Tag Archives: beach

THE Beach to Visit in 2014

21 Jan

BeforeMidnight

Greece—specifically Arillas Beach in Corfu—is listed by Fodor’s as one of the 15 Best Beaches for 2014. …And so is the Jersey Shore, with a shout-out to Ocean Grove. It’s like they’re just listing the beaches of my childhood.

Can I give you an insider tip, though? For a less touristy, more authentic beach visit, check out Lagouvardos Beach. It’s in the Peloponnese, on the mainland of Greece. It’s become especially popular with surfers.

It also happens to be where Before Midnight was filmed.

And just check out these pictures I took there at sunset!

What’s your favorite beach? Coney Island??

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Road Trip: Pebble Beach Is Not a Beach

23 Oct

Part of my road trip down the California coast included a stop to Pebble Beach.  As it turned out, Pebble Beach is not actually a beach.  It’s a prestigious place to golf.  I kept seeing everyone take photographs with this clock so I took one too.  I have no idea why.  I know nothing about golf and this clock means nothing to me.

 

Ironic Beach Read

29 Aug

 

Remember when it snowed a lot this past winter?  It’s been such a hot and humid summer that I almost forgot about how much snow was on the ground just a few short months ago.

My dad grew up by the beach in Greece and remembers the wonderment of seeing snow for the first time one winter there.  Although I spent four years out in So Cal, where people put Christmas lights on palm trees, I was born on the East Coast, and it’s hard to imagine growing up without snow.

My summer reading has included Barbara Sjoholm’s The Palace of the Snow Queen: Winter Travels in Lapland.  (Thanks for sending it to me, Merrill!)  I thought it would be ironic to read a book about the Arctic Circle while suntanning* at the beach.  Also, sometimes I like to remind myself that I’m Swedish-Sami.  (*I’m Swedish, I don’t actually tan.)

These hot summer days I’ve been dreaming of moving to Sweden.

Sunset at Lagouvardos Beach

8 Aug

 

 

 

I took these photos on my last trip to Greece.  They’re pictures of the sun setting over Lagouvardos Beach in the Peloponnesus.

It’s rare that I catch the sunset in any meaningful way in the States, but watching the sun set into the ocean is the Greek way of life.  A lot of homes are built with large balconies and a lot of tavernas sit ocean-side so watching the sun set is a natural part of everyday Greek life.  We watch the sunset with the same awe that we watch fireworks.  It captivates our attention as it slowly sinks deeper and deeper into the ocean.  We try to guess when the last sliver of it will disappear until morning.  We savor the color-shifting sky, full of wonder.

Gripster: 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade & Greek Mermaid Myths

20 Jun

I hit the beach for the first time this year for the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade.  I’ve been going for a few years now, so I was kind of surprised when friends asked me what it is.  It’s pretty much what it sounds like.  It’s kind of like an all-mermaid version of the Village Halloween Parade.  A lot of the outfits are scandalous, but the parade is so much fun!

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is the world’s largest art parade.  It was founded in 1983 by the same not-for-profit arts organization that produces the Coney Island Circus Sideshow.  The official website describes the Coney Island Mermaid Parade:

The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression. The Parade is characterized by participants dressed in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, various sea creatures, the occasional wandering lighthouse, Coney Island post card or amusement ride, as well as antique cars, marching bands, drill teams, and the odd yacht pulled on flatbed.

You probably know that Neptune is the Roman version of the Greek god Poseidon, the god of the ocean.  (If you’re curious about Poseidon, check out my blog entry “Gripster: Portlandia, Hipsters, and Greek Myth.”)  What I was curious about was mermaid Greek mythology.  I always think of the sirens that the cunning Odysseus outwitted as mermaids, when in fact they’re actually half woman, half bird.  So what does Greek mythology actually say about mermaids?

According to myth, Alexander the Great’s half-sister is a mermaid.  Thessalonike was born to King Philip II of Macedon and his concubine, Nicesipolis, in 252 or 345 BC.  According to legend, Alexander the Great bathed Thessalonike’s hair in life-giving water that he retrieved on his quest to find the Fountain of Immortality.  When her older brother died when she was only nineteen years old, Thessalonike tried to drown herself.  In death, Thessalonike transformed into a mermaid, according to legend.

Mermaid Thessalonike lived in the Aegean.  She stopped ships, asking, “Ζει ο Βασιλιάς Αλέξανδρος?” (“Is King Alexander alive?”)

If the passing ship answered, “Ζει και βασιλεύει και τον κόσμο κυριεύει” (He lives and rules the world), she calmed the waters.

If the ship answered anything less positive, she caused a severe storm that would spell death to all sailors.

I took some 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade pictures.

I hear 2011 is the year of the mermaid trend.