Every nation needs escape from respectability — from the world of what we have to do into the world of what we would-like-to-do; from the world of duty that endureth forever into the world of joy that is permitted for a moment. Perhaps Coney Island is the most human thing that God ever made or permitted the devil to make.
#11 - Nathan’s Famous, Coney Island - 5/22/2011
All Coney GIFs. All week. And this one has a bonus story.
So I have one of my grandmother’s old diaries - written in 1933 during a college trip she took through the US and Canada. This particular entry is about her visit to Coney Island that June:
There was a cool sea breeze the while we watched the sunset over Liberty. Leaving the boat, which was a melee of holiday couples, we were in for a real walk, finally arriving on that well-known and much-discussed boardwalk where meet the faces of all nations. We strolled, stopping often to eat the huge 5c frankfurters, to watch the gambling at the little stands, to listen to the many languages and dialects, to marvel at the moving mobs and their variety, to catch the spray from the very cool water (there really is water) too cool for bathing tonight…
Nathan’s hot dogs are no longer five cents and we didn’t call them “frankfurters” while ordering, but knowing that my grandmother and I ate one in the same place nearly 80 years apart is kind of heartwarming. Or weird. Mostly weird. Yeah. I mean I wouldn’t say, “Enjoyed the hot dog, Grandma,” while raising my bun to the sky (or whatever one does when eating a Nathan’s hot dog in remembrance of a family member) because that’s a totally strange thing to do and I’d rather just make a GIF.