Photo via Flickr
The Rockaways is the quintessential beach getaway for those looking to soak up some sun and still remain in the city. Once known as “New York’s Playground,” the Rockaways offers a 5.5 mile stretch of bustling boardwalk and over 120 acres of sandy beach. While definitely a go-to spot for city-dwellers, navigating the Rockaways can be daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the Queens neighborhood. We’ve rounded up the best of the Rockaways, including how to get there, where to soak up the sun, and, of course, the best spots to wine and dine.
Rockaways this way
Skip the ferry lines and stuffy subway cars and ride to the beach in air-conditioned style. Long Island City-based Rockaway Brewery Co. has launched a mini-coach bus that travels between their tap room and Rockaway Beach every Saturday until Labor Day. The “Brew Cruiser” costs $20 for round trip service.
“They’re off!” The NC-1, NC-3 and NC- 4 begin their journey across the Atlantic May 8th, 1919. Via the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Did you know that the world’s first Transatlantic flight took off from the Rockaway Naval Air Station on May 8th, 1919? The plane, a US Navy Seaplane NC-4, not only departed from the Rockaways but also was assembled there. The NC-4 was one of three planes that vied to be the first across the Atlantic. The NC-1 and NC-3 started out alongside the NC-4 that day in the Rockaways. The planes set course for Plymouth England, and the NC-4 proved victorious, making landfall there on May 31, 1919, after a whopping 57 hours and 16 minutes in the air.
Courtesy of Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
A lottery launched this week for 113 mixed-income apartments in Edgemere, a beach-front neighborhood just outside of Far Rockaway in Queens. Designed by Curtis + Ginsburg, the eight-story building meets passive house certification by utilizing a geo-thermal cooling and heating system with a resilient, flood-proof design. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 30, 40, 50, 60 and 100 percent of the area median income can apply for the available units at 45-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which range from a $331/month studio to a $1,910/month three-bedroom.
Find out if you qualify
Photo via Flickr cc
Last summer, 11 blocks of Rockaway Beach were closed due to safety issues from erosion. The decision to shutter the half-mile stretch came just days before the city’s beaches were set to open on Memorial Day weekend. Though the city said at the time that it might take years to get it reopened, a press release this week announces that the beach will reopen in time for this summer season, thanks to a $13.4 million beach replenishment project in which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will dredge 300,000 cubic yards of sand.
All the details
In May, 6sqft reported that outer-borough neighborhoods underserved by Citi Bike would get dockless bike-share programs this summer. On Tuesday, the city’s pilot officially kicked off in the Rockaways, the area around Fordham University in the Bronx, and the North Shore of Staten Island, and to make things more exciting, the city is also offering electric bikes (h/t NY Times). The Uber-owned Jump Bikes is providing dockless electric bikes that can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour with little user effort. The bikes will cost only a dollar or two and can be reserved and paid for in the Uber app.
All the details
Photo via Dan DeLuca on Flickr
In a last-minute move, the city closed a half-mile of Rockaway beach just days before beaches opened for the season on Memorial Day weekend, angering residents and general New Yorkers alike. The 11-block stretch between Beach 91st and Beach 102nd Street is considered the hub of the beach thanks to its proximity to concessions and free parking. The city made the decision due to safety issues from erosion, saying that it might be a years-long process to get it up reopened. However, amNY reports today that Parks Department officials announced that they will reopen the beach on a trial basis on June 30th after deciding with lifeguards that it is, in fact, safe for swimming.
Eleven blocks of Rockaway Beach will be closed this summer due to erosion, but that’s just one setback in a long history of resilience on the peninsula. Four-and-a-half miles of the beach are open right now, with every block steeped in history. The Rockaways ushered Henry Hudson into the New World; Walt Whitman into paradise; Hog Island into oblivion; and the Transatlantic Flight into existence.
As “the brightest jewel within the diadem of imperial Manhattan,” the pristine beaches of the “Queens Riviera” became the preferred summer locale for New York’s most illustrious citizens. Later, the “people’s beach” at Riis Park helped make the Rockaways accessible to more New Yorkers. From, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, to Patti Smith to Robert Mosses, everybody wanted to be at Rockaway Beach.
Get the full history here
Photo via Dan DeLuca on Flickr
Just days before New York City beaches were scheduled to open for the season, officials announced this week that a half-mile stretch of popular Rockaway beach will be closed this summer. The shuttered area spans roughly 11 blocks between Beach 91st and Beach 102nd Streets, considered by some to be the center of the beach. The city closed the section of the beach, previously set to open Saturday, because of safety issues from erosion, the New York Times reported. That particular area of the beach may be closed for many years because there “just isn’t enough space to operate the beach” according to Liam Kavanagh, the first deputy commissioner for the city’s parks department.
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Photo via mamojo
Four outer-borough neighborhoods undeserved by Citi Bike will host dockless bike-share programs this summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. In July, the city’s pilot kicks off in the beach communities of Coney Island and the Rockaways. The Bronx and Staten Island will also have the bike-share program, a first for both boroughs, near Fordham University and on the North Shore. “We are bringing new, inexpensive transportation options to neighborhoods that need them,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Dockless public bike sharing starts this summer, and we’re excited to see how New Yorkers embrace this new service.”
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