A Brooklyn Girl’s Guide To Sunday: Chilly Days on Rockaway Beach
I love the beach in the winter, even when there’s sand in my sneakers and my hands are wind-whipped and red. As most people that know me know, I’m usually out there in my full-on parka, jacket, and a hat. I might not make it that long but I do make it out to the beach each winter. So here’s a little summer flashback: Luckily, I have a mom who loves the beach as much as I do, and is always down for a little weekday adventure. I’ve loved Rockaway Beach since I was a sophomore in college and spending the summer, and most breaks, alone in the city. I had more than a little bit of extra free time with most of my friends at home and an internship that involved a lot of doing things I could do with one eye closed and probably one hand if I wanted to. The subway out to Rockaway is far, but its actually faster than you think. It isn’t like you’re magically in Hawaii, but the longer you spend wandering around the streets up there the more familiar you get with it and the more charmed you become.
Maybe it’s because there are freestanding houses in Rockaway Beach, or because they did a really beautiful job reconstructing the boardwalk that now has a vibe that is very much site-specific to the far Rockaways. It feels like a “land’s end” of New York, where you can imagine having some small light-filled house and living a capsule life that involves waking up and looking at the beach every morning. Patti Smith does actually have a house there, so that just helps perfect the vision. My mom and I drove out there one day, basically in search of an empty beach and a few hours out of the city, and what we discovered was a nice place with rich tacos, fresh smoothies, and really, really cold water. Even if you live in a city, it isn’t summer without a few beach days, however weird and far between they are.