I somehow became obsessed with the beach lately.
This might have to do with the fact that I dated a marine biologist for over six years; or it might have to do with the fact that when we do (occasionally, still) see each other, that is one of the main things we continue doing; or it might be due to the fact that Rachelle loves the beach and we have become better friends this summer (probably due to our breakups--I think this bonded us closer); or it might be due to the fact that I have a number of bikinis; or it might be due to the fact that I live in New York City, a train ride's away to the beach; or it might be due to the fact that I just love lying in the sun in a bikini with a book, applying suntan lotion, splashing in the waves as if I were a child, eating sandy sandwiches and enjoying New York City's local sport of people watching.
I really love the beach this summer. I went twice this past weekend; once with Emily F., once with the infamous Rachelle (my best beach date this summer). As I am training for the marathon, I have given up drinking socially (a glass of wine here or a drink there, yes; but drunken nights on Ludlow, stumbling with J from the Dark Room to the Annex to Max Fish to wherever, flirting, sipping, laughing, no)--this is a new way to socialize. We can chill at the beach, talk, catch up on each other's lives, goss, our reading, maybe meet some new friends (though this doesn't seem to happen as it did in high school, when Crystal and I would take the train to Long Beach and flirt with cute seventeen-year-old surfer boys from Long Island who were always from towns much cooler than our extremely boring (and non-beach-containing) town).
I do admit, as I said to Jamie (and probably everyone I've been to the beach with recently), "The beach would just be perfect if it weren't for all this sand." Ah, I know, yes, then it wouldn't be the beach. So I love it.
Spending last summer in Europe, I went to some lovely beaches. I adored Dubrovnik's beaches with its phenomenal views, and also had an interesting time in Amalfi (where a speedo-wearing slick-talking late-thirtysomething Italian man had me rowed out to his boat, where we splashed, rode into Amalfi Town, talked, and then he gave me a ride on his Vespa to my hostel). I must admit, the sand was rarely as nice as it is in New York (yes, even NYC!). Rocky beaches, or the horridly difficult beach of Riomaggiore (where one person left the beach before I arrived with medical assistance as he slipped on the rocks and hurt himself badly). I do like American beaches, though I don't like the close-minded nature of people about women sunbathing topless. Tan lines (esp the traditional bikini lines around the neck that are most visible in summertime months) are not very attractive.
I have been becoming a connoisseur of sands. Coney Island--yuck, though it is very NYC as J says, and you can always go on the rides, play skeeball or walk the boardwalk. Brighton Beach has nice sand, and small (or no) waves, which I like. Jacob Riis has lovely sand, but crashing waves. Long Beach is expensive ($7 per person; I'm used to using my Nassau County drivers license to pay $6 per car with T, which is split between all of the car's inhabitants) but with nice waves. Jones Beach is nice but I *hate* the walk from the car/bus to the beach. So far. Also crowded. Point Lookout is all families (and where my parents always took me as a child) and I do admit, Lido is probably my favorite.
I went to the beach yesterday, and the day before, and I am excited about going to the beach this Saturday--Robert Moses. Me, Rachelle, maybe some sandwiches, trashy novels--sounds like a fantastic day to me.