They could not “bear”.
The annual New Year’s Day “Polar Bear” from Coney Island was officially canceled on Friday, but it did not prevent a few hundred reptiles from stripping off their bathing suits and taking a dip.
“A lot of the things I usually do every year were canceled – Mermaid Parade, Baseball, S-T, which we normally do traditionally,” explained 45-year-old Chris Geiger, who 50 degrees Fahrenheit Atlantic from Glendale Had to travel to jump in.
“I said, ‘I don’t care. We’re going to do it. It’ll be quick. We’ll be safe,'” Geiger said.
“It’s really safe anytime. Generally, it is so packed, you can’t even walk on the beach. This is good. This is much better than normal. “
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club announced in November that it was ending the event due to coronovirus concerns, so the 200 to 300 people who took the plunge had no permits and banned swimming without a lifeguard Violated city rules.
Nevertheless, he maintained social disturbances and spread his frenzied freeling over a few blocks and several hours.
“It was breathtaking,” 39-year-old Rachel Polina of Ridgewood told The Post.
“I think we just knew we were going to do it anyway because we love it, and honestly, canceling it brought a way less than a crowd. So I think it’s really safe. “
Typically, thousands of people ducking as thousands more watch, organizers have said.
But on Friday, around 200 spectators lined the boardwalk or stepped out onto the sand to watch the parade-down event.
They had a trio of NYPD officers, one of whom asked about the apparent violation of swimming rules. When a Post reporter went to press, “The crowd is too big?” You can’t arrest everyone ?, “the policeman replied,” Absolutely. “
Notably missing on Friday was Polar Bears Club President Dennis Thomas, who said he slept for the first New Year in 30 years.
“It’s a great New York tradition, started in 1903,” said Thomas, 65.
“And some people don’t mind what’s going on,” he said. “But next year, we will grow bigger than ever.”
At the beginning of a new year, more than 3,000 people go for a quick swim, as 10,000 people watch.
A 35-year-old rapper from Coney Island known as Gorilla Nimes called the annual rite a “dualism”.
“Polar bears are not officially able to do this due to courier virus, so we are showing here that we are New York strong, and that no matter what obstacles come to us, we dominate it. . We persevere through it because that’s what we are. We’re a New Yorker. “
The 21-year-old rapper from Flatbush, who visits Danse, agreed.
“We have got to leave 2020 behind. It’s a difficult year, but you know how it is – with the old, with the new, “he said.
“We’re a New Yorker, we’re back. And we leave it to those who couldn’t come here – some who died last year, who were annual members – to come and do it.”
Emmett McCleary, 19, of New Milford, NJ, was not allowing COVID to get in the way of the annual annual tradition.
“It’s very different this year, not huge crowds,” he said. “But after everything we’ve done in 2020, it’s expected to be a better start to a better year.”