Thursday, 23 October 2014

Imagined Diary - Coney Island.

In the days before I go to New York City I am doing an imagined diary. This week I’ve written imagined diary entries and we can compare them to the real diary entries next week. Note: I have never been to the places in these imaginings… yet. This is the first one.

The rain lashed down as I ran across the road to the subway station, this was not the day to be going to the seaside but that was what was planned and that was what I was going to do. I had the optimism of my mother - convinced the clouds would lift and the sun would come out despite the evidence to the contrary.  Why was I so keen to go to Coney Island? Well the guidebook said it is a run down, working class seaside resort and, being from a run down working class seaside resort myself, I just had to go and try it out.
The journey was fairly straight forward jump on the F train at the Rockafella Centre and then sit and hope. I usually smugly smirk at tourists on trams and trains in Prague. There’s a dance they do, an insecure, where are we dance, all head movements and fidgets. I was aware I was doing the same now as the train rattled its way towards the Atlantic Ocean. Despite being on the F train, Take the A Train was my earworm of choice looping around my brain reminding me of rainy afternoons at Cardiff Arms Park with my dad.
I remembered the instructions about riding the metro in NYC. No eye-contact, mind your own business, look like you know what you are doing. But I knew I had the face of an awestruck little boy so was not doing my best to blend in with the hardnosed veterans riding the line with me.

By the time we’d reached Coney the rain had indeed stopped but the wind blew in from the Atlantic making me pull my hoodie around me hoping for a bit more warmth. The sky was 1 shade of grey, a shade I shall call threatening. But I was not to be perturbed after all I was from Barry and this was Barry weather American style. I enjoyed the taste of salt on my lips, the sound of gulls fighting for cholesterol packed leftovers, the tinny muzak of arcade games and the crash of waves on the shore.  Under the Boardwalk had replaced A-train in my mind as I munched a hotdog - just to get the full Coney Island experience. I loved it here I had a half smile on my face and hiraeth in my heart. A windswept, rundown, half-deserted seaside resort invoked a melancholy within me that only this boy from Barry can truly enjoy.

Compare my imagination to the real thing on my blog Gareth in the Big Apple  

For more Barry inspired stories click here


  1. good you have come back home:

  2. and only 100years ago........: