sand and hire the lifeguards. Call me a socialist, but shouldn’t beach care fall under the umbrella of some form of government, like for instance, libraries? Like schools? Like health care… oh, not that… I mean… like road maintenance?
Give the people free access to sand and sky and sea! It’s the primary reason I love Coney Island.
What are the other reasons? The junkfood. The freakshow. The murals. The mermaids. The burlesque dancers. The wooden roller coaster. The weak beer. The people fishing for crabs off the dock with chunks of raw chicken. The pileup of sand in my belly button. The craziest, scariest carousel I’ve ever been on.
Maybe best of all is the people watching. Sitting on the boardwalk/beach at Coney is like watching a parade.
You’ll see the beautiful, the homely, the freaky, the funky. They’re all there, walking that boardwalk where the fabulous and frightening have been strolling for hundreds of years.
I could go on. I won’t. It’s trashy. It’s edgy. It’s wacky. And for the cost of a subway ride, it’s yours!
The Coney neighborhood has more than enough examples of alcohol and junkfood. I recommend you skip Nathan’s hot dogs and head slightly off the beach for the lightly charred, thin-crust pizza at Totonno’s. It’s worth the search.
That’s why I strongly encourage you to pack your beach bag with something refreshing, hydrating and somewhat healthy, like this Coney Cooler, which is full of sesonal fruit. It’s rather like an agua fresca, and it’s a funky green color to go with your day at New York’s freakiest beach.
Straining the puree helps you get a nice, clear result, but you can go thicker and cloudier if you’re feeling lazy.
The pinch of salt I recommend here isn’t essential, but I think it brings out the flavor of the fruit, and you probably need a bit of salt if you’re sweating on the beach all day.
The Coney Cooler (Makes about 1 liter)
5 cups honeydew melon (about 1 melon), peeled and cut into chunks 2 kiwi fruits, peeled and quartered 1.5 cups water 2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice 1/8 to 1/4 tsp salt 3 Tbsp sugar (use more or less, according to your taste)