an ode to large bodies of water

I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with large bodies of water. There was a point of time in my life that, if I was near water, I would inevitably wind up in it – the most memorable of these instances was when I took a header into Crystal Lake at my aunt and uncle’s wedding – and I think lingering memories of this period have colored my perception of water to this day.

That said, I have always loved the idea of large bodies of water. I know this isn’t terribly unique; the ocean has served as a muse for countless artists, and nearly everyone enjoys “long walks on the beach.”sup I don’t mind sharing this with everyone. There’s more than enough water to go around.

Lake Michigan was my first water love, and I fondly recall the many summers I spent there as a child. I compare all other bodies of water to Lake MIchigan, so much so that the first time I saw the Pacific Ocean,2 I commented, “It looks like Lake Michigan.”

Lake Michigan, Pentwater, Michigan, July 2007

I love living near water, and, when I was living in Lakeview in Chicago, I loved the bus rides home along the lake. Nothing excited me more than days when the weather was slightly inclement, resulting in huge, crashing waves. While in law school there, I wasted too many hours staring out the library windows at the lake. I don’t accept full responsibility for this: the thin strip of Lake Shore Drive was the only thing separating the law school from the lake, and the library was outfitted with enormous windows overlooking the lake. The designers of that library knew full well what they were doing.

All of this is an overly wordy lead-up to say that we took the train to Rockaway Beach this weekend. After several failed attempts at staying cool in the city (including standing as close to the fountain in Prospect Park as possible without getting in it), we ventured to the beach. By the time we got there, it was almost 6:00, so the worst part of the day was over, and there weren’t many people on the beach. We cooled our feet in the water, and then I settled on the beach with a copy of Vogue and Marc and his sister played in the sand and water.

waves at the Rockaways

It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon, particularly a summer afternoon that was as skin-meltingly hot as this weekend. I love knowing that the Atlantic Ocean is so accessible to me.

Get There:
MTA Trip Planner to Rockaway Beach & Boardwalk [NYC Department of Park & Recreation]

1 I have to admit that I am not among the “nearly everyone.” This has nothing to do with the water, though; it has everything to do with the funny things that walking on sand does to my ankles.
2 September 2004 near Orange, California.

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