I can still smell the gunpowder from tonight’s fireworks show at Coney Island even though I’ve been home for hours.
My sister and I went out to the world famous amusement area to catch the pyrotechnics before the summer fizzles out.
I haven’t been to Coney Island at this time of year--or at this time of night--in ages. Yes, I ventured out there in May for the Wonder Wheel poetry night, but the summer season hadn’t started yet.
Tonight it was going full blast—literally, figuratively, and any other “ly” you can think of. And my sister and I happily dove right in.
We started off with a Mexican dinner in Bay Ridge before clattering out to Coney via the N train.
I’ve regarded amusement parks with disdain for the longest time, dismissing them as a low class form of entertainment. But I decided to drop the attitude this evening and enjoy the insanity.
I took great pleasure in the crowds, the noise and the whole twisted atmosphere that makes Coney Island such a singular spot. I recalled the times when we came out here with our parents, when it felt like we were visiting some magical world, which we were, come to think of it.
Neither my sister nor I enjoy the glammed up torture devices that other people call rides.
We have no interest in getting aboard anything that spins you around, flips you upside down, or hurls you high in the air. So there was no Wonder Wheel and certainly no Cyclone on the agenda this evening.
Rockets Red Glare
Hell, we had a hard time even watching these monstrosities do their sadistic stuff on the shrieking clientele. If I want to be abused, I’ll go to Gitmo.
However, we did go on the Spook-A-Rama and my sister tells me that we rode on this thing with our father when we were kids. I don’t remember that, but I’m sure that back then they didn’t have all the warning signs that plaster the exterior of the spook house today.
And the Spook-A-Rama was great, a silly, low-rent, nitwit whirlwind that had us laughing from start to finish.
“Was it fun?” a little boy asked us as we got out of our car.
“Yes,” I said, “you should check it out.”
We wandered around for a little while longer then took our places on the crowded boardwalk to enjoy the fireworks. And they were fantastic.
I got so wrapped up in shooting video that my sister had to remind me at one point to put down the damn I-phone and watch the show for real.
It was a hell of a display, all swirling colors and endless explosions, with a rousing climax that resembled a benign artillery attack.
When the smoke cleared, we walked down to Brighton Beach and then took car service back to Bay Ridge.
We’ll never be able to recreate the great times we had as children, but it was sure nice to smell the gunpowder and take those old memories out for a spin.