New York Minute: Beach Bites

“Jell-O shots, ice cold Jell-O shots!”

It’s a warm summer Saturday on Coney Island. Men and women weave between sunbathing beach goers, attempting to sell food, drinks and beach gear. They carry coolers, plastic bags, and sagging purses full of inventory.

Questions run through my mind: Do they do this all day? Are they trying to make a living or do they just want to pick up some extra cash?

I don’t know.

Chunky, colorful necklaces swing from a man’s wrist, dancing by my head.

Also on offer: homemade empanadas, bags of cotton candy, cold Coronas (violating the beach’s no glass bottle rule) and cheap bottles of water.

I am white skin on a pale violet bath towel, a dab of pastel against a technicolor backdrop.

Two women walk by, yelling “mangos” in English and Spanish. I regret forgoing a mango earlier in the day and flag them down.

The younger of the two asks me what I want on the mango, and when I answer “everything”, she dresses the mango with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of hot sauce and a sprinkle of salt. Sweet, hot and messy, the mango is satisfaction epitomized.

“New York Minute” is a new series of short posts about my summer in New York City. It will include reviews of eateries and nonfiction stories like the one above. “New York Minute” will appear on my blog every Sunday.

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