August 16, 2009

Hamptons/Coney Island...Who's happier?

Today it was 88 degrees and beautiful. I got off the train at Stillwell Ave at 3:30 with 2 cameras around my neck, grabbed a Brooklyn Lager (in a cup) and took a long walk. Coney Island is loud, filthy, grimy and littered with trash. There are thugs and drunks and fat hispanic women wearing tiny bathing suits everywhere. Kids are running around with no sign of a parent or guardian anywhere in sight. One thing you can't help notice is that everyone seems to be very happy. Music is blaring, people spontaneously break out dancing, old men bang wooden sticks(called clave) together to keep the rhythm. Here's the interesting part: I'll bet if you ask anybody on this beach if they're happy and they'll give you a wide smile, tip their beer and tell you what a beautiful day it is. Now, go to the Hamptons and ask each person if they're genuinely happy. They'll probably express their desire for the latest Gucci bag or pair of designer shoes. They might be happy if their apartment was bigger or they had that summer place outside the city. They'd be really happy if there were less people in their summer share. The people at Coney Island are simple, blue collar working people, content to be surrounded by family, friends and a cooler full of food and ice cold beer. A $2.00 subway ride and they're in heaven. Sort of makes you wonder who doing it right and who's doing it all wrong.

Self portrait

Human anthill

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