Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day merriment

Happy Memorial Day, readers of Living the Astorian Dream! I hope you're all enjoying this three-day weekend business as much as I am. As of the last three days, New York seems to have suddenly woken up and realized it's summer. The weather jumped from a week of rain and 60 to a weekend of non-stop 80+ degrees. There are some obvious downsides to this, for those of us who don't want to pay for air conditioning until we absolutely have to. The dirt and grime of the city, which I can mostly quietly coexist with the rest of the year, is much harder to ignore in the summer when it all just seems to stick to you. Also, it's much harder to get myself to go running in the morning knowing that 6 am is the only time I can go to the track without melting. I managed this feat yesterday morning and felt like a champ, but was amazed to discover how many people were already at the track when I got there. Astoria has some very dedicated fitness seekers, and I have to accept that I will never wake up before the guy who does endless lunges around the quarter mile track.

This weekend I'd considered, as I always do, going out of town. And, like I always do, came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth the money or the headache. Well, I guess it isn't so much "coming to that conclusion" as it is forgetting to plan anything and ending up here, but I still always maintain it's worth it. Luckily, this year it seems that everyone I know was in town also. And they all had excellent plans for how to spend three glorious work-free days. I tried to take pictures of my weekend, as I always do, and was moderately more successful than usual.

The beach at Coney Island does not have swimming temperatures until August. This does not apply to small children, of course, who feel neither heat nor cold.

I feel like I should have been jumping in a carefree, day-at-the-beach manner here. Know that I was channeling my inner tampon commercial on the inside though.

One of the reasons I don't carry my camera and take pictures more often is that I inevitably can't walk past things without deciding that they would make an artistic composition if only I zoomed in enough.

Dinner in Astoria with friends. Mojave on Ditmars recommended both for their lovely garden as well as their delicious queso fundido. Also, Mojave is home to the "Punisher Challenge." If you drink a shot of their habanero-infused tequila and then don't drink or eat anything for 5 minutes afterwards, you get the shot for free. It doesn't really make sense to me either.

Another hazard of taking my camera places. I was sitting with a beer in a wicker chair and eating far too much hummus at my friend's BBQ (her Israeli roommate works for what is clearly the best kosher hummus and baba ganoush provider on the East Coast), and I started growing overly content with life and felt the need to capture the moment with what I was convinced were artsy photos of my friend's backyard. Another of my never-fail photo composition techniques is to just photograph whatever is directly above me.

Dinah wanted to be stored away with my winter and spring clothes. Summer sun dresses make far less cushy sleeping arrangements in the laundry basket than heavy sweaters.

The view from a friend's Memorial Day BBQ. It's times like these I remember I'm supposed to be coveting roof access.

All weekends should have three days.


  1. Looks like Tony's program paid off in time for beachwear! I remember when you frolicked as a child in Long Island Sound. FT

  2. Looks like you had such a fun time! I don't really get why you would want to pay to be in pain...or even be in pain for free. Maybe if they offered some incentive like a free meal or something, I would get it.

    And I'm glad you went to the beach! We contemplated it, and then decided we were too lazy. This seems to happen a lot, actually. :)

  3. Happy Memorial Day to you too! Summer is the best. I love the picture of Dinah, it looks like she wants to go along with whatever trip she thinks you're packing for. I think it's a good idea to stick to the city on big weekends, lots of people work very hard to get to tourist around in our cities. Although, I guess there might be something to the idea of trying to avoid those crowds of people, but who will give them directions if I'm not around?