Monday, February 6, 2012

Like a regular Sunday but with more cheese dip

Yesterday, there were highs in the mid-40s, so I got up early and went to the beach. Admittedly, mid-40s is remarkably toasty for February in New York; however, it is still not exactly beach weather. That said, Long Beach was more crowded than I have ever seen it. I was there for the annual Long Beach Polar Bear Club Super Bowl jump. The Long Beach Polar Bears started out as just a couple of guys who thought it was fun to go for a dip in the ocean on Super Bowl Sunday. However, tragically one of the original polar bears lost a child to illness and thus the event evolved into a huge fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I volunteered to walk the boardwalk selling bracelets for the cause. I'm not much of a salesperson, but people were definitely in the giving spirit, so I still ended up doing okay. I also got to sport an official Make-A-Wish Foundation Volunteer blue vest, which apparently made me look official enough that countless people would ask me where to find bathrooms.

I did not make the actual jump myself (because I am less giving of my personal comfort than I am of my time...and frankly I was cold wearing 3 layers and a thick hat), but hundreds of others did. Here's a picture of the beach during the jump:

Full disclosure: I did not take this photo. However, I did take the ones below:

This was the beach when I arrived at 10 in the morning (the jump was at 1:30) to set up. Very peaceful and more empty than I've ever seen it. You know, like a New York beach normally would be in February.

Part of the spectacle of the Polar Bear Jump is the number of people who dress up in costumes. There were penguins and polar bears as well as people in brightly colored body suits and santa outfits. There were also a lot of people inexplicably wearing bikinis. And, given the day, more than a number of people who were simply painted blue or otherwise decked out to show their Giants fandom.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, I made it back from the beach just in time to make some pretzel bites and cheese dip and some chocolate dipped strawberry footballs (basically regular chocolate dipped strawberries but with a white chocolate lacing to make them look more like pig skins) and head out to a friend's place to watch the Super Bowl for the first time since...actually I can't remember ever watching the Super Bowl in its entirety before. It was a nerve wracking game for those who were emotionally invested, but in the end I was happy to see the Giants triumph. Regardless, my favorite part of the night was undoubtedly my friend's awesome cheesecake:

This put my strawberry footballs to shame!

Hope everyone had an excellent Super Bowl Sunday, even those of you who, like myself, generally find your lives pretty unaffected by such things.

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