South Beach is anything but cool. It’s crowded, cacophonous and constantly in motion. To be really cool, you’ve gotta be seen at Lucy Vincent, Wasque, Moshup or one of the other more exclusive spots. But exclusivity is the problem for me. I don’t want to have to be a resident, I don’t want to have to take a boat (ferry) to the beach and I sure as shootin’ don’t want to pay!
Beaches should be a populist affair. Liberty and justice, everyone created equal, power to the people, all for one and one for all and all that. South Beach fits that bill to a capital “T”. The ocean there is no respecter of persons. The waves at Katama (a.k.a. South Beach) will slap you around mercilessly, be you pauper or prince, president or peon. When it dunks you under, it doesn’t ask first if you’re a year-rounder, a Yankee fan or a Cabot.
Just a few miles from downtown Edgartown, there is no fee for parking, although you might have to fight for your vehicle’s place in the sun. The bike path leads right up to the sand. Life guards in classic bright red. Kites in the sky chasing sight-seeing biplanes and gliders. Entire families embroiled in full contact Frisbee battles. Every shape, size and color of sun-bather. This is the real deal!
Yet, South Beach does have its touches of gentility as well. The houses overlooking the sea from the far side of Atlantic Drive are nothing short of awe-inspiring. And the porta-potties are really first rate. These are not your run-of-the-mill construction site denizens. These beauties set the standard for functionality and cleanliness. (OK, maybe I’ve gone too far with that one.)
Actually, it’s the surf that does it for me. South Beach has the most awesome surf (or “waves of the sea” as my kids called them when they were little). I don’t even have to get in it. (Sometimes, I prefer not to!) I just have to watch it, breakers eternally rushing in then sliding back into their own oncoming successors. No, I just have to hear it. The crashing surf is a natural symphony to my ears, with its own fascinatin’ rhythm and melody. It’s truly a rhapsody in blue, green and many other hues as well.
So there you have it. Take your Lambert’s Cove and your wildlife refuges. The life at Katama is wild enough for me! Give me liberty or give me… Well, give me South Beach and I’ll be happy.
Image courtesy of Trustees of Reservations