Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Arrested Development

Yesterday came and went. Tuesday, the day we were supposed to be out of Manasquan. Yet we are still here. We got the fuel filter we were waiting for, but now we are going to be here until Saturday because, Thursday, professionals will come clean and polish the fuel tank, and the wind isn't forecasted to be good for us until Saturday. This sailing business can really be a test of patience. We are catching up on "Arrested Development" on dvd.

Manasquan, and the immediate town of Brielle, are pretty towns with porched houses and American flags galore. Some homes without flag poles just stick the flag straight into giant tree trunks on their lawns. Many homes wave both the Italian and American flags. Others fly their favorite sports teams or family slogans next to the stars and stripes. These towns appear affluent, but the abundance of Sotheby, Prudential, and (local realtor) Richard I. Wood signs on front laws belies the appearance. On one stretch of Brielle Road, which runs straight to the dunes at Manasquan Beach, three modest bungalows in a row, and a lot, were for sale. The house directly across the street was a multistory, turreted, shingled wood mansion that stood in stark contrast.

In town, almost everyone I encountered was under the age of 20. The salesgirl and cashier at VNA Thrift Shop (where I bought an even wider straw hat than the one pictured in an earlier post) were no older than 14 years old. The cashier at Bit of Paradise deli reminded me of my 17-year old cousin, all stormy curiosity. It was a surprise to find myself sitting next to a pair of women in their 50s at lunch. Naturally, I eavesdropped as I ate my sandwich in the sun, and, listening to their slow, raspy and tremulous complaints, I had the impression that these were women who had never had much time to themselves and only themselves, that these women had perhaps gone straight from taking care of younger siblings in their childhood homes to taking care of husbands and sons and daughters. At my next stop, though, it was back to the young and the restless; the barista at the local coffeeshop--Sweet Tease--was college-age and taking advantage of the mid-afternoon lull to blare Ani DiFranco-esque music.

Another notable thing about this neighborhood: in five days (and 1000+ people, by Evan's estimations of the giant supermarket, marine stores, hardware stores, town center, two restaurants, and docks that we have frequented), we have seen three African-Americans, a handful of Hispanics, and a couple of Asians. Why are there so few minorities in such a beautiful area? Hm.

Perhaps it's a reaction to my environment, but I have been craving and cooking up a storm of Korean food these days. Alas, we have just run out of kimchi, the nearest Asian supermarket is a 25-minute drive away, and we don't have a car. Come Maryland, I will be stocking up, stink and space be damned.

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