Rockaway Beach is coming to an end soon, and I thought I should share some things that I've learned.
1. Don't wear a fancy sun hat on the beach, especially after 2PM. The wind dramatically picks up and you will find yourself chasing your stylish chapeau as it rapidly travels across the hipster landscape. Nothing can ruin an afternoon more than pale tattooed fedora-sporting men snickering at your attempts to remain dignified while running unevenly in the sand.
2. While most people learn that "frozens" are lovely alcoholic slushies served at the local watering hole Connolly's on B95th Street, the most important word to have in your arsenal is "floater." Ask for one with your frozen and the bartender will top it off with a shot of rum. Oh, my!
4. "Skelly" is a word that you will hear the locals using a lot. It is often used as an adjective and means unhygienic. A "skell" is a really unhygienic individual who is basically a bottom feeder. So when a local calls you a skell, you can bet it is not a compliment.
5. EVERY food stand on the boardwalk is a cash-only business. So be sure to bring a few greenbacks with you to the beach. But you don't need a lot of money. $20 can get you a meal (average price is $6-7), a drink (sangria slushie from Low Tide Bar is $8), and a dessert (a small Italian ice from DiCosmo's is $2.50).
7. Rockaway Beach is the longest urban beach in the United States. I am stating this because I've heard it a thousand times while eavesdropping on some painful conversations. And I've regurgitated this fact to many friends who have come to visit me here. Impressive, isn't it?
Which means that the best way to get around the boardwalk is by bike because, well, it's the longest urban beach in the United States. Just be sure that the tires have air in them and that your seat is springy. It's a bumpy ride! And be sure to bring a lock because bicycles tend to get stolen. (It's still the city, after all.)
9. Even though JFK International Airport is less than a ten minute drive away, the sound of airplanes does not dominate the sky. But if you do look up for a long stretch of time, you can spot the airplanes coming through the clouds one at a time as they prepare to land. And it can be as soothing as counting sheep, especially if you are preparing for a midday beach siesta.
Rockaway Taco is like Zelig. (I don't have a picture of him, but you'll know who I'm talking about.) You will see him everywhere--and be comforted by it! He's a friendly bloke and will wave back if you wave at him first. Try it. You'll like it. And you'll probably go to Rockaway Taco more because of it. Oh, wait. No. You'll go to Rockaway Taco because it's absolutely delicious!