I mentioned in the previous post that I thought living in Park Slope was quite a bit like living in London. But here's one reason that it's different, and better, at least for four months a year: Brooklyn is a great beach town! I piled the older boys in the car this morning at about 8:45, and by 9:10, this is what we were doing:
On an early Sunday morning, there's no traffic on the BQE and the Belt and so you can get to Jacob Riis Park on the Rockaways in about twenty minutes, driving most of the way with spectacular views of the harbor and the open ocean. (I realize that the Rockaways are in Queens, for the record.) The beach is largely deserted at that time, even on a perfect July weekend morning, and the water is sublime.
At the risk of sounding like even more of the Brooklyn cheerleader than I usually do, I happened to plant our beach towels about twenty feet from my friend Jonathan Mahler, whose excellent book The Bronx Is Burning is debuting as a miniseries on ESPN this week. (Jonathan had arrived with his son thirty minutes before.) So we hung out for an hour or two and talked writing and kids and baseball.
It was one of those entirely unplanned encounters, on a beach that's got to be at least a mile or two wide -- what are the odds?