Nothing compares to Atlantic Ocean

By Ryn Gargulinski: CNJ staff writer

My little blue pool just doesn’t cut it.

Now that summer’s here and temperatures are more blistering than the time I fell asleep with the space heater on, there is one thing I miss most about New York.

No, it is not the summer stench that emanates from every park bench, dumpster and subway station stairwell. No, it’s not the stifling humidity nor the searing blacktop nor the melting tar nor the blasting of sun on concrete so hot it can fry a foot.

I miss the mighty Atlantic.

When I made that huge recommended list of pros and cons before I even bought my plane ticket to New Mexico, one thing that roared from the top of my entries was the ocean.

Growing up in Michigan — a.k.a. the Great Lake State — and spending nearly two decades less than 2 miles from Coney Island, I am ingrained with an innate need to be near water.

In fact, one of my earliest childhood photos is me fully clothed in the middle of Saginaw Bay, where mom said I ran the minute we got out of the car at Uncle Ray’s house.

Later years were spent ignoring swimming instructors in chlorined pools, floating breathless in water deeper than Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and avoiding syringes and wayward soccer balls on the shores of Coney Island.

I also like the bathtub.

Although my new home is fully equipped with an adequate tub, that seems to be my only option for taking a dip in Clovis.

The lake-like things at Chavez, Greene Acres and Ned Houk parks are fine for fishing or gazing at geese, but you certainly cannot swim in them. Besides, the former harbors a nasty goose who tried to take a chunk of thumb when I fed him a corn tortilla.

So I bought a little blue pool. When I say little I mean $6.99 at the neighborhood Wal-Mart, an impulse buy I hurled in my trunk then promptly filled with hose water on my next day off.

I then became scared off the pool — not because I would drown, although reports do hail of people suffocating in less than 2 inches of water — but because of my boyfriend. He said if I laid out front or by our garden in the little blue pool I was just asking for trouble from those who think I am inviting them to come talk to me in my paisley bikini.

So I crammed my little pool in the back, cramped beside my yoga platform and the rickety fence, where I attempted to lounge beneath a breathtaking view of my neon green clothes line.

As I said, my little blue pool just don’t cut it.

I must admit I had the fine fortune of dipping in the gorgeous — and fully swimmable — Ute Lake. My boyfriend and I had the pleasure of exploring this chasm, fully clad in paisley bikini (me, not him). We even got to jet ski with his sister and her crew and we only fell off once. But alas, that magnificent gorge is more than two hours away and I am one for instant gratification.

And although we neither stepped on syringes nor were clocked in the head with a soccer ball, Ute Lake still cannot rival the majesty of the Atlantic, thoughts of which lull me to sleep (in my paisley pajamas).

Ryn Gargulinski is a CNJ staff writer. She can be contacted at: