August 5, 2020 --
If going to the Rockaway beach in the residential part of the peninsula is the best revenge, going to Riis Park is even better revenge.
LPR's first visit to Rockaway's Riis Park was on July 21 and this beach was even more delightful than the beach at Seaside (Beach 108th Street, at the buildings constructed by my family -- and then taken from us in forced bankruptcy by Giuliani in 2001.)
LPR has no doubt beachgoers to Riis Park will enjoy the setting as much as do beachgoers to Jones Beach, Cape Cod, Virginia Beach, etc. And it is just a subway ride (or ferry) from Manhattan.
LPR traveled to Riis Park, July 21 by taking the 2 train to the end, at Brooklyn College and Flatbush Avenue. From there, walk around the corner of Flatbush Avenue to the Q35 bus. This bus goes straight down Flatbush Avenue to Riis Park. LPR would suggest getting off the bus one stop before the Riis Park main beach house, and walk down the strait road to the southern tip to the beach, which might be less crowded than the main part of the Riis beach.
Btw, LPR noticed that the railing at the promenade, along the beach edge was repaired, no sign of the gaps in railing evident before Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Otherwise there didn't seem to be much change from the last LPR visit to Riis, except there were a few concession stands in the plaza area, including Ben and Jerry's ice cream. (Restrooms, as previously, are still located in the plaza area.)
An alternate way of getting to Riis to take the A train to Far Rockaway, changing at Broad Channel for the shuttle to Beach 116th Street. At Beach 116th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, take the Q22 bus to Riis Park, going past the upscale houses in Belle Harbor. By taking the subway to 116th Street, you have the opportunity to visit the stores at this shopping center, for food to take to the beach and other beach accoutrements. Kings Pharmacy, on Beach 116th Street close to Rockaway Beach Boulevard, is well-stocked with beach chairs, and LPR purchased one (made in China) on July 20. Now LPR sits and relaxes in the chair to get a tan on the front of his body, and then moves to the beach towel to get a tan on his back.
Directely across Rockaway Beach116th Street is The Surf Shop which sells upscale swim trunks and t-shirts and flip flops as well as surf boards and surfing gear.. Alas, there didn't seem to be a discount on the $60 swim trunks -- they are very attractive; maybe discounts will be available as the season dwindles down (there is just one month left)? And the Pizza at this shopping venue is cheaper than in the Bronx, $2.50 a slice rather than more than $3!
Perhaps the absence of apartment buildings at the edge of the beach, at Riis Park, provides even more of a beachier feel than further down the peninsula. July 21 at Riis was a glorious day; the water was mild and the breeze across the beach refreshing under the hot sun. One attractive woman went into the beach topless, and no one took notice (not even the authorities). LPR was careful not to stare. As with the beach at Beach 108th Street, and at Arverne at Beach 67th Street, masks were not in evidence.
Should add that it is possible to take the Pier 11 ferry at the end of Wall Street, in Manhattan, to get to Riis Park. At the ferry landing at the bay side to Beach 108th Street, a shuttle bus takes beachgoers to Riis Park. Remember, though, there could be a wait of more than an hour to get on the ferry, The trip to Rockaway takes about another hour, with views of the Statue of Liberty, lower Manhattan, the entire Manhattan skyline -- midtown and Wall Street --from a distance, and Coney Island (including the closed parachute tower) along the way.
Walking from the Riis main beach house towards the southern part of the Riis beach, LPR, turning to his right, could see the entire Manhattan skyline also visible from this vantage point -- which means that the Manhattan towers are visible all across Queens and Brooklyn, miles way -- including the Freedom Tower at the tip of Manhattan, and the Empire State Building at 34th Street.
Although the Riis beach is not crowded, the colorful beach umbrellas about, and the numbers of people going by subway suggest that even though there is more than enough space at Riis, it is a special place for lots beach aficianados in New York City. Without hesitation, LPR recommends a day visit to Riis Park.