He's here four, five times a week, part of a group of nudist friends that include Khadafy Khan, a musician from Bergenfield, and Tom, a retired New York City cop everyone calls Turtle. He's from Trinidad; the Trinidad and Tobago flag flies from his sand chair; a Jets cooler is nearby.
The nude beach is tucked at the north end of Sandy Hook - Parking Lot G is 4.5 miles from the front entrance. The water is more than a half mile from the parking lot.
At first glance, Gunnison looks like any Jersey beach - blankets, chairs, umbrellas, coolers. ''You draw more attention here with your clothes on than with your clothes off,'' says Gunnison regular Al Kononowitz of Brick.
There is no concession stand; make sure you bring a cooler. found Gunnison six years ago while searching for a lighthouse - the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, nearby.
Sure, there are some bodies beautiful, but mostly it's the average American body on full display, with lots of flab and sag.
A fair amount of Jerseyans apparently want to get naked, because on this weekday afternoon Gunnison is packed.
Sandy Hook is part of the federal Gateway National Recreation Area, so local ordinances don't apply. State-owned Higbee Beach, in Lower Township, was a nude beach for many years, but complaints from locals forced then-Gov.Christine Todd Whitman to ban nude sunbathing in 2000.Gunnison, meanwhile, packs them in; on my visit last Wednesday, a thousand or so nude sunbathers had spread out blankets and beach chairs on a picture-perfect summer afternoon.It may be the quietest beach in the state: no music blaring, no kids screaming, and little garbage.I'm at the state's only legal nude beach wearing nothing but a smile."Newspapers always do a story on the beach at least once a year,'' says Al Kononowitz of Brick. "Reporters gone naked'' sounds like the title of a reality show no one wants to see, but if you're going to spend the afternoon at Gunnison Beach, you need to act like the locals, and go native.