The Rockaway Peninsula (to locals, just "Rockaway") is an 11-mile ribbon of land that contains a cluster of beach neighborhoods. It is in southeastern Queens, and is approximately 60 minutes from [Midtown / Union Square] by the A train, or about _____ minutes driving.
The Rockaways began to be a popular summer resort in the 1830s, although its heyday waned just after World War II, in part due to __________. There is [hope of creating a "hipster Hamptons" ...] and in its support there is ______, _______, and ________. ...Post 2010 there was a major resurgence in the Rockaways popularity. Prominent musicians such as Andrew VanWyngarden, co-founder of the band MGMT, purchased a house on the beach. There is even a summer shuttle bus which transports people from Williamsburg to the Rockaways. ... ... Surfers claim that its waves are some of the best on the Eastern seaboard. (In addition, it is one of the only places to be referenced by both Herman Melville (who refers to it in Moby-Dick) and the Ramones.)
However, many of the mansions, hotels, and infrastructure of its heyday as a beach resort have been demolished. And what has been built in its place presents issues which prevents values from rising again easily. Over 7000 bungalows once lined the city's Atlantic shore, in Rockaway. Today, fewer than 500 bungalows remain. (The Bungalows of Rockaway tells the story of the popular resort that flourished for much of the 20th century. the documentary artfully combines hilarious anecdotes of boardwalk life, Marx Brothers' home movies, It's a vivid story of community identity, city politics, architectural design. The Bungalows of Rockaway, the documentary by Jennifer Callahan, is an incisive analysis of urban policy making, and at the same time a vivid and compassionate portrayal of the injustice that a city's misguided policies can play on the lives of its most impoverished citizens." - Robert Caro
Today, there are significant differences between the western and eastern ends of the Rockways.
The western section of the Rockaways (Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Neponsit, and Roxbury) is more affluent, desirable, and safe. In addition, Jacob Riis Park and Fort Tilden are on the western end of the peninsula, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.
While the eastern section, Bayswater and Far Rockaway are regarded as desirable neighborhoods. However, on the whole, the eastern Rockaways (including ______, ______, and ________) have significant concentrations of public housing and crime. According to Urban Omnibus, In the decades after World War II, Rockaway — mostly known for its summer bungalows and public beaches — became the borough’s center of public housing. Although it made up an almost negligible part of Queens’ overall population in its early days, Rockaway came to claim over 50% of the borough’s housing projects. A similar concentration of nursing facilities and group homes for the mentally infirm also developed. To this day, people in Rockaway talk of the city’s unofficial (and all too often, official) policy of using Rockaway as a “dumping ground.”
By 1975, Rockaway (population 100,000) had 57% of all public housing in Queens (population two million). And these were concentrated on the [central and eastern part of the peninsula]. Land in the peninsula was plentiful and cheap. Two of the early housing projects (Edgemere and Arverne), were built on completely empty land and two others (Redfern and Hammels) were constructed in extremely rundown areas. Politics played a key role in the selection of public housing sites. Federal funds were available during the early 1960s for public housing, and pressure was placed by the mayor on the borough president of Queens to choose a site in the borough. Knowing that most communities vigorously opposed public housing, the borough president chose a site that he knew would cause him the least political damage.
Why was it considered a good idea at the time to place high-density housing in a relatively isolated part of New York City without any jobs available for its residents? there was no employment, no play facilities for children, and no services such as health, mental health, dental care or drug rehabilitation. Nearby schools became overcrowded. With slum clearance, families were often moved repeatedly from area to area, creating new slums in the process without any solution at hand. Thus, the Lindsay administration simply bulldozed the 310 acres of beachfront [[Arverne? Edgemere?]], most of which still remains empty as a symbol of neglect and failed policies.
[Edgemere contains one of the largest undeveloped areas ... formerly developed, but since left to ______ and de-mapped ... packs of wild dogs] ...
Rezoning. On August 14, 2008, a drastic rezoning plan was approved by the New York City Council for five communities on the peninsula covering 280 blocks. The communities that were included are Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach, Somerville, Edgemere, and Far Rockaway. The goal of the rezoning plan is to stop overdevelopment in these areas but at the same time allow growth within the context of the neighborhoods. MORE ON THIS, MAPS, ANALYSIS
Flood-prone areas, and devastated by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. INSURANCE ISSUES. MORE
[LIST THE ROCKAWAYS NEIGHBORHOODS ... and then list the other adjacent towns that are not part of the formal NYC Rockaways - East Rockaway is a town in Nassau County rather than a neighborhood of NYC]