The heat and humidity didn’t distract hundreds of beachgoers from hitting the sand at Coney Island on the Fourth of July.
For some visitors, like Michelle Washington of East New York who works for the NYPD, the beach was a more suitable location than some ordinary backyard barbecue or by a pool.
"I just love the sand and the sun," she said while setting up her spot at the beach with her daughter, sister and nephew. "I’ve worked a lot and I’m enjoying my day off."
Jonathan Perez, 30, a maintenance worker from Ridgewood, said for him, this was the perfect day to frolic with his friends and celebrate summer. They had planned to stay for the fireworks show and maybe hit up the rides and games at Luna Park.
"I’ve never been this close to fireworks before," Perez said.
The park’s attractions were a bigger hit for families who traveled far to take advantage of the day off. Rohan Brown, 47, and his wife Eugenia, 40, drove from Orange, New Jersey, with their three children to visit Coney Island for the first time. The couple, who own a children’s clothing store, said they’ve always wanted to check out the iconic beach and boardwalk, and decided to go for it on July 4, after their daughter saw Coney Island on TV.
"She really loved the rides and the video," Eugenia Brown said. "We thought it would be more packed, but it’s been really spacious."
John Lanuza, 54, of Alphabet City, said he was glad that the beach wasn’t too crowded.
"We were thinking of doing something enjoyable, and this was close," he said. "It feels good to go into the water."