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Thursday
Jun092011

Summer's here: lean back and do the Rockaway!

Earlier last week, my friend, Jeremy, suggested that we hit the beach at some point during the weekend.  Having just returned from Southern California, determined to maintain my subtle tan, I jumped at the idea of "picking up where I had left off," if you will.  We went back and forth between Sandy Hook (in NJ), Long Beach (on Long Island), Orchard Beach (in the Bronx), and Rockaway Beach (in Queens) before finally deciding on Orchard Beach. 

Both of us were looking forward to our beach excursion in the Bronx until we realized what a pain in the tuckus it would be to get out there - not to mention how long it would take (upwards of 2-hours).  The directions basically read like this, "take a subway to xyz...get off and walk 20-minutes to the bus stop.  Take the bus, then walk another 20-minutes to the entrance of the park.  Hop on the back of an orangoutang, who will take you to a tree swing and push you across a river.  From there, you will be met by a unicorn who will sprinkle fairy dust on your back and fly you over the Cross Bronx Expressway.  Finally, you'll hitch-hike to the beach..."

Ugh.  No thanks.

Ultimately, we chose Rockaway Beach, instead of Orchard.  Not quite the shortest of treks, either, but the directions were definitely less intimidating and our mass transit options were more concise and familiar (subway, that's it). 

Here are my personal directions, which have been tweaked per my experience.  This will get you to Rockaway Beach quicker and leave you in the best possible span to begin your day on the water:

*We left Manhattan just before noon and arrived at the beach at approximately 1:30pm.

  • Take the FAR ROCKAWAY - MOTT AVE bound A train to BROAD CHANNEL STATION
  •  Get off of the A train @ BROAD CHANNEL STATION and transfer to the S train
  • Take the ROCKAWAY PK-BEACH 116TH ST bound S train to BEACH 98TH ST STATION
  • Get off of the S train and exit the station
  • Walk to Beach 96th Street - head in direction of the ocean
  • Walk towards water or, if hungry, to Rockaway Taco :)

Our first order of business upon arrival?  Lunch at Rockaway Taco, conveniently located on Beach 96th Street, of course!  See, there was a reason behind my "tweaked directions," above!

"Cukes," or cucumbers and, in this instance, jicama and mango, are marinated in a spicy bath of chile and limeTaco duo (one beef, one crispy fish), plus homemade chips and salsa, soda popAfter a great lunch - Rockaway Taco isn't Southern California, but it's about as good as a beach-side taco shop gets in New York - J and I headed towards Rockaway Beach's boardwalk and, ultimately, the beach.  I was incredibly surprised to pass the likes of Caracas Arepa Bar, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Babycakes, among other off-shoots of reputable, established restaurants and bakeries in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  You know, places where you couldn't find a "fried clam" on the menu to save your life.  Is it just me not having been outdoors in a while, or are beach side kiosks - serving high quality, edible food - just an isolated phenomenon at Rockaway Beach?  Whatever the case may be, this is reason enough to warrant many return visits this summer. 

If you're used to the Hamptons and/or have an aversion to children, teenagers, or being adjacent to one of the world's busiest airports (ahem, JFK), then you'd probably hate Rockaway Beach.  However, if you have somewhat of a tolerance for the above and are able to see a beach for what it is - sand, water, sun - then you'll be A-OK.

Shell-strewn sandWhat's not to love?~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

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Reader Comments (1)

A&W FTW!!!

June 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Sizzlewick

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