More fun experiences in New York:
I got to go sailing with Captain Sasha on Friday evening. Sasha’s an instructor with the Manhattan Sailing School, and took a couple of us out for a sunset cruise. It was lovely and peaceful being out on the water, with just the sounds of the waves and the wind. We headed out past the Statue of Liberty and most of the way to Staten Island before turning back. Sasha even let me take the tiller on the way back for a while. I can’t really afford sailing lessons right now, but I definitely enjoyed the experience.
I spent Saturday afternoon out at Coney Island watching the Brooklyn stop of the AVP. Caught three matches, including the men’s final. What’s fun is that the crowd is still small at these events, so you can get up close to the action. I got a second-row seat for a match featuring Holly McPeak and Logan Tom, apparently in their second week as partners (there was a massive shakeup two weeks ago when the second-ranked team on the tour (Elaine Youngs and Rachel Wacholder) broke up, causing a cascading waterfall of partner changes). I happened to sit near a couple other volleyball players and we had a fun time critiquing the play; McPeak was setting Tom way too low – Tom didn’t get her arm fully extended on a hit the whole match, settling for roll shots which were way too easy to dig. They won anyway because Tom was blocking well and McPeak was picking up digs, but it was harder than it should have been.
After the men’s final (Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger won it going away), I was walking back towards the subway and noticed myself walking right behind Kerri Walsh, the premier women’s beach volleyball player in the world. It’s a bit weird seeing somebody in person who you’ve mostly only seen on TV. She was walking back towards the subway with her husband Casey Jennings (another player) and the AVP announcer Chris McGee. I tried not to goggle too much, but I probably did. As I was crossing the street to the subway station, I came up behind McPeak and Tom, who I’d seen playing earlier. They had to stop to buy tickets while I sailed through with my pass. I guess they’re just normal folks too. It’s easy to forget that when you have a one-way fanboy interaction mediated by television, which makes me wonder about the passive culture that TV is creating. But it’s late, so I won’t pursue the thought any further.