I went to Coney Island last night and families, children, couples, friends were celebrating the closing of a summer season.
Fireworks started at 9:30pm and exploded in the sky for thirty minutes, everyone was enthralled at the lights, the colors, the sparkles, utterances of Uh! and Ah from groups, laughter, a night sky with no stars and no other lights but that of fireworks, a cool breeze that smelled like salt and sweat and sand. Most families left by 10:30pm and the rest gathered near the water and later, leaving the sand full of traces of footsteps, grouped near the hot dog stands eating chili cheese fries and drinking beer from plastic cups. Saying farewell to the summer, gathered at the Coney Island station to take the Q, or N, or F back home, wherever home is, with all those characters together, all the colors, all the outfits, all the people of the Coney Island night disappearing into trains, some staying, sleeping in benches at the station.
School starts this Monday for many kids, teenagers, and teachers (me). It has been a wonderful, furious summer.
Tom Waits couldn’t have sounded better, singing to you, see you next season Coney Island.