New York City Beaches Open For First Time Since Sandy


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New York City beaches officially opened on Saturday in keeping with the tradition of Memorial Day weekend signifying the start of summer.  Unfortunately, summer was not cooperating, with temperatures barely reaching the fifties and wind chills way down in the forties, hardly beach weather.  But despite that fact, I had to go out and see for myself the conditions of Manhattan Beach which is located on a peninsula in the southernmost section of Brooklyn.  With rain falling and a steady 25 mph (40km) wind blowing, it was cold.  I have to give some credit to the lifeguards who were on the chairs at their stations despite the winter-like conditions.  Considering what had happened here seven months earlier, the beach was in good condition.  There was still construction equipment and work taking place, but it was isolated and cordoned off.  Many of the trees had died since they aren’t supposed to taste saltwater but some were still alive.  All of the eroded beach was returned to its former condition and would have been in great shape for sun worshippers, had the weather cooperated.  This small beach, one that I ran on for many years, was completely submerged when Sandy hit seven months ago.  The water levels rose up above the jetty and inundated the neighborhood from the ocean as did the bay, which lies only four blocks to the north. This neighborhood and beach will always be susceptible to hurricanes and there’s nothing that can be done to change it.  Hopefully Sandy was a once in a lifetime event.  The men and women of the city of New York did an incredible job putting this beach back together, and they should be commended.  As I sat at the edge of the beach, ocean spray hitting me in the face and the wind tousling my hair, one though came to mind; the beginning of summer signified life returning to normal.  This desolate beach will again show signs of life, with crowds of beach goers, eating, drinking and swimming; enjoying the warmth of brilliant sunshine.  And while no one will ever forget Hurricane Sandy, before long, she will fade into the annals of history, as all tragedies thankfully do.

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