The Taste of Rockaway Beach event gets better with each repetition. Not just the food, but the fun vibe of it all–locals out for a beautiful Saturday stroll, mingling with brand new entrepreneurs at places like Rockaway Roasters–a new local alternative to Starbucks on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 93rd Street. Very, very cool! Thanks, Mother Nature, for the end of winter. Thanks to the great local businesses that are making this event a regular happening.
What were your favorite treats? Mine included the eggplant caponata at Whit’s End, buffalo chicken lasagna at Surfside Bagels, curried vegetables at Thai Rock, grandma’s pizza at Elegante, and hot spinach-artichoke dip at Bungalow Bar. And it was a nice touch to add the mini servings of beer and soft drinks. Kudos to Thai Rock for having live entertainment. It was also special to be able to sit on the patio and drink in the late afternoon sun, along with the wine, at Sayra’s.
If you consumed the equivalent of four meals in one afternoon (that’s what it felt like, to me), it’s time for another nice, long walk, to work some of it off. Please join us for Jane’s Walk this coming weekend in Rockaway. This year, I will guide two groups as we “walk, talk and gawk, on the Rock” (all in tribute to famed writer and planning critic, Jane Jacobs). The event occurs around the world, annually, on the weekend before Mother’s Day.
First up, Saturday, May 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is “Fifth Avenue of the Peninsula: Beach 116th Street and Rockaway Park Into the New Century.” Meet in front of the Beach 116 Street train station at 11 a.m., then we’ll return there at 1 p.m. On the walk, we will explore Rockaway Park’s rich history and main street. We’ll view the 1880’s site of the largest hotel in the world, and grand buildings from the first decades of the 20th century, including the Belle Harbor Yacht Club and the Busto mansion. We’ll see the block where two NYC mayors were sworn in, and pause briefly to contemplate the locations of the neighborhood’s most frightening recent historical events. What does the future hold? Let’s walk, talk and gawk on the Rock!
Second walk, Saturday, May 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., is “Jane Jacobs and Fannie Holland: Pioneers of Different Centuries.” Meet at the Doughboy Memorial (Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 94 and Beach 95 Streets) at 2 p.m., then we’ll return there at 4 p.m. Plenty of time to grab refreshments afterwards at local eateries.
Our walk will explore the historic village of Rockaway Beach and what it has become today. We will visit the sites of its earliest hotel, school, churches, police station, courthouse, and hospital. We will pass the sites of historic bungalows and amusement parks. We will conclude with a walk past the present casual food scene. Is Rockaway Beach of today or yesterday a place Jane Jacobs would have liked?
Details on Jane’s Walks throughout New York City (including registration for mine) can be found at http://www.mas.org/janeswalk. If you log in to the map view, each stop on the tours is marked with a pin dot.
Text copyright 2015 Vivian R. Carter. Header photo copyright 2012 Vivian R. Carter. First Jane’s Walk photo in post, copyright 2011 Vivian R. Carter. Other photos used with permission of owners.