“I always loved the ride to Coney Island. Just the idea that you could go to the ocean via subway was so magical” – Patti Smith.
I heard her voice saying this over and over as I rode the A train. I was daydreaming, looking out of the window at the two train tracks that crossed a body of ocean to my stop—Rockaway Beach. “If only I could ride this train day in and day out past the Atlantic Ocean.” In complete silence I stared out of the window dreaming of what lay ahead beyond the vibrant sun-kissed orange and lavender colored horizon. “If only the train went further” I thought— if only it took me away from the New York City madness. I arrived at my stop and was heading to a delightful afternoon at NYC’s Annual Honey Festival at Beach 97th Street. The festival was full of vendors educating the public on how honey is made and offering free honey tastings. There were booths that sold honeys infused with saffron, cinnamon, chocolate, lavender, and orange flavorings. Some vendors sold soaps made from honey, others had books about beekeeping and, of course, there was some paid weirdo dressed up in a bubble bee costume. The predicted forecast announced rain for most of the day, but that didn’t stop the Be-A-BEE parade from singing and dancing away. The volunteers started at the far end of the festival working their way around the crowds chanting “Get the pollen! Get the pollen! Now fly back to the hive.” A group of about six bee lovers dressed up in honeybee themed costumes line danced around the boardwalk. It was hilarious and sure made my day. At this point I had stuffed my face with about 10 different kinds of honey and treated myself to a burger and a passion fruit slushy. I had one final stop before I headed home—I needed to see the beach up close. I began to march my way through the sand until I arrived at the shore. I stood in silence glaring at the furious tides coming in on this cloudy day. I thought of what my mother would always say when someone mentioned the beach: “The Ocean will forever betray you.” So I stood watching as the tides rushed in as if they were trying to grab me by my ankles and pull me in. I knew it was to be the last time I would see the ocean so intimately close until next summer.