Saturday, May 16, 2009

Santa Cruz Boardwalk





Last summer, my daughter and I went to visit my dad in Santa Cruz where we spent hours at the boardwalk amusement park with some local friends. It made me long for the days of my childhood spent at Coney Island in Brooklyn. I've always imagined I'd take her there someday but have recently learned it's existence is in jeopardy so that remains to be seen. I remember being too young to ride the Cyclone, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters left, and crying inconsolably. Finally, I was able to reach the "you must be this tall..." sign and away I went, down the steepest drop on any wooden coaster in existence. It always amazed me how little restraining system there was for that thing.

The Hell Hole was another favorite. It was a simple, cylindrical room in which people would file in and stand against the wall. It would then spin fast enough for the centrifugal force to make you stick. Then as you were beginning to wonder if your cheeks would actually implode into your face, the floor would drop around five feet down. Just as you began to ponder the implications of actually puking while your cheeks were caving in, it would begin to slow and you'd begin to slide down to the floor. Others have tried but no other ride of it's type has since come close to the Hell Hole for speed and sheer tenacity.

Maybe I'll still take her there someday on our next trip to NYC. Meanwhile, we still have the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

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