I played hooky yesterday and took the Saturn chariot down to Rockaway Beach with my friend Chris. I highly recommend doing this if you get the chance before summer ends. I spent many a childhood day there, shoving tiny fistfuls of sand into my mouth as a baby and nervously taking on the ‘giant waves’ and deadly rip currents as a little girl. (I have pretty vivid memories of being repeatedly slammed and dragged through shell shards while attempting to bodysurf.)
Aside from the three pruned old-timers doing laps (one called us cowards, or ‘cowaads’ in Queens-speak, for not swimming) and some brawny guy doing push-ups on his beach chair, it was just us and a thousand nosy seagulls. Like this little guy below, who planted himself by our towels, eyed up our sleeve of Ritz crackers and slowly inched his way closer each time we turned our backs.
Yeah, we see you. Jerko.
In keeping with the ocean/beach theme, friends and I had reservations that night at Back Forty for their weekly blue crab boil, where they sit you down at communal tables covered in newspaper, hand you little wooden mallets and literally dump giant trays of crabs onto your laps. Our waiter offered us a proper-method tutorial when we all started wildly smacking the shell tops like idiots. Then we set to work inhaling crab. I was completely overwhelmed for a few minutes and totally covered in a thick paste of brownish, wet crab/spice residue, but the dim lighting and jovial crowd kind of helped me forget that I was de-shelling and sucking on fifty dead crustaceans.
Messy, intense and sort of exhausting – but deliciously so.
If any of the following quotes kind of gross you out, maybe avoid this place. Otherwise, go for it.
“ahhh! you just sprayed crab juice directly into my eye”
“just scrape out the lungs i think they’re poisonous”
“suck on the leg, there’s good stuff in there”
“shit i think i just ate lung”
“shit i think i just ate intestine”
“i dare you to scoop out…wait, are those brains?
“you have yellowy mushy stuff on your lip. guts…it looks like guts.”