Friday, July 22, 2011

Lifestyle: Swimming At Rockaway Beach, New York

"It's not hard, not far to reach. We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach".  Oh, how I envy the New Yorkers. They need just a subway ride to get to a nice beach, the Rockaway Beach, as the Ramones song from 1977 tells. And this getaway could also lure visitors, at least as long as the current heat wave with temperatures as high as 100 F (38 C) lasts.

Take the subway A train in the direction of Far Rockaway,  you can change at Broad Channel to the shuttle which goes over a bridge to the Rockaway Peninsula (part of the New York City borough of Queens  wikipedia.Rockaway Beach). From Manhattan you can calculate with around 1 1/ 2 hours commuting time.

From the subway station you need to walk only a few yards to reach the waterfront. But because it can be very crowded there, I would recommend seeking a place farther away from the subway station. There are a lot of places to choose. Either way, this is New York City`s largest beach and is 7 miles long, with a boardwalk that goes 5,5 miles.

On a sunny weekday my girlfriend and I took a bus westwards to Jacob Riis Park  wikipedia.Jacob_Riis_Park. There the beach was almost empty and we could see a lot more birds than people. The sand is soft but can get very hot. If you don´t have an education as a fakir you should consider wearing sandals or other beach footwear.

The surf was calm and friendly. We could easily play with the waves, sometimes the water rolled over us, but the sea was not too aggressive.

If you get hungry & thirsty you will find plenty of places to take care of that. We chose the "Bungalow Bar and Restaurant" on the opposite water front (377 Beach 92nd Street, Rockaway Beach, NY 11694  thebungalowbarnyc). We enjoyed sitting on their outdoor deck overlooking the so called Jamaica Bay. We watched departing airplanes from the nearby JFK airport. And we saw lot of birds, mostly seagulls, but also kinds who hunted like hawks (maybe diving petrels wikipedia.Diving Petrel). They fell from the sky straight into the water, trying to catch some fish, and then quickly rose again into the air.

While watching the maritime scenery we enjoyed a collection of oysters, and later had fish & noodle dishes. Their chef doesn`t have any prestigious star, but the meals were generous and tasty. They also serve a variety of drinks, for example Blue Moon beer, which was very refreshing, and they also had an acceptable Chardonnay.

There aren`t many better ways to spend a hot day in the summer.

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