Brighton Beach & Coney Island: Battling sunburns & melting ice cream

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Cyclone roller coaster
The Iconic Cyclone
My plans to spend 4th of July weekend on the Cape were thwarted by Tropical Storm Arthur.  My friend, Sam and I texted back and forth Thursday until I decided early Friday morning that I didn't want to risk being stranded at a bus terminal so I decided not to come down.

Luckily, I still had some friends in town so on Saturday, I was invited to spend the day at Brighton Beach.  I haven't been there in ages but I always found Brighton Beach and Coney Island to be highly enjoyable.

We confirmed to meet up at 11am Saturday and as usual I was late as I had to switch from the N to the Q and didn't allocate enough time to get there.

By the time I arrived everyone was stripped down to their swimsuits and lathered in sunscreen.  I completely blanked and didn't bring my swimsuit since I thought we were just going to walk around however, it didn't matter since I joked that my black dress can substitute as my 1920s swimsuit.

We alternated going into the water so at least one person would watch our belongings.  Erin and I decided to try and make a sandman near the waves that lapped up the shore however, we kept changing direction.  It morphed into a fortress but waves were too close and it kept ruining the sculpture.  Then we morphed it into a dragon's head however, I positioned his  claws incorrectly since his head faced North and his claws were positioned at the right side of the body.  Erin then started to sculpt his tail but I said it looked phallic so it morphed into a guitar once I added the guitar head.

Since we positioned ourselves near the waves, the sculpture didn't last long and we grew tired of rebuilding it. We alternated again going into the water with one person either reading or sunbathing.

Brighton Beach
My 1920s "swimsuit"
We spent at least five hours in the sun, making fun of each other with our obscene tan lines and eventual sunburns.  Erin's skin around her thighs and shoulders were beginning to turn bright red as well as Brandon's shoulders. Linh didn't want to get any tanner so she briefly hid under the umbrella.

I was beginning to get hungry and asked if anyone else was and decided to find some Russian food.  We opted to move away from the boardwalk since it would be more expensive and walked along Brighton Beach Ave. and decided on Oceanview Cafe. Their menu appealed to everyone's taste and it wasn't too expensive with entrees beginning at $10.

The place was packed but we were lucky and found a table near the doorway that seated five people. Belgium and Costa Rica World Cup quarterfinals were on the TVs so quite a few people looked captivated.  While we placed our orders and waited for our food, I had a glimpse of the kitchen and saw a lovely, older woman in the a pink apron  and wondered if she was making the meals.  It took awhile for our meals to come out but there was white and rye bread to tide us over. Brandon said they were probably cooking my veal but I joked they were picking May - Mei's vegetables from their garden. 

Oceanview Cafe
Veal rack with mashed potatoes at Oceanview Cafe
Our food eventually arrived and I have to say the mushroom sauce complimented the veal very well!  As usual, I had a taste of everyone's dish sampling kebabs, schnitzel, and salad.

After we finished our meal, we were all set to ride the Cyclone and joked that no one better vomit.  We walked back to the boardwalk and Brandon told us about the Parachute jump accident which then ventured into conversations about skydiving accidents.

May - Mei still balked at riding the Cyclone and no convincing would have her join us otherwise.  She opted to be the bag lady and Erin remained with her. Linh said she needed someone to hold on to during the ride so Brandon joined her.  I thought I would have the ride all to myself but there was another young lady who needed a seat so the one of the operators asked if she can join me.

The Cyclone is still an awesome ride and despite its age, it gives you that stomach dropping rush.  I screamed during the first drop then felt stupid since I was an adult then I laughed throughout the ride.  I felt the $9 was well worth it and we walked around the area and saw the Steeplechase roller coaster which looked like two people mounted on horses without much restraints.  We also looked at the Wild River which was the water ride and the Slingshot but we didn't feel like paying another $9 so we opted for ice cream instead.

Coney's Cones ice cream shop
Coney's Cones
Ice cream in the hot summer sun can always be a challenge.  Food for me is always a challenge since since it always ends up on me whether on my face, hair or clothes.  We saw a few spots but decided on Coney's Cones.  The line went by fast and the cashier was nice enough to explain the flavors to me.

Cafe mocha and bipolar bar ice cream
I paid $6 for two generous scoops of ice cream.  I had the cafe mocha and bipolar bear.  The bipolar bear consisted of vanilla chips, mint and chunks of chocolate.  Surprisingly, I had trouble finishing the ice cream. Not surprisingly, my first lick knocked off the scoops which bounced off my right chest and landed in my right hand.  Like a champ, I put it back on the cone and continued eating it.   There's nothing like spending the day at Brighton Beach and Coney Island.  It marks the quintessential summer of NYC where you get to ride the Cyclone, eat some ice cream and also get a little taste of Russia.

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