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  August 6, 2010

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Robert Moses clothing optional beach
Grover-Lama Clan at Robert Moses Beach
Robert Moses left a mixed legacy, but the Long Island beaches he helped create--some literally from the ground up by dredging vast amounts of sand from the ocean bottom--are gems of park design. Michael's friend Greg drove us from Brooklyn to BQE to LIE and then Cross Island to Southern State to Meadowbrook to Ocean Parkways and finally onto Robert Moses Causeway to Robert Moses State Park--all of which, as far as I know, were masterminded by Moses.

We parked at Field 5 and walked a good ways east, past the lighthouse to the sanctioned clothing-optional beach. Bathing suits are kind of ridiculous. What function do they serve other than as badges of repression? We are born naked and skinnydipping is a tactile reminder of the prenatal aqueous state. Nude bathing is a lowest common denominator of sorts, too, attracting young old rich poor black white and every shade of tanlineless skin between, all equal under the sun, laughing comical made small by mother Ocean, warm salt and surging, disencumbered of all trappings.

And anyway the waves themselves protested modesty, as I found out after I donned my trunks and walked a mile to the family section where I was meeting one of my oldest and dearest friends, Andrea Grover, whom I hadn't seen in years and years. I'm a confident swimmer but today's surf was positively scary, with overwhelming swells and unpredictable rip currents in whose grip I was often helpless for seconds at a time. My bathing suit filled with sand and shell fragments as the breaking waves and undertow kept pulling my trunks down. The Ocean itself wanted me naked.