Right across the bay from New York City there is a strip of beach inhabited by a hundred or so Irish families. This small, residential area is called Breezy Point. My grandfather grew up in NYC and lived in Breezy until he was about 12 and still reminisces about his childhood there. After he was married and settled in Rochester he would take his kids there every summer. My dad used to love going there. He would go swimming everyday and play baseball with his brothers. After a long morning in the sun they would go to the Sugar Bowl for a burger and later an ice-cream or a root beer float. I always loved hearing stories about the summer spot from my dad and was always so envious that my sister and I wouldn’t have a place like that to tell our kids about. But a couple of years ago my dad got in touch with his cousin who lives in the Big Apple and has a small bungalow on the beach. His cousin, Jo Jo, hadn’t seen us since we were “little ‘uns” and he invited us down there for the month of July. My sister and I were thrilled! We had heard so much about the legendary Breezy Point and now we were finally going! That was the best summer vacation we’ve ever had, partly because our parents were still together and we were still a full family, but partly because it was simple and relaxing. There is no commercialization in good old Breezy. True, the bungalows are much bigger now than they were when my grandpa was growing up, but overall, it’s just a simple town with only one pharmacy as the main grocery store and where going to the beach is just a walk down your front steps.
July 5, 2011