When I was still in California, Edith invited me to join her on a fishing trip upon my return to New York. I thought it was the perfect way to reintegrate into New York culture, so I said yes.
Fishing is actually a very New York thing to do, its harbor having been a fruitful fishing ground for centuries, and its shore still littered with guys with fishing poles, no matter how dirty the water.
Today's excursion was hosted by the Rusty Knot, a nautical-themed bar on the west side that often proves too hip for visitation. We met at the bar early this morning, took a bus to City Island, took a boat into the Long Island Sound, and dropped our lines down into the water.
My first catch had to be thrown back in, too tiny for cooking...
My second one was a keeper...
My third fish was a red-winged sea robin, a weird fish with fins like wings, again to be thrown back in...
And my fourth fish got away.
Our deck hands filleted the fishes right there on the boat.
After our boating trip, which took a couple of hours, we returned to the Rusty Knot for snacks and open bar.
And finally, our catch of the day (mostly fluke) was ready for consuming.
I spent many a summer fishing at my grandparents' camp as a kid, and once even caught a snapping turtle. I used to beg my father to let me accompany him to his annual fishing trip with his brothers, my uncles, but was always denied.
It was nice to recapture that sense memory of the tug on the line, the wriggling of the fish, the reeling in...It requires a certain precision, a certain skill - and luck - and although it's more violent than shooting guns at a range, there's a certain survivalism at stake, when you get to eat what you catch...It's a back-to-basics approach to New York that people who move here from elsewhere rarely get to experience.
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