-A reluctant guide to enjoying being broke again-
by iO Tillett Wright
It’s been more than a decade since I’ve spent an entire summer, straight through, in New York City. It’s a brutal prospect, what with the steaming pavements and bone-wilting humidity, but if it has to be done, it should be done right. So this summer, armed with my girlfriend and my Metrocard, I set out to design the perfect balance of work, play and sunshine. Herewith I give you my staycation story, a real New Yorker’s guide to not losing your mind between May Day and Labor Day weekend.
Coney Island is a classic. This was where my low-income mom would bring me for a special treat when I was a kid. The last stop on the F train brought us Nathan’s hot dogs, cotton candy and the freak shows both behind the curtain and on the street.
Recently, Coney’s old-school attractions have been invaded (some might call it revamped) by a bunch of new rides under the umbrella “Scream Zone” including the “Soarin’ Eagle” — a roller coaster on steroids, in which riders clamped into a horizontal position in a cage are hurtled, face first, through a steel maze of adrenaline and, yes, screaming.
But not to be missed is the Cyclone, the old-fashioned wooden roller coaster. The fainthearted will stoke your fears with tales of people being ejected from their seats, and cars flying off the rails, but I say bah humbug — the Cyclone will never die
Hit the boardwalk for a fashion show of authentic New York crazies and an endless smorgasbord of sugar-based snacks from cotton candy, to ice cream, to funnel cake.
If you’re lucky, like we were, you might even stumble into a massive dance party under the beating sun that had a throng moving to ’90s house music for several straight hours.
But don’t go to Coney for a swim — the beach is literally covered in trash. Instead, venture a hundred yards up the boardwalk past the Aquarium (also worth a visit), where a string of authentic Russian restaurants on the Little Odessa beachfront serve up Kvas, Chicken Tabak and vodka by the gram.
..oh, and did i mention? I shot almost the entire thing in color..