Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, May 29, 2001


Photo by Malcolm (Cinema) Pinckney

As the music played, the children danced, and the hot dogs were consumed, Coney Island Beach opened to an expectant public on Thursday, May 24. Parks joined with the U.S. Army, the Police Department, the New York Aquarium, the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce, Astella Development, and Community Board 13 to help make the opening memorable.

Dressed in army fatigue, Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern arrived in a HUMVEE and delivered thanks to the many people who supported the event. He applauded the businesses that donated free food and drinks, as well as the numerous members of the community who donated their time. Among the many guests at the opening were students from P.S. 90 who turned out to celebrate their local beach. Between bites of free Turkey Hill ice cream, hey sang along and danced to the music of John Kuse and the Excellents, who entertained the crowd with a selection of songs including their 1962 hit "Coney Island Baby". Jammin 105 kept the festivities alive with music in the late afternoon.

Since the turn of the century Coney Island has been home to the amusement park and live entertainment venues for which it is now famous. When the Riegelmann Boardwalk opened in 1923, Coney Island began to take shape as the place we know today. At home and abroad, Coney Island Beach was known as the place to relax on a hot summer day. In the near future a $1.3 million restoration project will upgrade the Riegelmann Boardwalk's facilities. Visitors can anticipate renovated fencing, decking, benches, staircases, and drinking fountains.

All of New York City's seven beaches opened Saturday to the public. In the Bronx, Orchard Beach, in Brooklyn Coney Island and Manhattan Beaches, in Queens Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, and in Staten Island South and Midland Beaches opened. Lifeguards will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

By Brenna (Tuscany) Sevano

(Tuesday, May 31, 1988)


In a beginning-of-the-season inspection Friday, city officials toured Orchard Beach and pronounced it clean, safe and ready for its official opening Saturday. And thousands of New Yorkers clearly agreed, flocking along the sunny, crescent-shaped beach to catch the rays and test the water during the ceremony.

"The beach looked in great shape, partly because of our new equipment, and partly because of the hard work of our beach crews," said Acting Bronx Parks Commissioner James Ryan, who was joined at the midday event by Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, City Councilman Jerry Crispino, State Assemblyman Eliot Engel and Commissioner Stern. "Dorothy Lewandowski, our new Bronx Director of Beach and Pools, has done an excellent job preparing Orchard Beach for this summer's swimmers and sunbathers."


"The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain,
the sound of wind in a primeval wood,
and the sound of outer ocean on a beach."

Henry Beston (1888-1968)

Directions to Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways

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