The above is a photo from a Facebook page called “Dirty Old Boston.”
It is a great writer’s prompt. I’ve written at least a half dozen vignettes around these two kids on the bike. There’s a real sense of Sunday-morning freedom to it: the escape to the outdoors after a rainstorm, the speedy flight and gyroscopic control of the bike’s turning wheels, the laughter and thrill of what may be an innocent trespass onto park property, the unbounded possibilities of the coming day, the slow unwinding of perhaps an event from the night before. And all of it set between the reflection of the puddles and the looming roller coaster. You can smell the rain, the ocean, and bike chain oil. You can hear the soft hiss of the bike’s tires on wet pavement, the steady turn of the peddles, and the click of the derailleur.
Who are they and where are they headed? To the boardwalk for a bite or to a penny arcade or down to the beach to just idly look at waves and seagulls? What music do they listen to and what is on their minds? Is this a first outing of new friends or an interlude before each goes down some individual path? And that roller coaster: their next big adventure or just a metaphor for what life may bring them?
“Dirty Old Boston” is run by Jim Botticelli. I have a love/hate relationship with FB but “DOB” is something I love. Mr. Botticelli does a great job and I love all the photos of pre-90s Boston (and surrounding locales). The above is a wonderful photo submitted by a DOB contributor. I can’t find their name but can only heap praise on their composition.
It is such a striking photo. I had been to Paragon Park at Nantasket Beach so often as a kid living in Boston it brought me right back. Later, in college, I can remember when that roller coaster was disassembled. That was around 1985.
Well, like Baz Luhrman said: nostalgia…is like fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But it’s nice to see this moment in time.