Monday, October 3, 2011

The History of Leisure

We were out swimming in the ocean this morning again. There is something so pleasing about the surf and the waves and the light. Beaches have an almost hypnotic attraction for so many people.

I wonder when that started, though. I doubt it was any earlier than the late 19th century. Spas go back earlier, no doubt. I'm thinking of a book on my shelf, Witotld Rybzinski's Waiting for the Weekend, which will probably have the answer.

One thing we don't get enough of in New York is nature. There were pelicans and seagulls swooping and diving for little minnows in the shallows near us. And the magnificence of the ocean itself is stirring, even if the shoreline is built up with towers for fifty miles in either direction.

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