226 W 150th st.
45 W 139th St
40 Pinehurst Ave.
Photo By: Mathew Henry
by Dan Cohen
Whew. I don’t know if you all have noticed, but it is BLAZING out there! It has been one of those special weeks where walking the streets of NYC feels more like swimming through warm pea soup and the hot, humid air caresses you like a smelly old sponge. It is times like this that I often find myself pining for my native California, where even on hot days there usually is a nice cooling breeze blowing off of the Pacific ocean and I could always grab my board and wet-suit and go for a refreshing, invigorating surf session! Even though the famous breaks of Malibu or Santa Cruz are a little out of reach these days, my California dreamin’ may not be as far-fetched a fantasy as city saturated New Yorkers may think…
There are so many of us from someplace else who now call New York home. From all corners of the country and the globe, folks flock here. Indeed, one of the most exciting aspects of living in New York is the incredible diversity of people who now make it home, and it is common to feel as though one has the opportunity to travel and participate in the diversity of the globe without ever leaving the confines of the city. But the city does have its limits, because as much variety as one can find in culture, cuisine, arts, language, architecture and more, the truth is that life in New York can often feel like it is all city all the time. For those of you, like me, who grew up with an abundance of open space, horizons, and teeming nature, all of the vertical planes, right angles, and hard surfaces can start to feel overwhelming and imprisoning after a while. Sometimes you just need to be able to get to a beach and lose yourself in the vastness of an ocean. But getting all the way out to Long Island or the Jersey Shore can be such a project, what with finding transportation and fighting crowds, it may feel like more trouble than it is worth. Fortunately, for those of us who live in upper Manhattan on the West side there is an easy solution: take the A train to Far Rockaway!
The Rockaways feature great beaches that generally aren’t as crowded or hectic as the more popular Long Island stretches of coastline, friendly residents who value the slower pace of beachside living, and my favorite part, a fantastic surf break at Beach 90th st. I’m a bit of a surf snob, having grown up in Northern CA, but when conditions are right there is a great wave that peels off the jetty. As good as many spots you would find in Southern California, it’s just a subway ride away! Also, the area boasts a thriving community of dedicated surfers and plenty of surf shops where you can rent equipment or take a lesson. From Harlem or Washington Heights you may be looking at an hour and a half or so on the train, but for the low cost and convenience it is more than worth the ride to make your California Dream come true without ever leaving the city!
Before you hop the A to Rockaway take a look at the surf cam to check current conditions: Surflight
Looking for a rental or a lesson? Take a look here: Surf Lesson New York 101
Sandy left her mark on the Rockaways, but the recovery is on and the waves are still pumping! New York Times
Dan is a senior agent at BRG and specializes in finding unique properties throughout upper Manhattan.