The Rockaway Pizza War of 2014 is over

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Roberta’s lot on Beach 96th Street today

The Rockaway Pizza Wars of 2014 have come to a sudden and ignominious end, with beloved Pizza Nazi Whitney Aycock declaring victory. Roberta’s, the much fawned over Brooklyn pizzeria (“Hipster Italian dining” according to Google) has shuttered their sidewalk oven on Beach 96th Street. The lot has been dormant the last couple of weekends, and there is no word on if and when they will open up a more permanent location in Rockaway. When called for comment, a hostess at the Moore Street location denied even the existence of a Beach 96th Street location.

In the meantime, there are plenty of dining alternatives on the nearby restaurant row, including Whit’s End (just don’t order a slice).

Fort Tilden WOD

View from Battery Harris East I couldn’t make it in to my usual box today, so instead I did the Fort Tilden WOD and enjoyed this incredible 360-degree view:

Trail run for 1.25 miles
Climb 65 steps to the top of Battery Harris East
3 rounds of 100 single unders and 25 strict push ups
Descend 65 steps
Trail run for 1.25 miles

The views are amazing, and the WOD is pretty basic. Just bring a jump rope, and watch for splinters when you do the push ups.

SUP Rockaway?

SUP A trainIn addition to being the home of NYC’s only official surfing beach, Stand Up Paddle Boarding has arrived in Rockaway. One of the first SUP schools and rental locations in the five boroughs can now be found at the Rockaway Jet Ski dock behind Thai Rock.

SUP was the fastest growing water sport in the U.S. in 2013. Tracing its roots to the Hawaiian surfing scene, the sport has grown in popularity over the past ten years. It attracted a greater following once it was adapted for use on more flat-water lakes and rivers. SUP can be learned and enjoyed by users of all levels in just about any water setting.

Rockawayist first became entranced with SUP on a visit to Austin, Texas earlier this year. Never being much of a traditional surfer, the idea of gliding down a placid river seemed like a great core workout and a great way to spend an afternoon on the water. Many SUPboarders even bring along their dogs. There were limited options to learn SUP or rent boards in NYC (aside from the Hudson River, which seems a bit intimidating to a newcomer), and I was disappointed to find a journey north to the kayak and row schools of Westchester County would be required.

With the start of summer 2014, however, Rockaway resident Linda Humphrey started offering tours and lessons on Jamaica Bay. The quintessential Rockaway resident, Humphrey has a native’s love and knowledge of the local waters. Humphrey decided to set up the SUP school after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her digital imaging business. In addition to group and individual lessons by the chatty and personable Humphrey, guided scenic and sunset tours of Jamaica Bay are available. There is even a fledgling SUP Yoga class being offered.

The SUP experience itself, while it may look like a calm outing, is a full body workout. Maintaining balance on the board requires full core engagement, and the paddling is both a cardio and upper-body resistance workout. Even in the cool breezes off the water, you will work up a sweat after an hour on a SUP. For fellow CrossFit athletes, SUP is a great way to spend an active recovery day on the water. In the course of an hour, you can paddle under the A train tracks, see some barge wrecks in Jamaica Bay, and enjoy the wildlife up close. And the views of the Manhattan skyline are unbeatable.

There are many types of paddleboards available. Humphrey uses boards made by The H2O Generation, which was founded by local Rockaway resident Kelley Brooke in 2010. H2O sells a variety of boards, including specific designs for SUP Yoga and fishing.

Reservations for SUP, kayaking and jet ski rentals can be made here.

Local Liquids

Local LiquidsIn another sign of Beach 116th Street’s continued revival, the shopping district will soon be home to Local Liquids, a juice-and-smoothie shop.

Owned by local resident Jeannie McHale, the shop will feature acai bowls in addition to the health juices and smoothies. Look for their colorful storefront signage, painted by the famed Geoff Rawling. The shop is expected to open on July 8th.

 

 

Local Liquids
209 Beach 116th Street
Rockaway Park, NY
718 945 4900

Rockapulco Run summer schedule

Rockapulco RunThe Rockapulco Run summer series continues on Saturday July 12th, with the Firecracker 10 miler. The race kicks off at 8:30am at Beach 17th Street. Go here to sign up.

The running club is also hosting a 5k on July 18th, and a half marathon on August 30th.

The 27th Annual George Timmins Memorial Sugar Bowl Run is also scheduled for July 12th. Register in advance at the Sugar Bowl in Breezy Point for $20, or on the day of the race for $25.

Le Fooding Beach Club

Le Fooding, a Paris-based gourmet dining and events company, is coming to Rockaway for their first ever Beach Club dining event. The three-day picnic event pairs local chefs such as Andrew Field (of the ubiquitous Rockaway Taco) with chefs from Momofuku Milk Bar, Ivan Ramen, Trois Mec and Cosme.

According to a Le Fooding press release, they “always try to stimulate and spread a very modern, much more open-minded, edgy and culture-focused vision of food in France, Milan, New York and L.A., making food interact with arts.”

The event runs from July 11th to 13th, with two seatings each day at the Beach 97th Street concessions. Reservations for any of the three days can be made here.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the local charity Graybeards.

 

 

 

Citysticks Waffle Sundae eating contest

Citysticks Waffle SundaeWhile Coney Island has their annual hot dog eating contest, a new Rockaway tradition kicks off on July 5th.

Citysticks, the ice pop purveyor located at the Beach 97th Street concessions, is holding a waffle sundae eating contest. There will be two contests, one for kids aged 8-15, and another for those 16 and older. The event kicks off at 2pm.

The waffle sundaes look amazing, so even if you do not participate, you might want to stop anyway.

Patti Smith exhibit at Fort Tilden

Patti Smith installation at Fort Tilden

Patti Smith installation at Fort Tilden

The long-awaited Patti Smith art exhibit, Resilience of the Dreamer, has opened today in Fort Tilden. Sponsored in part by MoMA, the exhibit features a number of black-and-white photos by the godmother of punk. There is a separate installation of a “gilded four-post bed with pure white linens…that will wear down physically over time…a visualization  of courage and resilience” in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Later this evening at Fort Tilden, Smith and actor James Franco will be reading selected poems by Walt Whitman.

Patti Smith exhibit on Flickr

 

Fort Tilden

Battery HarrisRockaway!, kicks off on June 29th with a concert by legendary punk rocker Patti Smith in Fort Tilden. The summer long arts event is sponsored by MoMA and will showcase local as well as internationally known artists through September 1st.

Fort Tilden is a decommissioned U.S. Army Base and is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The park, while a bit isolated by NYC standards, is a treasure trove of WWII historic artifacts. The interior trails of the park are still easily accessible and worth a visit.

There aren’t many amenities within or even near the park, but here are some helpful links if you plan to come down:

The Ruins of Fort Tilden
Food options near Fort Tilden
Battery Harris in Fort Tilden