Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Shades of Coney Island
It's a gorgeous day in Dallas - in the 80s, with only a few clouds. Bright, blue and inviting for gardening, and - pleasures new to me - running and cycling. As I stretched out with Brick (our greyhound) in the backyard earlier, my thoughts turned to Coney Island, where the Polar Bear Club swimming season is drawing to a close. And as much as I enjoy this early warmth, I do miss the chilly spring season in New York City, and the thrill of seeing that very special Brooklyn shoreline come to life.
The sign posted above was one I created four years ago, that sat atop Steve's Grill House on the Riegelmann boardwalk and Stillwell Avenue, in Coney Island. Steve's is the unofficial summer home of the Club - even in the crowd-laden season the Bears are there - sunning, swimming, enjoying a beer and discussing, well... what Bears discuss. Steve wanted to do a little boasting of the honor his restaurant holds - Polar Bears are held in relatively high regard on Coney... heck, in NYC itself. Not everyone can withstand those frigid Atlantic dips throughout the winter.
Much like the banner I worked out for the Singapore Slingers, this one started out on paper, to be graphed out and enlarged. The final sign was eight feet long, and painted with One-Shot enamels - and my, they were heavenly to work with. The work was done in my dining room, then the sign delivered on-site.
And now, I'm off to hunt for a great photo of the sign on the building, complete with the 2006 Polar Bear Club marchers in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade in the foreground - until then, here's a favorite of mine. I'm in the top car of the Wonder Wheel, after the parade. My good friend Nathan Brown and I had decided to take a spin, and as we neared the crest of the Wheel, a torrential rain broke out. I grabbed my umbrella - Nathan grabbed his camera. Enough said. Have a look at his other pics at www.cyclonic.smugmug.com - his level of amusement park fanaticism is even higher than mine. Enjoy!