Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A New Face at the Door, New Years Meanderings a Dip in the Water

a great day in coney island

There's something luminous about New Years.  I love the opening and closing, the ends of stories as new ones begin, quickly trailing into the old ones.

The last year was pretty weird.  So we celebrated departing from the year with the kids, taking in a  bite at Bar Tobac on Smith, smiling and sharing tales of the year gone by, the heroes who came and went.

Unlike Tennyson, I was more than happy to let 2017 and all its chaos and despair die.

Fireworks filled the Brooklyn sky.

And we said goodbye to 2017.

The new day brought a crispy blue sky, some yoga, and 17 degree temperatures, considerably colder than other Polar Bear Swims.

The Daily News Reported:

Organizers in Ocean City and Ventnor City, N.J. have gotten cold feet and cancelled due to the crazy temps, while a Brigantine event has been pushed back to Jan. 13, NJ.com reports..

By noon three of us ran to the beach for our annual New Years ritual of swimming and Russian food.
Number one and her bestie joined.

I always get giddy going to Coney Island. Perhaps my favorite chapter in Brooklyn Tides is about this ever transforming space. 

Somehow it always welcomes.

I feel more alive here than I do most anywhere in New York.

So we swam and danced.

It was Lulu's first trip to Coney.

How was it asked a reporter as i got out of the frigid water?

Cold, but not as cold as deBlasio's affordable housing program no one can afford, I quipped, looking for my towel.  This is a day when we New Yorkers revel in our crazy, coming together to be alive in a collective moment.

By the time I was dressed, I'd lost feeling in my feet.

We walked past Rubys and Paul's Daughter to Brighton Beach, greeting friends, talking with strangers and taking in the New Year.

Seagulls ebbed and flowed above with the wind.

An old man sat on a park bench telling us about his movie.

People walked in from the cold for Russian food.

"How was the water?" asked a woman with purple hair in Volna, a traditional Russian restaurant on with outdoor oceanfront that we adore.

"Lovely but i can't feel my feet," I confessed.

We ate dumplings and warmed up.

I talked with some of the other patrons.

Golden light filled the sky as we left around four, the seagulls and snow along the beach.

We hopped in the sand.

And played pinball.

And rode back on an empty subway, greeting the beloved city, its panoramas, cemeteries, graffiti, and people taking in the first days of the new year.

I've never been much of a new years eve person. But the opening and closings, the light of first  hours of the new year are always filled with mystery, after what was before what is about to be.

Lord Alfred Tennyson The Death of the Old Year

But New Years eve'
And the winter winds are wearily sighing:
Toll ye the church bell sad and slow,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying.
Old year you must not die;
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year you shall not die.
He lieth still: he doth not move:
He will not see the dawn of day.
He hath no other life above.
He gave me a friend and a true truelove
And the New-year will take 'em away.
Old year you must not go;
So long you have been with us,
Such joy as you have seen with us,
Old year, you shall not go.
He froth'd his bumpers to the brim;
A jollier year we shall not see.
But tho' his eyes are waxing dim,
And tho' his foes speak ill of him,
He was a friend to me.
Old year, you shall not die;
We did so laugh and cry with you,
I've half a mind to die with you,
Old year, if you must die.
He was full of joke and jest,
But all his merry quips are o'er.
To see him die across the waste
His son and heir doth ride post-haste,
But he'll be dead before.
Every one for his own.
The night is starry and cold, my friend,
And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,
Comes up to take his own.
How hard he breathes! over the snow
I heard just now the crowing cock.
The shadows flicker to and fro:
The cricket chirps: the light burns low:
'Tis nearly twelve o'clock.
Shake hands, before you die.
Old year, we'll dearly rue for you:
What is it we can do for you?
Speak out before you die.
His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone,
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
And waiteth at the door.
There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.  

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