Apr 29, 2007

Rockaway Earth Day

Today was Rockaway Earth Day, sponsored by the Parks Department, on the Boardwalk at Beach 29th Street. Tony and Michael had set up our photo board, brochures, and banner before I arrived, so all I had to do was sit and chat with passers-by. Yup, that is my favorite kind of work day. Aside from making some great connections with politicians and community activists, we connected with neighboring agencies, for example Queens Botanical Gardens (big on composting, including worm buckets under your kitchen sink). Of course, we were pushing the open house on May 19 and the Wednesday and Saturday paddles. All told, we had, hmm, 6 or 7 Sebago members through the course of the day.

If you haven’t been to the Rockaways since Playland closed, it is time to take a look. New houses and condo developments are everywhere. I guess the urban renewal promised in the 1970’s has finally arrived. Although Rockaway is officially in Queens, people often think it belongs to Brooklyn. There was actually a Brooklyn Day Camp on Rockaway—the building is still there, and the name is still legible, but I believe there are cement trucks parked where I played as a child. That was a long bus ride from Knapp Street.

The name Rockaway has nothing to do with rocks—it is a Lenape Indian word meaning sea side. You got to love the Rockaways: Irish bars, Jamaican delis, surfer dudes, a New York public high school with a crew team. But, best of all, they are our own personal breakwater.

The only downside of the day? The Ramones won’t stop singing in my head. Rock, Rock, Rockaway Beach, we can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach

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