I left today to get to a public assembly of people pissed at the current state of affairs at Coney Island who were meeting down by Astroland Park. I missed the protest because the G line is the slowest moving train in the Universe. I made my way to the beach thinking at least I can catch the Polar Bear Club's annual dip into icy waters of the Atlantic.
I was completely bummed because of all the "Stores For Lease" signs on Ruby's and the surrounding businesses...
...but felt better when I ran into Rob Leddy (the handsome devil below) curator of the most excellent Coney Island Film Festival.
So as we froze our bits off on the beach in the January wind, I started to feel like a complete pussy watching a new, younger generation of Polar Bears made up of all ages and all walks of life, charge into the water - note with the wind chill today it was close to NEGATIVE 4 DEGREES out there. I don't buy all the health benefits of ice-cold bathing crap, but I do appreciate the level of balls it takes. These cats were warriors. This shit was primal!
I was standing there in a fat goose down jacket, boots, gloves and a hat, shivering and these brilliant maniacs where posing for pictures soaking wet in fucking swimsuits. I am SUCH a pussy!
I wandered over by the newly renovated and kitsch-tastic Freak Bar to say hi to some of the good folks from Coney Island USA and get some hot cocoa because as I said, I'm a pussy. Did I mention how much of a pussy I am?
I had the pleasure of Fred Khal's company of This or That fame - (below right) who introduced me to the Rev. Billy! (below left).
Yes! That guy from that What Would Jesus Buy movie, who's on a mission to keep Americans from shopping. I asked him how the crusade was going and he said, "...have you read the papers? People are definitely not shopping..." Unfortunately I don't think the current economic situation is what his message had in mind.
I made it back home happy but exhausted and pissed at what we'll be losing out in Coney Island. Folks, you all know I'm not huge on causes but I'm telling you all, where there's a voice there is hope! Yell at the right people in local Government! They work for us! Get involved - don't let what is amazing about Coney go the way of the Dodo. Speak up - since the economy went tits up who knows what may happen if you decide to make yourself heard.
God Save Coney Island!