Welcome to Rockawayist

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cropped-img_1555b.jpgThis time it feels different.

After years of neglect from our far flung mayors in City Hall, the senseless destruction of an ocean oasis by Robert Moses, the utterly doomed Technodome, urban decay of the 1970s, it finally feels as if Rockaway is having a long-delayed awakening.

Located within a city that has dramatically gentrified over the past 20 years, Rockaway seemed left behind, a throw back to a different era. Far removed from the gleaming new condos, soaring office towers, and blocks of upscale shops in Manhattan, the peninsula muddled through many years of urban decay and neglect. We were too far from the power center of Manhattan to matter, was the local lament.

Over the past few years this has started to change. There are blocks of new houses on the parcels that were razed by Mr. Moses and left empty for decades. New apartment buildings have started to sprout in formerly weed strewn lots. The first new supermarket in decades opened.

But by no means has this been a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, type of resurgence. Public transportation to and from the peninsula is still a challenge. There are few sustainable attractions in the off season. And we are still often overlooked by City Hall.

But take a look around Rockaway and you can feel the new energy. Entrepreneurs are setting up businesses, musicians and micro-brewers are starting to contribute to our vitality, young families continue to settle in the new houses.

This time is different.

Please join Rockawayist as we look at life on the peninsula.