Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Morning in Rockaway Park: Breakfast at the Beach

This morning, before 8 a.m., we got on the J train at Marcy Avenue and took it to Broadway Junction, transferred to a Far Rockaway-bound A train at Broadway Junction, and at Broad Channel, we got the S shuttle.
The subway ride over Jamaica Bay is always beautiful, and we got off at Beach 105th Street/Seaside, where both sets of our grandparents lived, starting in the mid-1960s after they tore down our summer bungalows in Arverne.
Our grandparents Herbert and Ethel Sarrett lived at 103-00 Shore Front Parkway, apartment 10N, at the Dayton Towers West Mitchell-Lama (subsidized) co-op; their terrace faced the beach.
We lived here a lot (alone, our last summer there, in 1991, which we've chronicled in our book Last Summer in Rockaway.
Our grandparents Nathan and Sylvia Ginsberg lived at 1 Beach 105th Street, apartment 11F, which was a luxury rental. Their terrace looked out at the ocean, too, but from an angle. Grandpa Nat had the first parking space facing the ocean, which seemed a perk but really meant the right side of the car would get corroded by the salt air.
Our great-aunt and great-uncle, Tillie and Morris Metz, lived in 102-00 Shore Front Parkway, apartment 2P, facing Beach 102nd Street. Aunt Tillie lived there until she died around 1995, and then we lost our family connection to Rockaway Park, but we still feel connected to this place.
And we're glad that hipsters have discovered how great it is.
The cool places to eat by Beach 106th weren't open when we got there, but we'd brought our breakfast with us from Brooklyn and enjoyed it on a bench overlooking the sand and the Atlantic and the sky.
There were no lifeguards at this early hour, nor many people on the beach.
As we walked to Beach 116th Street to get the Q35 back to Brooklyn
(we'd take the bus to its last stop at the Junction/Brooklyn College,
get on the 5 train to the Atlantic/"Barclays Center" terminal,
walk around to the G train stop at Fulton and Lafayette Streets, take it to Broadway and walk the four blocks home),
we noticed some beautiful plants and wildflowers on the bay side of the boardwalk.
Wow, look at those flowers. We're grateful to be able to look at, if not smell, these flowers be on the beach in Rockaway in the 62nd summer of our lives.

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