Memorial Day weekend was hot, like something out of midsummer. You know, hazy days in July when you’ve all but forgotten what a day below 80 degrees feels like. Only it’s the end of May. But it is the official start of summer, so the warmth was not unwelcome.
Our three day weekend was booked-ended by work for Mark with Sunday being the family outing day. Mia wanted to go bird watching. The second graders have been studying birds for the past few months and oh hey, we actually have a prime bird sanctuary right here in Queens, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, supposedly with over 325 species of birds spotted in the last 25 years (I think we saw maybe 15 of them).
I know nothing about birds, but for all I knew, Mia could have been totally correct in identifying every bird that we saw, “That’s an American Redstart. Oh, I just saw a Double-Crested Cormorant”. Aside from her 2nd grade studies, she’s been really into reading this bird guidebook for the past few years that we randomly got one year as a Christmas present from a family gift exchange (that one elicited a head scratch, but who knew it would be well loved by our future kid?), so I’m just going to assume that she’s some sort of bird identifying genius.
Oh, and the beach nearby at Far Rockaway. Haven’t been there in about 23 years when my friends and I would come around these parts just so that we could take the A train to the end of the line. Wasn’t much going on back in the late 80s, but Rockaway Beach in recent years have come into a resurgence, thanks in part to local surf culture and of course, the food. It sure isn’t the Hamptons (there’s nothing hip about the Hamptons) but then again, in all my years as a native New Yorker, I still have yet to go to the Hamptons. I have a feeling I’d probably prefer the gritty beaches, food stands and the tattooed crowd over the Hamptons any day.