Ahhh, New Year. Let us wash away the icky old one with a refreshing dip in the drink, shall we?
We once again made the trek out to Coney Island for the Polar Bear swim. Technically, if you are really, truly a real Polar Bear, you do this all the time. It just becomes a thing to do on the weekend. Like the binge drinkers going on the tear the night before, this is amateur hour. You can tell the ones who are out there professionally by their lack of screams and non-nonchalant attitude about the whole thing. Yawn.
Either way, everyone is very brave, very drunk still, or very susceptible to suggestion. Or maybe they just like a one-two punch of frostbite and hypothermia. A little something to start their year off with a jolt.
The beach is just about as crowded as it gets in July, if only for a little while. There is a noticeable lack of tans. Lots of supporters to cheer the swimmers on their way.
It's a very intense 4 or 5 minutes, and then it's over. The screams eventually taper down, shivering bodies are warmed with towels and sweaters and tiny cups of coffee, and the winter beach is once again returned to the gulls.
I maintain that if I carry enough expensive-looking photo equipment, I will be spared the pain and suffering of the plunge and keep dry and cozy on the sand. Water is not a viable option for me at this time of year at this latitude. The cold water is not so much my problem, but jumping out into cold air is.
Hope everyone had a fantastic New Year, with lots of hope for good stuff to come. This is bound to be a year of change and transition for me, and I can only hope that more exciting adventures are in store. I look back at all the fun things I did in the past year, and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude at all the opportunities I have had and friends I got to share it with (and get buzzed on homemade beer...you guys are slagging off and need to help me with this storage problem.)