ROXBURY, FORT TILDEN, BREEZY POINT, Queens

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BY SERGEY KADINSKY
Forgotten NY contributor

The Rockaway Peninsula of Queens never disappoints an urban explorer. Physically separated from the rest of New York City by water, it often feels like a forgotten sixth borough. The borough’s southwestern tip, Breezy Point is a collection of gated communities, military history, and unspoiled nature. Without a special parking pass, my only options here are either walking or biking. After parking my car in Roxbury, I explored this quiet cape.

 

Roxbury

 

Roxbury is bound on three sides by public parkland, and the Rockaway Inlet to its north. It is one of the three communities affiliated with the Breezy Point Cooperative, which runs the gated communities of the peninsula’s tip. The public parkland is the Gateway National Recreation Area, and any private lands inside the park are designated as inholdings. This includes Roxbury, Rockaway Point and Breezy Point.

The neighborhood was founded in the early 20th century by Irish immigrants as a bungalow colony on a peninsula full of bungalows. While most bungalow colonies were replaced with housing projects and empty lots, the huts of Roxbury became year-round, kept their Irishness, and continue to prosper in their isolation.

 

Since Roxbury is a private community, many official NYC street maps present an inaccurate rendering of the street layout, but Google comes as close to reality as possible. The community is located along Rockaway Point Boulevard (State Road) north of Fort Tilden west of the Marine Parkway (Gil Hodges) Bridge.

 

Sand is everywhere. While the demographics describe Roxbury as one of the city’s whitest neighborhoods, there is plenty of individuality expressed on the homes, with diverse decorating tastes. But we’ll talk more about race later.

 

New York is often criticized by some middle Americans as a secular, liberal hotspot. But in Roxbury is different. Its devotion to religion and patriotism give the impression of a Norman Rockwell painting. Local vehicles wear their beliefs on their fenders. They also carry special permit stickers to park in the area.

 

Roxbury has its own regulation street signs, and like its parent city, some of its streets have been honorifically renamed for prominent local heroes. Bayside Avenue (below) fronts an expansive beach on Rockaway Inlet, with views of the Marine Parkway Bridge. In the distance beyond the flagpole are the apartment projects of Coney Island, a world away from Roxbury. Resisting the street numbering grid of the peninsula, only Beach 181 and Beach 184 Street were admitted into Roxbury.

 

Feimer Promenade (left), Roxbury Avenue

 

Glazed tiles are a popular method of designating addresses. With very narrow lots, some homes are expanding upward, but how far can they go before regulations step in? State Road is the continuation of Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which is the spine for much of the peninsula.

 

It’s an endless highway between Beach 184th and 193rd Streets. While most of Fort Tilden has been reclaimed by nature, a small US Army Reserve Center keeps ties to the park’s past. A flag hangs on every lamppost. The first fort on the peninsula was Fort Decatur, a blockhouse built in 1814, to guard against possible British raids. A year later, it was abandoned after the U.S. and Great Britain made peace. It was located near present-day Beach 137th Street, which marked the peninsula’s western tip at the time.

 

Fort Tilden

The grounds of the former military base have been reclaimed by nature since its decommissioning in 1974. Former streets now ramble through thick shrubbery. From the top of Battery Harris East, the Marine Parkway Bridge dominates the view. Built in 1937, the bridge could be lifted to 150 feet above water, anticipating a major Jamaica Bay seaport that was never built. The bridge’s name anticipated a waterfront parkway that was also never finished.

 

Resembling an overgrown hilltop, the defunct battery offers sweeping views of the tip. Hardly a building in sight, it’s hard to believe that this scene is within New York City limits.

 

The underbelly of the fort offers enticing urban exploring opportunities, but my fear of strangers lurking got the best of me, and I decided not to venture further.

 

The Silver Gull Club is the only address on Beach 193rd Street, an empty boulevard once destined for high rise housing in the 1960s. By 1979, local opposition killed the project, and the concrete building skeletons were demolished. The land on both sides of this street is now part of a larger nature preserve. As for the club, it sits at the end of the street, with its own private oceanfront beach, swimming pool, and cabanas overlooking the shore. Adult membership is $480 per year.

 

On the Beach

While it is easy to walk the mile from Fort Tilden to the Rockaway Point jetty, signs everywhere remind travelers that is land belongs to a private co-op. The private land is tucked inside the National Park land, grandfathered for private use, because it predates the park.

The tip continues to move westward, shaped by currents. But in the 20th century, the sand was sculpted by jetties, to prevent it from clogging Rockaway Inlet. In 1935, the line was drawn with a half mile-long jetty, preventing the borough of Queens from extending further west. As a result, the sand is now expanding towards the south. Since 1960, more than 100 acres of new land has been naturally added to Breezy Point, and there was a court case to decide whether the new land belongs to the private community or the federal government. In 1982, a federal court ruled for the Breezy Point Cooperative.

 

This Google aerial view shows undeveloped dunes on the southern edge of the cooperative. Those formed after 1960, and a decision was made not to build on them. The outline of the older shoreline forms the southern edge of the Rockaway Point neighborhood.

On the western edge is the square grid of the Breezy Point community. The large parking lot beyond Beach 222nd Street belongs to the Breezy Point Surf Club. Its address is 1 Beach 227th Street, the last street number on the peninsular grid. Membership for a single adult costs $910. A guest must be invited by a member and fork over $50 for a day’s use of the facilities. The rates seem more Hamptons than Rockaway.

On the eastern edge is the nature preserve that was once slated for high rise housing.

 

Where Queens Ends

 

 

A humble beacon marks the tip of Rockaway peninsula. In contrast to some of the city’s other major capes, there is no dramatic lighthouse to mark this spot. The city has a few of them, including Norton’s Point in Brooklyn, Jeffries Hook in Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and one that defines a book publisher in the Bronx.

The mighty Ambrose Channel separates Rockaway Point from the highlands of New Jersey. Before the last Ice Age, the Hudson River carved a canyon into the continental shelf, but as the sea level rose, the valley was flooded, creating the channel and Lower New York Bay. In 1902, Congress named this channel after John Wolfe Ambrose (1838-1899), a proponent of dredging the channel. A 19th century master builder, Ambrose built the 6th Avenue El, pneumatic tubes for Western Union, streets in Harlem, and docks in Brooklyn.

The jetty (below) separates the beach from the Lower New York Bay. Across the channel, the New Jersey highlands end at Sandy Hook. On the left, the breakers are made for surfing, but on the right are the calmer waters of the bay. At the tip, the sand deposits shells, arrowheads, and debris that floated westward with the current, captured by the jetty.

 

Everything appears cramped together, with all of Coney Island framed by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The hills of Staten Island appear on the left. The waters are calm because between Rockaway Point and Coney Island lies the East Bank, a shoal with a minimum depth of only 4 feet below the surface. The waves in the middle of the picture are crashing above the shoal, which is surrounded by dredged channels.

 

Breezy Point has a fire control tower from the Second World War, designed to keep Nazi submarines out of Jamaica Bay. It has since gained a new life as a symbol of the Breezy Point Cooperative.

Besides its privacy, the neighborhood is also known as the city’s whitest enclave, with some 98 percent of its residents descended from European immigrants. In a 1991 protest outside Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes’ summer house, Rev. Al Sharpton described Breezy Point as an “apartheid village.” Residents argue that the reason for the whiteness isn’t racism as much as a low vacancy rate, which gives the few available homes to friends and relatives of existing longtime residents. Like any Manhattan co-op, applicants for Breezy Point must be recommended by existing members, meet certain income guidelines, have a clean crime record, and receive final approval by the co-op’s Board of Directors.

 

While the memorial in downtown Manhattan slowly inches towards completion, other city communities have designed their own tributes to the local residents who perished. Because Breezy Point had a sizable contingent of police officers and firefighters, it felt a disproportionate impact from the attack. Like the Staten Island 9/11 memorial, this one also faces towards the site of the World Trade Center, atop a dune, with corners for private reflection and personalized memorials to the 24 local residents killed on that day.

Some of the names have Celtic crosses, testifying to the area’s deep Irish identity. Breezy Point even has its own Pipes & Drums ensemble.

 

As with the Roxbury street map, the Breezy Point street layout has been somewhat couched in mystery for outsiders, given its private nature, and retail street maps have this given only a general idea. Using satellite info, Google has approached near total accuracy.

 

The only road open to outsiders is Rockaway Point Boulevard. All other streets have electronic gates to keep strangers away. Sand is everywhere, and only a few hardy trees can make it here. For a city as large and populated as New York, there are relatively few gated neighborhoods to be found. It feels egalitarian for anyone to have the same opportunity to park on Manhattan’s Park Avenue. The city also has a few private neighborhoods that are not gated, such as Fieldston and Forest Hills Gardens, where outsiders can drive, but not park. Parking on Breezy Point Boulevard is restricted to invited guests and residents.

 

The King of All Buildings is never out of view, seen from the parking lot of the venerable Kennedy’s Restaurant, which has been feeding local residents since 1910. It was originally a casino. Like Roxbury, “Breezy” and “The Point” also have beaches on the bay. The postcard below is from the restaurant’s website, showing its early incarnation, which included a ferry dock.

 

Roxbury and Rockaway Point have their own volunteer fire companies, security force, ambulances, bus system, water distribution, garbage collection, parks, and road maintenance. All the trappings of an independent village inside the city, paid by the dues of its residents. City buses do not serve The Point, and a subsidized ferry service was cancelled on July 2, 2010 after only 2 difficult years. Its private bus system costs $1.

 

The Origin of Breezy Point

The gated co-op was born in a revolt in 1960, when the Atlantic Improvement Company purchased the peninsula’s tip, threatening to replace bungalows with high-rise projects. A mix of political clout, relentless protests, and lawsuits forced the city to compensate the building company, and the remaining undeveloped land was incorporated into Gateway National Recreation Area in 1974. At the time, President Richard Nixon was reaching out to cities with urban national parks. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area was created that same year in San Francisco. But the skeletons of the projects was already complete, standing forlorn until they were taken down in 1979. Over the years, the co-op continued to fight in court to keep its land off-limits to outsiders, even as it is tucked inside a national park, inside the country’s most populated city.

 

The administrative center of the three-community co-op is a strip mall with offices above its stores. Across the street, there is a small community garden reminiscent of a village square. Even here, parking is restricted only to residents and guests.

 

Like Roxbury and Breezy Point, Rockaway Point also features the co-op’s signature entrance sign with a heavy accompaniment of patriotism.

As long as its vacancy rates remain low, guest fees remain high, and threatening “private property” signs remain up, few New Yorkers will dare trespass into this unspoiled tip of Queens, and that’s just how the residents would like it.

The entrance carries on the mix of patriotism and privacy. A blessing stands alongside a warning to potential trespassers.

Like Roxbury and Breezy Point, Rockaway Point also features the co-op’s signature entrance sign with a heavy accompaniment of patriotism.

As long as its vacancy rates remain low, guest fees remain high, and threatening “private property” signs remain up, few New Yorkers will dare trespass into this unspoiled tip of Queens, and that’s just how the residents would like it.

The entrance carries on the mix of patriotism and privacy. A blessing stands alongside a warning to potential trespassers.

Sources:

“Behind Closed Gates” By Shane Dixon Cavanaugh. The Architect’s Newspaper 3/10/2010

“New Beach Land Poses Issue For a Gated Town in Queens” By Norimitsu Onishi. New York Times 8/25/1997

“Between Ocean and City” By Lawrence Kaplan and Carol P. Kaplan. Columbia University Press 2003

“Old Rockaway, New York, in Early Photographs” By Vincent Seyfried and William Asadorian. Dover Publications. 2000

Page completed December 12, 2010

Forgotten NY contributor Sergey Kadinsky is a freelance writer, teacher, tour guide and photographer. sergey.kadinsky@gmail.com, twitter.com/#!/sergeykadinsky

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49 Responses to ROXBURY, FORT TILDEN, BREEZY POINT, Queens

  1. Ethel Menhart says:

    Hi, I hail from Staten Island, where the beaches don’t compare to the Rockaway coastline, big waves, gorgeous surf, just wondering if there is any possiblilty for a mere mortal to purchase a little bungalow out there in Breezy Point……….just wondering………..!!

    • Pat Corral says:

      you have to know at least three people who already live down here

    • christine says:

      It’s a coop like any other: you have to get recommendations from at least three shareholders in good standing and pass an interview with the board. There’s also some pretty tough restrictions on mortgages and how much you can carry.

      • Gerry says:

        Yes, three references from exhisting owners are still required, But alas, some unscrupulous real-estate sales people actually pay people to give one to strangers just to complete the sale.

        • k says:

          If the community is so private why are you able to drive right into it without even being stopped at the toll booth. You can walk through the beach club attached to Tilden without even a glance. You’re able to buy a parking permit to drive out to the tip year round which, once there, can walk the beaches all you want. And, for a “private” community that everyone holds so much pride in, their beaches are just as dirty as public Coney Island. There’s all the washed up plastics, including a slew of tampons and debris as far as the eye can see. They’re don’t only discriminate against people of color, but also white people they can’t quite place “must be Russian”. It’s Queens people… not the Hamptons, get over yourself.

  2. Mike Ghelardi says:

    My granfather, Zeb Ghelardi, was a founding member of Breezy Point Surf Club, and we had a cabana with ocean views until my uncle died in the 70′s. He was a construction and hotel guy, and we enjoyed the club as kids, although it was more like an Irish social club. Still, everyone was friendly, and it was close by home in Prospect Park South to get to the beach, and have a civilized day in the sun.

  3. Pat Corral says:

    I am from breezy point and we have something we call a D.F.D. which means your not from breezy and its obvious especially hipsters’ (hate them) don’t bother coming down

    • Kevin Walsh says:

      Is anybody allowed in Breezy? Like, guys like me skulking about with cameras?

      • christine says:

        Kevin, not really. Unless you’re there as a guest you’re actually trespassing on private property. Visitors who don’t know any residents are allowed to get a pass and park to eat/drink at the bars and restaurants, but that’s all you can do without being invited.

    • Duly Noted says:

      I am NOT from Breezy Point, but wanted to let you know the 1950s are over, and now, so is Breezy Point – New York’s most white/most catholic/most racist nabe – since that massive fire engulfed your all-white suburban mecca beyond the redlined urban badlands. Burn, baby, burn…

      • Kevin Walsh says:

        Hostile, much?

      • Kathy Krueger says:

        It is a beautiful neighborhood to live in. I grew up there, still nice because people like you aren’t approved to live there. We only allow civilized people. That is why your type isn’t welcome there! That is how a neighborhood keeps its value. I can tell you the people there would help you if it was your area destroyed. People like you waste air.

      • Debbie says:

        I grew up in Roxbury/Breezy Point. I have family that lost everything in that fire. Aside from all that, how could anyone be so callous to wish devestation upon anyone? Not a very kind attitude to have, regardless of your race, ethnicity, political views, or anything else. We are all human…or perhaps, you are not. Shame on you!

        • Ferrandino says:

          Our grandparents, parents, family, friends, etc….still have homes / bungalows in Roxbury, it was a blessing to have spent my summers in such a beautiful place & now our children!

          “Generational Years” of a “Private” beautiful quiet beach town with a lot of love!

          In the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit, AMEN<
          God Bless Breezy Point / Roxbury & the beautiful people that live there!
          The Ferrandino Family

      • Rosena says:

        seriously Duly ??? Breezy Point is not over…….that’s right the most catholic with 3 Roman Catholic churches in a community of ~ 2600 homes. A strong community that from your comments it is obvious you would not pass the Cooperative Board interview . we prefer people with 1950′s morales and family values that you mock………
        and we are not suburban we are in the borough of QUEENS !!! we are a beach community if you want to label us.

      • Mike says:

        I love the hostility. Best part is most are rebuilding with YOUR tax money. Therefore Breezy just got better and you are still not welcome there. HAHAHA

        I live there and lost everything. But now thanks to several programs my house is 95% done with a few new additions and a sweet fire pit. Burn babt burn indeed lol

    • Rosena says:

      even DFD have to have a pass !

  4. Krista Weismair Hemric says:

    Hello,

    My grandparents lived in Breezy Point from the early 1930′s until their death in the early 90′s. Unfortunately, my mom and her sisters sold their bungalow which (I was told) was replaced by some McMansion. I spent summers down in Breezy during the 70′s and 80′s, walking down the boardwalk with our “California Boogie Boards” protecting our heads from the nesting mother birds and waking up to the cries of, “Paaaaapaaaarrrr” from the paperboy. I was wondering if the Sugar Bowl, with its sandy floor, candy, and ice cream was still there. I’d love to see pictures if anyone has any.

    • Debbie says:

      Aw, Krista, my Dad sold my grandparent’s bungalow when grandma passed in 1995. Same story, new McMansion. Happily, it was the neighbor’s kid two doors down that bought it. Miss the place dearly. I remember those vicious gulls and terns attacking while we would run for our lives from the Surf Club. My aunt’s place just burned to the ground in this hurricane. So sad. Don’t know about the Sugar Bowl, but I hope that it and Kennedys were spared.

    • christine says:

      The Bowl was unfortunately demolished in Sandy: all that’s left is the concrete footings, the roof, and the entrance to the outdoor table area… Someone did salvage some of the walls of pictures though! Kennedy’s is still standing but has been completely destroyed inside.

  5. Deborah says:

    My great-grandparents were among those original Roxbury squatters, who turned their camps into bungalows and their bungalows into, well, other, better bungalows.

    My grandparents lived there with their six kids every summer, and some years year-round, winterization be damned.

    My mom learned to swim the day her father tossed her out of a boat in Jamaica Bay. My first taste of saltwater was there, under ah, less dire circumstances. So was my daughter’s. How many Mardi Gras kids’ parades did my mom make us costumes for? How loudly did we cheer for the Gladiolas as they marched past?

    I love knowing that Roxbury exists pretty much as it always has. My sister and I might never be fortunate enough to live there, but we’re grateful that we have relatives who do. And we know how lucky we are to have that sand, that water, and that community in our blood.

  6. sherry jones says:

    wow, if you do not want or care to let anyone except your own kind live in Breezy Point, then i sure hope that you dont want or need anyone’s financial support to rebuild Breezy Point. Why should tax payers rebuild a community that they are told to KEEP OUT, WE ARE NOT WELCOMED!!!!!!!!

    • Kevin Walsh says:

      I imagine this was a response to Mr./Ms. Corral’s comment.

    • Gina says:

      Breezy Pointers pay the same taxes as all of New York State AND New York City pay. They do pay extra to keep the Volunteer Fire Dept. Facilities, and the grounds maintenance & sports fields in nice shape for usage.

    • ROSENA says:

      Actually it is our home owners insurance policies, FEMA and fundraisers that are assisting us to repair. $$$ that was given to NY was not given directly to ANY ONE PERSON . So not exactly sure how tax dollars pay for anything related to Sandy ?? If it was not for our strong sense of community and volunteer organizations like Habitat for community we would not be able to REBUILD. Because if you think that we set up roadblocks to try and keep our sense of community….. think how hard it is to get an insurance company to pay out or get money from the government. …..and if “our kind” is hard working middle class people well then proud to be “that kind” . Funny how no one is offended when they cannot enter an coop apartment building without being met by the doorman and have to be announce and buzzed up….but stopping at a gated community security booth is a problem. BTW Brooklyn and Long Island both have many gated communities…… and private beaches…..

  7. K andersen says:

    I spent summers in the fiftes at Breezy. It was a wonderful, free existence and those days are still among the happiest of my life.

  8. Wells says:

    I remember many sunny days spent topless on the beach at Riis Park. Jewish lesbians playing volleyball across the bay from Breezy Point. Restricted, they told me. Still? How ’bout now?

    • Bible says:

      Still RESTRICTED!

      Bless me father, for I have sinned!

      • Peggy in Roxbury says:

        This is one place of the FEW PLACES LEFT, particularly in this city, where there are ordinary working people — mostly CITY WORKERS (cops, firefighters, teachers, nurses) NO MILLIONAIRES. In fact, this is one part of the city that is not particularly impressed by the RICH. And is not for sale to the 1%, so back off a little. This place arose a hundred years ago. Not a posh place in Connecticut or out Long Island cos the people who settled this peninsula, with tents and platforms and lean-tos often didn’t have cars, could go further, and couldn’t afford to go further out of the stinking city during the pre-air conditioning days of the dense housing of the inner city. My family of ten went there, pre-A/C to get out of our two bedroom apartment on 14th Street, where we raised 7 children, often lined up to use the bathroom. Not wealthy folks, our idea of vacation was a vacation in Queens, so please don’t write these articles full of misinformation about excluive enclaves. I am the third generation of worker in my family to give decades of my life to serve this great city and keep it ticking. Breezy Point families are generations of city workers, raised with an ethic of public service. Begrudge these people? I wouldn’t!… but, sure go on, why not……By the way, there are all-African American enclaves of summer communities evolved similar ways in Michigan outside Detroit and all around the country. There are parts of Rockaway exclusively Ukrainian. You get a place by knowing the real estate agents and the locals. It’s called racial clustering. It’s natural. Try to legislate against it and you can’t. If I try to walk through a co-op on Park Ave, I get taken to task too. So, far as I can see, this article has no point. I’m a liberal and I am not a racist. I voted for Obama twice. I have never voted for a Republican, partly because I was raised with a recollection of the people I came from and part of my inheritance, as Irish, is to identify with the oppressed and see their liberation as human progress. So talk about the people of Breezy Point when you know somethink of their journey. Till then, write from ignorance.

  9. Ashley is Disgusted at "Duly" says:

    @ Duly – For your information Breezy Point is not “over.” In fact, Breezy Point will never be over, thanks to the wonderful, loving, and kind hearted people who live there. We will rebuild and support one another because that is what we do and who we are.
    You should truly be ashamed of your comments and more importantly YOURSELF.
    For one to wish a neighborhood to; “Burn, baby, burn..” after such a tragic and devastating time clearly reveals how much of an evil, unhappy and cold blooded person you truly are.
    You are a complete disgrace to society!
    I will forever pray and thank my Catholic God that you are not a part of our community and hopefully never will be.

    BREEZY WILL REBUILD

  10. Mica says:

    Sounds like a throw-back to an earlier time where fear of change abounds. Probably filled with narrow-minded and yes… racist people (although they would NEVER publically acknowledge that part of their character). Always hard to look at yourself. I’ll pass, thanks and pray for their personal growth.

    • Huh? says:

      Isn’t Breezy Point and Irish version of Sea Gate right across the bay? Also similar to West Gilgo Beach in Long Island? The place is a coop….. they all have similar rules …these homes are usually not sold outside family members because there are so few available ….

      http://thebrooklynink.com/2011/11/14/35830-residents-only-inside-new-york-citys-oldest-gated-community/

      • Mica says:

        Gee… I think there is a ‘little’ more to this analysis than ‘so few [homes] available’… Breezy’s demographic profile is a manifestation of classic tribal behavior, which by definition, is grounded in exclusivity, xenophobia and provincialism. Sadly, I am more than familiar with the undercurrent of racism in Breezy Point; but no one will publically admit to being so limited. There is way too much invested in the status quo. I am exhausted by the endless defensive postures and hope they give way to honesty: yes it is a co-op, yes, it has limited opportunities for buying-in and yes, we residents work hard to (staunchly) maintain our current racial demographic.

  11. Rosena says:

    Mica, Duly and Sherry………. talk about being racist and the narrow minded ?? what is wrong with a strong community with morales and the same beliefs?? and WHY should taxes and the government assist us with our rebuilding BECAUSE WE PAY TAXES TOO !!! We are a middle class hard working community that manage to help this city daily with our Nurses, Firemen and Policeman…… we are generations of families that enjoy a way of life. So that ‘s right, there are low vacancy because generation after generation continue to live in our community.

    • Janine says:

      I am appalled at the idea that you think that because “you pay taxes” you are entitled to “maintain your way of life” when that includes keeping anyone you don’t consider “acceptable” out. What a joke! I am a real estate agent in upstate NY, and I dearly hope that any agent representing your community of similar morals and belief does NOT sell real estate according to those ideas. It is ABSOLUTELY, let me say that again for the benefit of Rosena, who appears to think that this is the 1950′s, ABSOLUTELY, against New York State Law to discriminate in the way that she describes. How dare you even say it as if it makes perfect sense! This country was built to keep narrow, crappy-minded people like you out of power, and to allow people of all beliefs to be accorded equal opportunity (including the purchase and sale of real estate) and you have the unmitigated gall to act as if it is “perfectly ok” to say that people of similar morals and beliefs have the right to keep others out! I certainly hope that if any investigators at the capitol happen to read this they take the opportunity to send an undercover agent to pose as someone trying to purchase. Granted cooperatives make certain rules, but discrimination is still NOT allowed. I don’t wish anyone to burn, but I DO wish a certain level of consciousness to creep into the stagnant brains of some of the backward-thinking posters. Unless you think that your Irish immigrant ancestors should have been kept out by the perfectly happy Native Americans who never invited them over here in the first place. I’m just sayin…

      By the way, I am a conservative from a very desirable upstate NY community. I am also a Real Estate Agent. It is the thoughtful establishment of laws and fairness that makes my community awesome. I have customers of every race, and am the godmother of one of my Jamaican-American client’s children. They live in a nearby city in a depressed neighborhood and are doing everything within their power to move out so that their 5 lovely and well behaved children can grow up in a safe and happy environment.The neighborhood is allowed to remain that way due to politics and the money being made by allowing the drug trade to remain there. They managed to raise their children to be lovely and well behaved through discipline and hard work and would be an asset to ANY neighborhood. When I think of people like you acting as if you did ANYTHING other than be self-centered and arrogant instead of looking for the good in people I am saddened immensely. The church DOES NOT sanction this behavior, it is TOTALLY against it, so don’t act as if you have been given the go-ahead by the pope. Let’s call a spade a spade – you are selfish, closed-minded and arrogant. I believe it was the bible, Book of Proverbs, that mentioned “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”. I do not wish it, I didn’t write it, and I am mentioning it only in the wish that you might think about it and ask for guidance. Oh – and BTW – God is not Catholic. Catholics just happen to worship God in the way they think best. God is above religion, and, clearly above this forum.

      • ROSENA says:

        WOW Janine…. so now it is stagnant brains and backward thinking to live amongst family and people of the same morals and values. Funny how we consider that a way of life and you consider that racism. My comment about paying taxes for the person who replied that NY taxes should not help us rebuild. I pay taxes. I also pay to live in a cooperative. which my family has done since the 1950′s . Church does not sanction what behavior??? family life? So If having a nice home, community and neighbors to come home to after pulling 12 hr shifts as a nurse or my blue collared working parents, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles who all reside in MY community and having a sense of pride in that is ” selfish, self centered and arrogant ” then I AM PROUD of that. So PULEZE stay in your ” desirable upstate community” .

  12. Chris Flynn says:

    Hi, I grew up in Breezy Point in the late 60s and 70s. I whent to school in St. Camillus in Rockaway. Breezy is a small pice of heaven and a great place to grow up. I have great memories of hanging out at the baseball field and the doug out, sniking into the surfclub and just playing on the beach. Christmas was always great, how could anyone ever for get Santa Clause calling to all the houses on Chritmas Eve and falling out of them a little worse for the wear. The fire department frezzing a car park across form the the church so we could go iceskating. My only regret in life is that my parents sold our home at 211-60 Breezy Point Blv and moved us all to Ireland in 1980. And then my aunts sold my grandparents house at 126 oceanside around 2003.

    God Bless Breezy Point and their People long may you stay a Privet Co-op. One of the few place left in the city were a small child can still walk around to a friends home to play for the day with out an adult having to take them to make sure their safe.

  13. Ellen Carney Kissane says:

    We lived on Courtenay Lane since approximately 1937, and my brothers and I spent many happy days in Rockaway/Breezy Point! We spent the month of September there commuting to our school in Brooklyn thereby lengthening the great fun days spent “on the Beach”. So many friends from those days are still in touch although I have lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the past 36 years! Long live the “Beach”!

  14. Rich Walston says:

    It is interesting how the individuals who demand “diversity” and freedom of expression, are the first to express the most vile forms of retribution on others. “Breezy Point deserves to burn down, conservative celebrities and politicians should get cancer,etc”. Those vilifying Breezy Point- do they question the need for other cultures in Queens to maintain their languages and neighborhoods? Isn’t this called “Ethnic Pride” and these cultures celebrate their pride each year in Queens. Listening to the critics “gated communities” and coops apparently should be abolished. I live on the north shore of Long Island, near a “gated community”, they have a fantastic view and access to Long Island Sound. Everyone is entitled to enjoy their lives- this is what we all strive for.

    • Jerry says:

      Yes, you’re entitled to freedom of expression. Unless you’re conservative, religious, and white. That’s obviously tolerance.

  15. Brian Deans says:

    I miss it there!!!!!… lived there with my grandma it was a great place to grow up!! After school I would walk to church for classes and plays!!!! I never had to wear shoes always running around barefoot in the sand … Just a great place to live

  16. Evelyn says:

    Wrting this at 6:30am on the front porch of our bungalow on Oceanside, Breezy – one of the few on this block left standing after Sandy. Had a beer at the ‘new’ Sugarbowl last night – picnic tables under a tent and a shipping container turned into a bar (an improvement over the ‘old’ Sugarbowl in my opinion) Yes, there are aspects of Breezy that are questionable (the ocean is not pristine) and objectionable, (they don’t take too well to outsiders) but it’s the only place my kids (5th generation breezy pointers) can not wear shoes for an entire summer. It’s also one of the last places where you find groups of kids playing without helicopter parents hovering over them – a real throw back.

  17. Joe says:

    Spent many wonderful summers growing up with my family on Pelham Walk from the mid sixties to the mid nineties. I’m now a published playwright who has set a few of my plays in the Rockaways!

  18. Tom Byrne says:

    I have read these posts and see a lot of bigotry. So what if Breezy is mostly Irish/Catholic. That is not a reason to bash it. Doing so is stupid.

    Equally stupid is the class warfare I am seeing. What is with the idea that if one VOLUNTARILY accepts a civil service job they are candidates for Sainthood? If you are a police office, fireman, nurse or teacher, good for you. You should be proud that you provide a valuable service to the community. However, the attitude that you are a long-suffering, underpaid hero does not resonate with me. You chose your career and you deal with the good and the bad.

    Bashing millionaires as if they are somehow evil compared to “working people” is asinine. Many people worked very hard (and honestly) to get where they are. When I was about 20, I took the test for the NY State Police. I scored a 95. I turned down the opportunity as I did not want to be part of that bleeding heart civil service culture. I also gave up my Wall Street trading job because I did not like that culture either. Neither culture was bad per se, they just were not me.

  19. Shaul Ceder says:

    The high-rise projects on Beach 193 Street were actually killed by the Department of Defense because the Nike missile silos in Fort Tilden would have been visible from the upper floors had the buildings been completed and populated.

  20. G says:

    My grandparents were long time Silver Gull Club members (UA8). I spent most of my summer days on the beach there. My grandfather would dig fire pits in the sand load em up with seaweed and steam lobsters.

    The ocean was glorious.
    I still have a Silver Gull commemorative beach towel “Fun in the Sun”

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