There’s an old expression: “all good things must come to an end.” Oy Vey Rockaway, too. I am bidding adieu to my five-year-old blog on the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, which was such a monumental event in my life, and the lives of most Rockawayites. Although I am still a Belle Harbor property owner, I’m no longer on the peninsula full-time. I come here for work engagements and social events a few times a month, but it’s very hard for me to keep up with local news and events well enough to provide intelligent commentary.
In the future, I will write on this website about culture, tourism, and recreation around the five boroughs. Apple of Viv is the new name of my website. I hope you will continue to visit and enjoy the photos and stories I will be posting, soon.
The overwhelming support I received from friends and neighbors made it possible for me to write Images of America: Rockaway Beach, and to personally sell 700 copies of the book (plus the copies sold online and in bookstores). This success helped launch me into leading historical tours, a true passion of mine, these days. In April 2015, I became a licensed New York City sightseeing guide (with a star), and have recently been broadening my research interests beyond the Rock, to other fascinating neighborhoods of Queens (including Jamaica, Flushing, and Broad Channel) and The Bronx (primarily the Norwood and Woodlawn sections). The stories of the pioneers of the outer boroughs continue to fascinate me.
For the past year, I have been leading walking tours; writing stories on culture, tourism and recreation for an award-winning Bronx non-profit newspaper, Norwood News; selling advertising; and teaching design workshops, all across Brooklyn and Queens, to the upper reaches of Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester County. Some days I drive 70 miles round-trip across the city, to do a one-hour after-school program or a two-hour walking tour. Most days I long to be riding in a helicopter instead of a Honda Civic Hybrid, but I love all of the interesting and important work I do.
Lately, I often miss the peaceful isolation of life in Rockaway during the off-season. But I’m fine without the turf wars, the transit battles, and the phony “local leaders.” Digging more into the history of the peninsula takes me backward, which is how I can contribute my best efforts toward improving its future.
Text copyright 2015 Vivian R. Carter. Beach wall photo copyright 2013 Vivian R. Carter. Header and cemetery photo copyright 2011 Vivian R. Carter. All other photos copyright 2015 Vivian R. Carter.
I see I’m about 3 years late, but I wanted to reach out and inquire about Methodist Cemetery at the corner of Liberty & Guy Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica. I’m a student at York college and just recently became interested in the local cemeteries here after seeing this particular cemetary being unkempt and used as a landfill these past few years. It is such a shame. I think its important for the city to take responsibility for this and maintain these cemetaries. I would be interested in knowing how to go about doing this. If you dont ever see this message, maybe I’ll be able to connect with you another way.
Thanks for reaching out. You can also send me a message on twitter to @rockawayvivian. I also have a Facebook page under my name, Vivian Carter. If you have a Facebook page, you could friend me. It has been a slow process, but I have located several descendants of the Holland and Leech families and went with one of them to the church in Jamaica that owns the cemetery near York. I also convened a meeting with NYC Parks, Greater Jamaica Development, and York College officials, back in 2013. That was not effective because we need the church’s involvement. We are trying, and more supporters would be great!