Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rock Rock Rockaway Beach

Mr NYC has never been much of a beach-goer, my preferred swimming venue generally being lakes. But now that summer humidity is choking the city, I thought it high time to check out one of our many local shoals and bake by salt water. A good friend directed us to Rockaway Beach on the south shore peninsula of Queens and off we went to the "Irish Riviera."

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, the zenith time for beach crowds. Yet while the beach was heavily populated, it wasn't unbearably crowded. There was plenty of space for us to layout on our towels and lie down comfortably. Best of all, no one was blasting music or making a scene. Plus, the beach was clean, not much trash on the sand, so you don't always have to look under your feet.

And while you can wade in the water wherever you want, you can't swim everywhere on the beach -- just between certain sections divided by jetties, where lifeguards in bright orange outfits patrol the shore. If you are doing anything even the least bit dangerous, the lifeguards will loudly blow their whistles, keeping you safe. The waves and surf are intense so you need to be very careful when going in the water (make sure the "undertow" doesn't blow you off your feet). That said, once you do get in, the water is cold and refreshing.

We spent about three hours there and, man, it relaxed me. Although I still have some issues with sand (it really irritates my girlishly sensitive skin), consider me a beach convert.

A few things you should know about Rockaway Beach:

1. The lifeguard hours are from 10 AM-6 PM daily. The best way to get there is by car although you can also take the A train and walk a few blocks to the beach. If you do go by car, make sure to get there early -- while there's lots of free parking around, much of it is unavailable later in the day.

2. The neighborhood around the beach is not the best. Lots of people park around there so your car will be probably be safe but make sure you know where you're going, you don't want to get lost in this area.

3. Rockaway Beach has a rich history in books, TV, music and film: "Rockaway Beach" is classic 1977 song by the Ramones; Woody Allen's Radio Days is largely set near there; the classic Seinfeld episode "The Marine Biologist" episode centers on Rockaway beach; and the beach is cited in great American novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

4. There is another beach nearby called Jacob Riis Park. This is NYC's only beach with a topless/clothing optional space. If you're with a loved one or feeling naughty or just want to run free, you should check it out.

1 comment:

  1. Rockaway Beach is an ideal destination for surfers and fishers in both seasons. New York has rich variety of beaches which are mostly occupied during summer season. When I have been there, I always prefer to stay near to beach especially during summer.

    Best Regards,


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