Spending Labor Day at the Far Rockaways

Labor Day Weekend was special in a few ways. One of them was certainly the advent of our first hurricane since Sandy. Hurricane Hermine decided to circumvent the metro area but the mayor still decided to shut down all beaches, quoting riff waves and rough currents as a safety hazard. The boyfriend and I decided to still go to the Rockaways and check out if you were able to swim or not. 

It was a hot and humid day and we wouldn’t have minded some ocean time. However, there were park rangers everywhere, preventing anyone but surfers from entering the water. I later heard that the fine was $80 and up for anyone who decided to take a dip (surfers excluded?). We got to wet our feet in the water but when we saw how high the waves were we quickly decided against swimming. At one point a wave was three times higher than a human – making for a fantastic background with a surfer in the foreground. 

Instead of swimming we went to Rockaway Taco and their new-ish location at the Surf Club. They had been there since the last year and it was great to catch up on Pacific-style fish tacos and their fancier version of elotes. Their location offers more room than the old shack, which is excellent considering the immense amount of people who want to dine here on the average weekend (when the beach isn’t closed due to a hurricane). 

Afterwards we went to lie in the sand for a bit and watch the surfers. We were also able to catch the perfect sunset on our way back to Brooklyn. Yay for last summer days and the beach – no matter if swimming or not.

Spending a Day at the US Open

A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit the US Open for the second time in my life. During my first time in 2014 I had purchased a grounds admission pass and walked around the area on a nice Saturday afternoon in late summer. I was so impressed with what there was to see, that I decided I wanted to return no matter what. I’m not a big tennis geek and spending a ton of money on a game I barely understand or are enthused about doesn’t make much sense to me. Therefore I was thrilled to find out about the so-called community day – a full weekday usually at the end of the event during which you can enter the grounds for free and roam around. 

On September 8th I hopped on the 7-train straight after work and made it in right before 6pm (which was the cutoff as to when people were to be let in for free). My friend arrived 5 minutes too late and was unlucky – she went to the nice park outside instead, which she had never seen before. 

The inside is quite spacious and offers almost everything – from shops over a food court and bars to the smaller stadiums. In these you can see the less significant matches, which are still a big deal as they are teen championships and showcase the leading talent of the world. 

The vibes are very happy and many people seem excited to be at the US Open. It’s certainly a nice occasion to dive into the sport of tennis and get to know more about it. 

I also love the fountain area and that you can see the main matches live on huge screens around it. I made it into the Grand Stand which was featuring a teen male championship and it was fascinating to watch the ball go back and forth. 

Afterwards I met my friend outside and we decided to take pictures in front the Queens Unisphere to end the day. 

Beach Days Forever: Spending the Heat Wave at Fort Tilden

This summer I’ve had some pretty great beach days. Not nearly as many as I usually do (which is at least 8-9 times as I try to go every other weekend). But out of the 4 times I went (including Fire Island), every one of them was well worth it and amazingly breathtaking. To its credit, proper beach days didn’t even start until the end of June. It was too chilly and windy to consider tanning on the sand. And in the beginning of July the water was still so cold that you could have probably chilled a couple of beers in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Therefore it wasn’t until the heat wave at the end of July that the water got warm enough to actually spend more than just a few minutes in it. This was when my friend and I decided to make it out to Fort Tilden – her first time there. I try to make my way over at least once a summer. With public transport it takes about an hour from Downtown Brooklyn– not too bad. It does involve a subway and a public bus, which makes things a bit more complicated and harder to get to. Since it is part of the Rockaways, you could also catch a bus from that part of Queens once you get off the A-line. 

Either way, for some reason I never go more than once a year, which makes it an extra special occasion whenever I do. We got off at Riis Beach (an area that is right next to it) and then strolled around the Beach Bazaar. She was looking for hats and I wanted to see what the remainder of the BK Night Bazaar looked like. Unfortunately it closed in the spring of 2015 but a few of their shops are now open at Riis Beach. Not nearly as many as in Greenpoint but it’s still great to find the one or other vendor from old times. She got lunch at a local falafel stand and then we continued on to Fort Tilden. It was certainly more packed during a hot weekend day than what I remember it to be. It seems that the beaches get more and more crowded with every year that passes and that there are less and less options to go to no matter where you are in New York. 

We hung around next to a birthday party that started with 3 people and ended with about 11. They spread out towards us by the end of the afternoon but by that time we also had more room to move. After going into the water a couple of times, we discovered a sand bank further out. We were able to stand on it and at one point the water only went up to our hip. Another friend joined us in the evening and we enjoyed some time alone in the sand, with most people around us leaving. With the sun setting and looking at it from the right angles, this part of the beach resembled an eerie, deserted landscape from another planet. 

On our way back to the bus we discovered hammocks outside of a pizza and bar spot. We ordered some food and swung around the hammocks, wondering why not many places had these as it was the perfect gadget for summer days and nights. 

Fort Tilden – a beach day well spent in the summer of 2016.

Fire Island: A Weekend Trip to Ocean Beach (Part 2)


After our shopping and exploration tour we were finally ready for the beach. And boy was it hot that day! I forgot about those dog days which usually happen end of July through beginning of August. During mid-August they were certainly still around and it was a welcome change to hop into the water and cool off. The beach itself had a small wooden path leading to the sand. Read More »