Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A day at the beach (via email) 

The TigerHawk family, elements of which were suffering from antiquities
burnout ("you've seen one pile of ruins, you've seen 'em all"), decided to
go to the beach for the day. Or for what was left of the day after sleeping
late, lingering over cappucinos, and buying our tickets to Venice at the
central train station.

It is no trouble to get to the beach from Rome. You take the subway to any
one of several stops indicating a "lido" icon, and from there you follow the
girls in bikini tops to the next train, and then to the bus "down the
shore," as we say in Jersey.

The huge number of Italians on both the Roman beaches and the Jersey Shore
invites comparisons between the two places. There is no comparison.

One way to measure a beach is to consider, as objectively as possible, the
average attractiveness of the people compared to one's own relative
dumpiness. I have always felt that the TigerHawk family, which is both thin
and has hair in only the right places, was much more attractive than the
average prevailing in say, Pt. Pleasant. How not the case in Rome! We were
the ugliest people in sight!

The Romans also seem to have struck an appropriate balance in bathing suit
coverage. Virtually all the men wear American-style trunks, as opposed to
the hideous little Speedo-sacks that one sees in France. The women, on the
other hand, wear almost nothing. See what I mean about striking the right

Of course, the Romans don't know from boardwalk, and they certainly have
fewer concessions on the beach. However, they make up for it with umbrella
and chaise lounge rental concessions, which are very useful if you go to the
beach by mass transit.

For my money, all things considered, the beaches here are considerably nicer
than the beaches at home. And that's saying something, because the Jersey
Shore is really quite awesome. As long as you don't look at the people.

More later.


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