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Back to that foto of the other day, the  third one down here that maybe baffled you . . . made you wonder if it got dropped in by error?    Well, it was taken at Coney Island last summer, the place I usually depict as  here or in fotos like the one below,



Coney Island is the location where the slightly sordid transaction involving tugster took place last summer.  Well, money changed hands although my heart was conflicted,

and folks in the sidelines encouraged me onward, not that I wanted to proceed, of course.  I didn’t want to see where this would lead.

It’s just a kid . . . I thought . . .  .  But this is Coney Island, where the inappropriate is appropriate, a fantasy land where rules are attenuated, or even temporarily suspended, where you’re supposed to see things differently if only for a few hours.

“Go for it!  You can’t stop now . . .”  and even more explicit taunts came from both in front of me and behind me.  I was slipping on a slippery slope, thinking I had resolve

but losing control over it  . . .  “Nah,  I can’t do this,” came the inner voice.

But the jeers rose from the pit and sneers tumbled from behind, and

there was but one way out.  Forward.  I had to see this through.

The invisible tiger was stalking me,

I could smell the feline and hear it breathe,

I proceeded.  To my surprise, when my magazine was empty, I had left beauty

marks . . . scumbling on the shield canvas. . . .   yes, canvas held by my assistant.  Eureka!

You must be thinking  . . . what on earth is this all about?  Simple:  today I turn 59, and Coney Island . . .  and these 6-month-old fotos from Coney Island . . . is my way to celebrate it.  I’m surging forward into a place I’ve never been, and hoping to create order and grace from angst and doubt.  And “Coney Island” after all is the anglicized version of konijn eilandt,” konijn being rabbit, and since–in honor of the year of the rabbit— I could find NO record of a vessel passing through the harbor here EVER with a name like rabbit or hare or bunny . . . .  this is the best I can do.

And that summer’s ritual of trespassing lines of convention . . . that one cannot be repeated.  I imagined I talked with the freak the other day  as he was taking my order at the coffee shop.

Somehow related:  the Manhattan Borough historian has declared Feb 9 to be “alligators-in-the-sewers” day.    I wonder if we can get the sixth boro historian to make such proclamations . . .

Clearly related:  SP-346 aka USS Edgar F. Coney . . . was a NJ-built  WW1-era tugboat.

All but the first three fotos by Faith.

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February 2011