After seven days of showing last week’s visitor around my beloved New York, I wanted to end her trip with something special before her return to Florida on Saturday. The summer fireworks in Coney Island seemed like a perfect send-of. Every Friday evening, the famous boardwalk around the iconic, old-fashioned Luna Park amusement park fills up with families, young couples, salsa dancers and break dancers, Russian grandmas from nearby Brighton Beach (a predominantly Russian neighborhood), candy cotton vendors and Manhattanites in need of a break from the ever so noisy concrete jungle.
The wide sand beach is perfect for tanning and relaxing or a game of beach volleyball, the boardwalk makes for great people watching, the pier offers vistas along the shore all the way to the Rockaways. As it gets dark, you can hear the screams of the young and reckless that dared to go on rides like the Cyclone or the Thunderbolt, the Russian chatter of the old ladies with their impeccable make-up, the seagulls loudly crying above you, and the savvy sales men yelling out their offers for cold water or ice cream. But at 9.30pm, everyone stops what they are doing and gathers on the boardwalk to watch the sky light up from the fireworks. Not only the perfect ending to a scorching hot day, but the perfect celebration of summer.