You might not remember but we had some beautiful weather this past weekend. Perfect for beaching. And Rockaway Beach is like 20 min from my house. So the Shakeout, Art Music and Taco Festival was a no-brainer, a quick shave and I'm on my way!
Rockaway, especially Far Rockaway gets a lot of guff. As teenagers we used to take the Q54 all the way down Cross Bay to Beach 116. Young girls in bathing suits equals sexual harassment on the most primal level. So when we were old enough to drive we headed all the way out to Atlantic or Jones Beach on Long Island for some peaceful sunbathing. But I have been back in recent years and its an absolutely gorgeous beach.
Let's face, it the Rockaways can be rough, anyone visiting can see that, lots of condemned houses and people you don't really want to mess with. But the area is experiencing an artist/surfer/hipster revival and justly so because its some of the most should-be treasured coastline in NY.
In one wide angle shot I could have taken the most telling snapshot of "gentrification." The low setting sun warmly lit one side of the street where a hipster taco stand and tanner than usual Williamsburgers stood around eating fish tacos, while on the shaded side of the street locals were grilling in the front driveway of their run down apartment buildings and barefoot beach kids played ball. But I am a paranoid New Yorker and I didn't bring my camera to Rockaway; I couldn't leave it unattended on the beach while I went swimming! Crappy iphone pics disclaimer to follow.
Yes, I said fish tacos, from Rockaway Taco and they were really delicious. Perfect. The fish was fried exquisitely, nice and warm on a really tasty soft taco. The mayo was more mayo flavored than I would have liked. I wanted it to be a little spicier. They were topped with perfect fresh guacamole and some crispy radishes. There was also a tofu and chorizo tacos, plus tamales and grilled corn.
As a side I had really simple and delicious cucumbers with lime and hot chili peppers. To drink: hibiscus tea. Such a perfect snack after a relaxing day at the beach.
More on the actual beach. When I head to Rockaway these days, I have a secret blissful spot that I go to. Sorry if I told you, you know what I'd have to do to you. So when I went to Beach 96 I was taken aback by how short the beach was. I'd never seen anything like it. The distance between the boardwalk and the water is no more than 30 feet! This was not a big deal for the New Englander I spoke to, who was accustomed to such a thing, but as a child I inherited the nightmare of tidal waves from my mother, and it was at this very short beach where these recurrent dreams took place. I was visiting my dreams in real life. Frightening.