Best First Date (Part 2): Roller Coasters and Coney Island Sand Castle Contest

This is Part 2 of this story. Read Part 1 here.

“How does that saying go? _____ by the seat of your pants?”

“Shit by the seat of your pants?”

“Hahaha! No. That’s not it!”

“Fly? Fly by the seat of your pants?”

“That’s it!”

This was a conversation we had had at brunch. Now we were doing just that. Flying, not shitting- to clarify.

Flying by the seat of our pants.

Flying down the highway, on a spontaneous visit to Coney Island, on this, our very first date.

“I don’t actually really know where this Coney Island Sand Castle Contest is,” I confessed when we arrived at our destination, “I assume if we wander the beach we’ll find it?”

“We’ll find it,” he said, utterly unperturbed. We began the search.



A first date at Coney Island allows for some valuable insight into a potential relationship. Questions come up that might otherwise have remained unanswered for months. Questions crucial to the potential compatibility of two people. Example: Do you like roller coasters? “Yes,” I replied, “I do like roller coasters. That said, the anticipation of a roller coaster ride always makes me jumpy. I may clutch you. I will, without fail, scream the whole time.”

“Good. You like roller coasters. We’re going on this one.”


Then we were doing just that. Flying through the air, flying by the seat of the Thunderbolt: Coney Island’s newest ride. It starts with a 90 degree vertical drop. I screamed the whole time. It’s only thanks to years of performing outdoor theater that I didn’t loose my voice by the end. Stepping off the ride, adrenalin coursed through my body. My head was turned upside down but I didn’t even consider the wind spun bird’s nest my hair probably resembled. I was having too much fun to care.

We walked down to the beach and stumbled upon our sand castles almost immediately. Easy as pie. Easy as having fun at the beach on a beautiful summer day.

sand castle one

Some were master pieces sculpted out of sand.

sand castle 2

Did you know there are professional sand sculptors? When do you realize that’s your calling?


I’d love to have seen what these guys did on their family Florida vacation at age nine. Was the talent there already?


The amateur attempts were just as fun.


When was the last time you built a sand castle? I can’t even remember!


Okay, I can remember because it was on this date. (The time before that though I have no idea.) We were inspired. We dug into the sand and spent, oh, maybe 3 minutes building.We created a bunch of hand prints in a mound. Very abstract. No, I did not photograph it. Yes, it was fun.


This one was called New York Cliche! (Yeah, by me. No one else called it that.)


Recognize this guy? He’s the Coney Island mascot!

“So the Coney Island Sand Castle Contest is way cooler than I thought it was going to be,” my date said, “I’m really glad we came. I’m having fun. Let’s go down to the water.”

He motioned for me to jump on his back and I did. He ran me piggy back, dodging umbrellas and little tykes with sand in their suits, all the way down to the shore line. I clutched him around the neck and laughed. I felt like I was flying. Flying by the seat of his pants.

There was still more fun to come! Part 3 tomorrow! I told you it was epic!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

18 thoughts on “Best First Date (Part 2): Roller Coasters and Coney Island Sand Castle Contest

  1. I can’t wait for Part 3! Post it now!! And also…there were 2 dudes in your original encounter. Which one did you go with and is the other also single? A friend wanted to know….

    1. They sure make you want to try to build a sand castle though, right? It was a super fun date. And just between you and me (and well, anyone else reading these comments), there have been more super fun dates that have followed it 😉

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