Sure, the first boat got stuck in the mud on its way up from the Gulf Coast, but it looks like the city’s new ferry service is really, actually happening. And, for once, sooner than expected: Mayor de Blasio announced today– via the delightful chiptune promo above– that the Rockaway route will launch May 1, meaning you’ll soon get to pay your respects to the washed-up whale that was buried on the beach this week. Or, less morbidly: tacos! Tacoway Beach reopens in less than 22 days, according to the countdown clock we’ve had our eye on all winter.
Sure, it’s mid-October, but it’s also pushing 80 degrees today, so we’re not completely insane to give you a heads up about a beachside restaurant. Over the weekend, Whit’s End grand-opened its new spot in Jacob Riis Park.
If you clicked through our slideshow of the Transit Museum’s Nostalgia Ride to the Rockaways a couple of summers ago and thought to yourself, “Dang, I really missed the boat,” now’s your chance to hop aboard. The New York Transit Museum is firing up some of its 1920s subway cars for a ride to everyone’s favorite beach. If you’ve ever wanted to skip across Jamaica Bay on a piece of transportation history, listen up.
Last week, we caught a glimpse of Katharine Grosse’s installation at Fort Tilden– part of PS1’s “Rockaway!” series– while it was in progress. The German artist had spent the past days spray-painting the skeleton of a building on the former army base with colors that call to mind either the sunset or David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane makeup. The piece, which had been roped off and guarded by security as if Nike missiles had returned to Tilden, opened to the public Sunday with an outdoor reception that was really more of an Insta pose-fest.
As if the Ramones exhibit wasn’t enough, here’s another reason to have “Rock, Rock, Rockaway Beach” stuck in your head: the folks at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar have announced their lineup of food vendors, and it’s got us slathering sunblock on our wind-chapped faces.
A few years back, if you were cool enough to have Ben Sargent’s digits in your phone, then chances are you were among the enviable few who could call to get handmade lobster rolls crafted by the chef/handyman extraordinaire, and delivered to your doorstep by his gangster alter ego, Dr. Klaw. The shellfish sammies, prepared inside Sargent’s Greenpoint basement apartment, were held in such high esteem that he garnered not just a cult following, but a media frenzy, and subsequently a Health Department party poop.
Get ready to wax nostalgic.
David Selig, owner of the late, great Rockaway Taco, is working with surf instructor Fernando Pires to open a museum dedicated to the history and culture of surfing in Rockaway Beach. They’re giving a shack-like makeover to the second floor of a Victorian backhouse and stocking it with classic boards and over 500 surfing movies, magazines and memorabilia, mostly sourced from Pires’ personal collection. And that’s not all Selig is cooking up: the ground floor of the building, located on Beach 96th Street, will house a new bakery, and the adjacent tropical hideaway, The Palms, is getting a chef-driven dinner series.
If last week’s news about PS 84’s hydroponic roof got you excited about maybe starting up a green roof now that the weather is cooperating, stroll over to Brooklyn Brewery tonight for a party celebrating the publication of The Rooftop Growing Guide: How To Transform Your Roof into a Garden or Farm. The handy guide to urban gardening was written by Annie Novak, head farmer and co-founder at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, the sprawling herb haven above a Broadway Stages warehouse in Greenpoint.
Slurping season is almost upon us, and this winter will bring more ramen options than ever before.
Ramen by Mew
7 Cornelia St., nr. West 4th Street, West Village
The basement izakaya known as Mew, which opened two years ago in Koreatown, is expanding with a ramen joint on Cornelia Street. They’re shooting for a December opening, but have already started posting photos of dishes on Instagram, including soft-boiled eggs topped with sea urchin, chashu pork belly, nanbanzuke (fried salmon with a vinegar-sake marinade), and tonkotsu ramen.
This week, hit these events and support a trio of documentaries about the changing faces of two communities.
Two Rockaway Docs: A Film Benefit for Sandy with Live Music
Nov. 1 at 7pm, Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Rose Cinemas, $25.
Long before fish tacos brought on the Rockaway rebirth, the seaside community was a destination for New Yorkers looking to escape the sweltering city. Back in the 1930s, some 7,000 bungalows housed the “bungaloonies” who flocked to the Irish Riviera for a weekend of pub crawling or a ride on the Thunderbolt at Playland. Now, as Rockaway real estate becomes the next “shore thing,” fewer than 450 of the charming shacks remain (one of them, it so happens, belongs to Patti Smith). Jennifer Callahan’s documentary, The Bungalows of Rockaway, tells us how, exactly, we lost so many of them, and — much like the recently released Welcome to Kutscher’s documentary did with the fabled Catskills resort — milks former inhabitants for summer nostalgia.