One Last Gasp of Summer

As every day passes now, the days are growing shorter, the air is getting cooler, (thank God), and Target is blasting the airwaves with back-to-school essentials sales. But summer isn’t officially over for a few weeks, and I refuse to let it idly slip away without squeezing as much seasonal fun out of it as possible. And to me, that means baseball, fireworks, and only foods that cause me heartburn.

And the place for all of that is my beloved Coney Island. Over the years it has managed to revive itself without losing its tacky, old school charm. Even though they’ve installed insane new rides that seem to threaten to hurl you into the ocean with one push of the wrong button, you can still go to Nathan’s and get fries that have probably been soaked in the same oil they’ve been using since 1945. Don’t get me wrong, aged oil has its charms.

This Is The Original Nathans Restaurant
A vibrant sunset sky behind the wonder wheel and amusement park rides at coney island.

After the grease has fully coated my intestines, my hubby and I walk down Surf Avenue to catch a Brooklyn Cyclones game. They are our home minor league baseball team affiliated with the New York Mets. For twenty-five bucks we can sit behind the plate, watch a very quick game because no one ever seems to get on base, and look out at the landmark parachute jump that my parents used to ride. But the best parts of the game are the quick entertaining breaks between innings. Last Friday night they featured a dance by The Pacemakers, a senior citizen version of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders with walkers, a race between a bottle of catsup, relish and mustard mascots sponsored by Nathan’s, (catsup won), a toilet plunger toss, and a guy who proposed to his girlfriend only to be mortified when she said no and started screaming expletives at him. This is the local flavor of Brooklyn that I love. Not to mention the greasy knish I ate on the way out of the ballpark, walking as quickly as I could to beat the rush to the boardwalk for the final fireworks display of the season.

And it did not disappoint. Although I can still smell the smoke in my hair from the falling ash, there’s nothing better than being right under the fireworks as they blaze against the sky. As their cascading sparks reach back down to kiss the beach, I snuggle with my husband to stay warm from the cool ocean breezes. I can feel autumn trying to sneak its way in, but here in Brooklyn, all we have to say about that is “fuhgeddaboudit.”

A nighttime baseball game viewed from the stands with a distinctive palm-tree-shaped light structure in the background.

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