I recently made the two hour subway experience to Rockaway Beach, and it was wonderful and puzzling all at once. I was meeting friends at the beach, so I was on my own getting to and from the sandy shore; understandably, I felt a little odd clambering to the subway stop with my bathing suit and giant beach bag in tow.
There was no need to be worried. It was such a beautiful day that the rest of Brooklyn had similar plans, and I was quickly disabused of the notion that I would be uniquely weird-looking. I saw couples only wearing their bathing suits, families traveling with giant picnic coolers, and a gaggle of hipsters who shunned the subway seats for their own neon, fold-out beach chairs. There’s something about riding in a screechy car, surrounded by the bikini-clad and the sunlotion-laden that screams summer in New York City.
Once my blanket was haphazardly thrown down and I was frolicking in the surf, the trip was worth it and more. I love spending a full day with the sun and an ocean of salt – one second you’re gasping from a giant wave bowling you over, the next dozing sleepily on the sun warmed sand. Somehow the sky is much larger than usual, and everything is so blue I feel like I’m falling into the sky.
My favorite moment of the day was leaving the beach, funnily enough, because we headed out right at sunset, and the whole world was a picture of light and dark. The sun crept down the sides of buildings and left shadows in the most unexpected places. After a day in the heat, I was tired and drowsy, but somehow that made the orange-tinged fire escapes even more breathtaking.
Back at my apartment I practically collapsed from the heat. However, before passing out, I managed to throw together this crunchy, refreshing salad that has all my favorite sunset colors.
Sunset Salad (serves one)
- 4 large romaine leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 small radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Assemble the salad ingredients and drizzle with the dressing. Enjoy as a side salad or with a lightly fried egg on top, and luxuriate in the sunset of your choice.