Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fathers acting like children on Coney - 1848

Again, even in the 1840s, Coney was known as a place for adults to act like kids.

City News and Gossip

CONEY ISLAND.--To-day the New York city fathers take a ride down to Coney Island, in order to get a snuff of the ocean breeze. We do not know of a more delightful place to luxuriate for an afternoon, and we therefore commend the taste of the fathers. But Coney Island is also a place for the daughters and the sons--for frolicksome girls and thoughtless gay fellows who hang on the smiles of the fair, and in this sunny weather seek to dream away the hours far from the haunts of business and the scenes of toil. There are many such staying at the different houses on this attractive shore, and many others who ride down thither of an afternoon to smell the salt air and wash themselves in the restless surf.

Yesterday afternoon quite a large party of officials and non-officials went thitherward from this city in the large stage of Husted & Kendall, drawn by six horses, and accompanied by a tender with four horses. We saw in the party quite a sprinkling of aldermen, and others connected with the city government, the two halves of the city printer, and a number of distinguished citizens of both political parties.

We hear, to-day, that they took up their quarters at Wyckoff's and, for a season, sunk the dignity of fathers and assumed the character of children.--They washed, bathed, ran races on the sand, cracked jokes, told stories, gestated in the swings, jumped, wrestled, and frolicked ; and concluded the day's entertainment by a clam bake which, it is said, Wyckoff knows how to get up secundum artem. They returned last night at about ten o'clock, in as good condition as could be expected, and speak highly of the advantages of a ride to Coney Island this fine weather. One of the sages of Scotland remarked that, on some occasions, the man that is wise is a fool. We suspect that the learned Scot must have had a dim vision of these rides to Coney Island when he uttered that. At any rate we very much doubt whether the folly of wisdom could be charged against the party of Brooklynites who bivouacked at Coney Island yesterday.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Wednesday, August 9, 1848

Yes, it did say "snuff"! This entry references a hotel that may have been Wyckoff's.

Back in the day, literate readers were a lot more familiar with Latin. Nowadays, we are blessed to have Google. Secundum artem evidently means "according to the art" per this blog named after the phrase, at least.

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