I’m sitting at a bench, next to Paul’s Daughter (since 1962) cold clams, cold beers, Italian sausage, seafood, drinking coffee.
Father and son join me at the bench. The father nods, gestures. I say yes, it’s ok the seats free. He sits down. The boy stays standing. Father, camera in hand says,
‘Hey Joey, look at me. C’mon look this way. Yeah that’s great, show those teeth, smile. Yeah again, great got that.’
He calls over to his wife, says something, moving rapidly between languages. The wife answers in English saying she’ll look later, that just now, can’t he see, she’s got her hands full with their other son.
Joey looks at me, shows his father a small car he says he’s just found.
‘Hey dad, what kind of car’s this?’
The father answers but I don’t catch what he says.
The boy says,
‘How d’you know that?’
‘Cos I read a lot, I pay attention to my environment. I look.’
‘Yeah, cool. C’mon then.’
I watch the family walk away along Reigelmann Boardwalk.
I finish my coffee, throw the polystyrene cup into a waste bin and continue walking towards Brighton Beach.