Sunday, September 2, 2012

Faith Restored

Today Rayne and I jogged from our apartment to Coney Island as part of a 12-mile training run. Baby Henry did great: he slept most of the way. When he wasn't sleeping, he babbled endlessly. (This kid has a lot to say; can't wait for actual words, as I'm sure they will be hilarious.)

We ran down the pedestrian path on Ocean Parkway, through the neighborhoods' ever-changing mosaic of ethnicities. These days, there seems to be a strong Muslim presence in an area that is typically known for being populated with Orthodox Jews. In Brooklyn, no one is immune to the influx of diversity.

We also passed a number of streets I recall hearing my parents mention from their youth: Kings Highway, Avenue I. Bonus bit of family history. (Oh, you didn't know my parents were from Brooklyn? I have a post brewing in my little brain on that, fear not.)

Finally, mercifully: Coney Island. I, incredibly, had never been on the boardwalk while it was open. I've only been there for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, which starts there at the crack of freaking dawn and finishes in Prospect Park.

Rayne thinks Coney Island is sort of a pathetic excuse for a beach. I understand why -- it's certainly no Caribbean paradise. The sand is brownish; the boardwalk is uneven and faded. But we live in one of the biggest, most populated, most urban environments in the world, and a subway ride to Stillwell Avenue is all that is required for a breath of sea-salted air and the feel of sand between your toes. I think that's pretty neat.

The beach was packed. I must have heard ten different languages as we ran the length of the boardwalk from Ocean Parkway to Seagate, a gated community on the western tip of Coney Island. A band was playing on the Seagate side. We pretended -- to whom I don't know -- to stop for a listen while we stretched our tired legs (mile 11, ouchie).

Afterwards, I took Baby Henry on a kiddie ride. He didn't really seem to get it. He will, however, hear the story of his first amusement ride over and over for the rest of his life if I am my parents' daughter.

I increased the nostalgia factor with a little sepia.
Rayne had a Nathan's hot dog. Two, actually. I had a knish -- o.m.g. I've discovered the perfect post-run food! -- and some watermelon. Then we jumped on the Q train -- the very same that ruined last weekend's run -- and rode home.

I guess you could say it was the perfect Brooklyn day, blisters and all.

Home again, home again, jiggety jig.