Long Beach, New York
|City of Long Beach|
|— City —|
|Long Beach, New York|
|Nickname(s): The City by the Sea|
|Motto: Civitas ad mare|
Note: Does not indicate the separation of Long Beach from Long Island by Reynolds Channel.
|City of Long Beach||1922|
|• City Manager||Jack Schnirman|
|• City Council|
|• Total||3.9 sq mi (10.1 km2)|
|• Land||2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)|
|• Water||1.8 sq mi (4.6 km2)|
|Elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|• Density||16,571/sq mi (6,398.1/km2)|
|24 th densest in US|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0955835|
|Website||City of Long Beach|
Long Beach is a city in Nassau County, New York, United States. Just south of Long Island, it is located on Long Beach Barrier Island, which is the westernmost of the outer barrier islands off Long Island's South Shore. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city population was 33,275. It was incorporated in 1922, and is nicknamed The City By the Sea (as seen in Latin on its official seal).
The City of Long Beach is surrounded by Reynolds Channel to the north, east and west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
Long Beach's first inhabitants were the Algonquian-speaking Rockaway Indians, who sold the area to English colonists in 1643. While the barrier island was used by baymen and farmers for fishing and harvesting salt hay, no one lived there year-round for more than two centuries. In 1849 Congress established a lifesaving station. A dozen years before, 62 people died when the barque Mexico, carrying Irish immigrants to New York, ran ashore on New Year's Day.
Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn, was the first to attempt to develop the island as a resort. He formed a partnership with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to finance the New York and Long Beach Railroad Co., which laid track from Lynbrook to Long Beach in 1880. That same year, Corbin opened Long Beach Hotel, a row of 27 cottages along a 1,100-foot (340 m) strip of beach, which he claimed as the world's largest hotel. In its first season, the railroad brought 300,000 visitors to Long Island. By the next spring, tracks had been laid the length of the island, but they were removed in 1894 after repeated washouts from winter storms.
On July 29, 1907, a fire broke out at the Long Beach Hotel and burned it to the ground. Of the 800 guests, eight were injured by jumping from windows, and one woman died. The fire was blamed on defective electric wiring. A church, several cottages and the bathing pavilion were also destroyed. Trunks belonging to the guests, which had been piled on the sand to form "dressing rooms", were looted by thieves. A dozen waiters and others were apprehended by the police, who recovered $20,000 worth of jewelry and other stolen property.
The Riviera of the East
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In 1906, William Reynolds, a 39-year-old former state senator and real estate developer, entered the picture. Reynolds had already developed four Brooklyn neighborhoods (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Borough Park, Bensonhurst and South Brownsville) and Coney Island's Dreamland, the world's largest amusement park. Reynolds also owned a theater and produced plays. He gathered investors and acquired the oceanfront from private owners and the rest of the island from the Town of Hempstead in 1907; he planned to build a boardwalk, homes and hotels.
Reynolds had a herd of elephants marched in from Dreamland, ostensibly to help build the boardwalk; he had created an effective publicity stunt. Dredges created a channel 1,000 feet (300 m) wide on the north side of the island to provide access by large steamboats and sea planes to transport more visitors. The new waterway was named Reynolds Channel.
To ensure that Long Beach lived up to his billing it "The Riviera of the East", he required each building to be constructed in an "eclectic Mediterranean style," with white stucco walls and red-clay tile roofs. He built a theater called Castles by the Sea, with the largest dance floor in the world, for dancers Vernon and Irene Castle. He restricted owners and renters to white Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs). After Reynolds' corporation went bankrupt in 1918, the restrictions were lifted. The new town attracted wealthy businessmen and entertainers from New York and Hollywood.
In the 1940s, Jose Ferrer, Zero Mostel, Mae West, and other famous actors performed at local theaters. Jack Dempsey, Cab Calloway, Humphrey Bogart, Lillian Roth, Rudolph Valentino, Florenz Ziegfeld, James Cagney, Clara Bow, and John Barrymore lived in Long Beach for decades. Other natives include Billy Crystal (his brother Joel Crystal has served as president of the Long Beach City Council)), Joan Jett, Derek Jeter, John Lannan, and "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher.
Corruption and scandal
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In 1923, the world-famous prohibition agents known simply as Izzy and Moe raided the Nassau Hotel and arrested three men for bootlegging. In 1930, five Long Beach Police officers were charged with offering a bribe to a United States Coast Guard officer to allow liquor to be landed. The police had another problem a year later: a mystery that captivated the nation in the summer of 1931. A beachcomber found the body of a young woman named Starr Faithfull. She had left behind a suicide note, but others believed she had been murdered.
By the early twenties, corruption became rampant in Long Beach. In 1922, the state Legislature designated Long Beach a city and William H. Reynolds was elected the first mayor. Shortly thereafter Reynolds was indicted on charges of misappropriating funds. When he was found guilty, the clock in the tower at city hall was stopped in protest. When a judge released Reynolds from jail later that year on appeal, almost the entire population turned out to greet him, and the clock was turned back on.
In 1939, Mayor Louis F. Edwards was fatally shot by a police officer on the front steps of his home. Officer Alvin Dooley, a member of the police motorcycle squad and the mayor's own security detail, killed the mayor after losing his bid for PBA president to a candidate the mayor supported. Jackson Boulevard was later renamed Edwards Boulevard in honor of the late mayor. After the murder, the city residents passed legislation to adopt a city manager system, which still exists to this day. The city manager is hired by and reports to the City Council.
Urban decay and renewal
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By the 1940s and 1950s, with the advent of cheap air travel attracting tourists to more distant places, and air-conditioning to provide year-round comfort, Long Beach had become a primarily bedroom community for commuters to New York City. It still attracted many summer visitors into the 1970s. The rundown boardwalk hotels were used for temporary housing for welfare recipients and the elderly until a scandal around 1970 led to many of the homes' losing licenses. At that time, government agencies were also "warehousing" in such hotels many patients released from larger mental hospitals. They were supposed to be cared for in small-scale community centers.
The 2.2-mile (3.5 km) boardwalk had a small amusement park at the foot of Edwards Boulevard until the late 1970s. In the late 1960s, the boardwalk and amusement park area were a magnet for youth from around Long Island, until a police crackdown on drug trafficking ended that. While there are few businesses left on the boardwalk, it attracts bicyclists, joggers, walkers and people-watchers.
Beginning in the 1980s and accelerating in the 1990s, Long Beach has begun an urban renewal, with new housing, new businesses and other improvements. Today, the city is again a popular bedroom community, for people working in New York who want the quiet beach atmosphere. With summer come local youths and college students and young adults who rent bungalows on the West End; they frequent the local bars and clubs along West Beech Street.
Just behind the boardwalk near the center of the City, "vacant" lots now occupy several blocks that once housed hotels, bathhouses and the amusement park. Because attempts to attract development (including, at one time, Atlantic City-style casinos) to this potential Superblock have not yet borne fruit, the lots comprise the city's largest portion of unused land.
In 2012, the iconic boardwalk was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. With the help of FEMA & Army Corps of Engineers, the boardwalk will be rebuilt to withstand hurricanes and flooding. City Manager Jack Schnirman said they will rebuild Long Beach "better than ever."
- Long Beach Bus  operates a twenty-four hour municipal bus service with five routes, including three routes serving the city, one overnight circulator route, and one route, the N69, extending service to Lido Beach and Point Lookout under contract to Nassau County. Long Beach Bus also operates a trolley bus.
- Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) has two bus routes that originate in Long Beach; the N15 and N33 travel to Roosevelt Field and Far Rockaway via Rockville Centre and Atlantic Beach, respectively. The N33 does not provide service wholly within Long Beach.
- The Long Island Rail Road  operates a terminal station at Park Place and Park Avenue with service on the railroad's Long Beach Branch. All other public transportation services in Long Beach converge at this terminal.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2). The city is located on a barrier island off the South Shore of Long Island. It shares the island with Atlantic Beach to the west and Lido Beach and Point Lookout to the east. Within its section of the barrier island, the city takes up the entire north-south span, fronting on both Reynolds Channel to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. A drawbridge, the Long Beach Bridge, connects it to Island Park on the mainland of Long Island. To the west, the Atlantic Beach Bridge, connects the island to Lawrence on the mainland of Long Island. The Loop Parkway, located to the east along the Lido Beach and Point Lookout borders connects the island to Jones Beach.
|Atlantic Beach||Lido Beach|
Long Beach has an extreme humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification, with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is high year round, mostly in the form of rain, but often seeing snow in winter. Its climate is tempered by the Atlantic Ocean current.
|Climate data for Long Beach, New York|
|Record high °F (°C)||71
|Average high °F (°C)||39
|Daily mean °F (°C)||33
|Average low °F (°C)||26
|Record low °F (°C)||−2
Unlike most suburbs, Long Beach is a high-density community. Fewer than 40% of the homes are detached houses, and the city ranks as the 24th densest community in the United States.
The city is less than a mile wide from ocean to bay and about three and a half miles long. The city is divided into the West End, home to many small bungalows, and the East End. West of New York Avenue, the barrier island is less than a half mile wide and West Beech Street is the main east/west commercial street.
East of New York Avenue, the island is wider between the bay and ocean and is home to larger more expansive family houses. There is the city's boardwalk, which begins at New York Avenue and ends at Neptune Boulevard. Along the boardwalk are many apartment buildings and condos. The main commercial strip is Park Avenue, which narrows into a small residential strip west of New York Avenue.
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- The Walks - There is a neighborhood known as "The Walks", consisting of extremely narrow sidewalks between houses. Each "Walk" is named after a month.
- The West End - The West End is home to small bungalows and houses located very close to each other along small narrow streets. These streets run from the beach to the bay, and are named after US States until it meets East Atlantic Beach at Nevada Avenue.
- Westholme - The neighborhood between Laurelton Boulevard and New York Avenue has become known as Westholme.
- The East End - The neighborhood between Lincoln Boulevard and Maple Boulevard or Curley Street is known as the East End. It encompasses "The Canals" and "The President Streets"
- The Canals - In the East End there is a neighborhood on the north side of Park Avenue referred to as "The Canals" that consists of several streets running north to south with parallel canals originating in Reynold's Channel. The canals begin on Forrester Street and end on Curley Street.
- Central District - The area between Magnolia Boulevard and Monroe Boulevard has become known as the Central district.
- President Streets - An area across from the Canals on the south side of Park Avenue is an area called "the President streets", because each street is named after a former President, with the exception of Atlantic and Pacific, the latter of which connect directly from Park Avenue to Broadway, a parallel road to the south.
Parks and recreation
- Clark Street Park
- The Long Beach Tennis Center
- Lindell Park
- Long Beach Ice Arena - home of the New York Applecore Hockey Team and former practice facility for the New York Rangers
- Magnolia Playground
- Ocean Beach Park (2.2 Mile long boardwalk)
- The Recreation Center
- Skate Park
- Veteran's Memorial Park (fishing pier and boat ramp)
- West End's Georgia Avenue Splash Park
- Ocean View Avenue - The unofficial boardwalk of the West End.
National Register of Historic Places
- Granada Towers
- House at 226 West Penn Street
- Pauline Felix House
- Samuel Vaisberg House
- United States Post Office (Long Beach, New York)
Landmarks and historic districts
- 9/11 Memorial
- Holocaust Memorial at Kennedy Plaza
- John F. Kennedy Memorial
- Red Brick District
- Shine's Bar on the West End
Museums and community centers
- House at 226 West Penn Street (also known as Long Beach Historical & Preservation Society Museum)
- Martin Luther King Community Center
As of 2006 U.S. Census Estimates the demographics were:
- White 79.8%
- Black or African American 9.7%
- Hispanic or Latino 8.7%
- Asian 4.0%
- Native American 0.3%
- Some other race 5.4%
- two or more races 0.9%
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,462 people, 14,923 households, and 8,103 families residing in the City. The population density was 16,594.9 people per square mile (6,398.1/km²). There were 16,128 housing units at an average density of 7,547.3 per square mile (2,909.8/km²). The racial makeup of the City was 77.1% White, 6.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.32% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 4.75% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.80% of the population.
There were 14,923 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the City the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the City was $56,289, and the median income for a family was $68,222. The per capita income for the City was $31,069. About 6.3% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.
- Jack Schnirman is the current city manager, a position appointed by the City Council.
Five Members serve the City Council, currently:
- Scott J. Mandel (D) - City Council President
- Fran Adelson (D) - City Council Vice President
- Eileen J. Goggin (D)
- John C. McLaughlin (R)
- Len Torres (D)
Long Beach City Judge
- Roy Tepper (D)
- Frank Dikranis (R)
The Long Beach City School District serves the city of Long Beach and parts of the Town of Hempstead with one primary high school, one middle school, one prekindergarten, and four elementary schools. They also operate an "alternative" high school at the NIKE missile site on a campus shared with the district's transportation services.
These schools are,
Long Beach Prekindergarten
West Elementary School
East Elementary School
Lido Elementary School
Lindell Elementary School
Long Beach Middle School
Long Beach High School
- Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB)
- Long Beach Catholic Regional School (LBCRS)
- Mesivta of Long Beach
- Long Beach Medical Center is affiliated with the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and offers internships, residencies and clinic clerkships.
- Rabbinical College of Long Island
The Long Beach Public Library serves Greater Long Beach with a main library downtown and two branch libraries at Point Lookout and the West End.
Arts and culture
- Annual arts & crafts show on the boardwalk
- Annual fine arts show at Kennedy Plaza
- Beach tennis tournaments - Beach Tennis USA
- Fall festival at Kennedy Plaza
- Farmers market at Kennedy Plaza (Weekly Event)
- Arts in the Plaza (Weekly Event)
- Free summer concerts series on the beach
- Historical Society Arts & Crafts show on the boardwalk
- Long Beach International Film Festival
- Long Beach Polar Bear Swim - World Record holder for largest polar bear swim
- Wounded Warrior Project
- St. Brendan The Navigator Parade & Festival (Irish Day) in October
Cultural and literary references
In films and television
- The novel and 1972 film, The Godfather, were set partly in Long Beach, where the Corleone compound was said to be located, and nearby Atlantic Beach, where the character, Sonny Corleone, lived. Sonny was murdered at the toll booths of the Jones Beach Causeway (also known as the Loop Parkway). (Mafia members were widely known to live in Long Beach and neighboring Atlantic Beach throughout the mid-20th century.)
- In the film Taxi Driver (1976), a driver says he made a big tip for taking a customer from Kennedy Airport to Manhattan "by way of Long Beach".
- The movie City by the Sea (2002), starring Robert De Niro, James Franco, and Frances McDormand, was inspired by a true story about a murderer from Long Beach (who committed a murder in Far Rockaway, a few miles west). The film was based on a fictional interpretation of Long Beach and was filmed in Asbury Park, New Jersey; residents of both cities objected to the negative imagery portrayed of their towns.
(Alphabetical, by author's last name)
- Boardwalk Stories (2009), is Roslyn Bernstein's collection of 14 linked stories set in Long Beach. Each story is paired with a black-and-white vintage photo of the Long Beach boardwalk, taken by photographer Dr. Kenneth Tydings, a long-time resident. Bernstein grew up in the West End of Long Beach.
- In his memoir The NewsBreaker, the producer/journalist Larry Garrison describes growing up in Long Beach.
- Images of America: Long Beach, NY (2010), by Roberta Fiore, Carole Shahda Geraci, and Dave Roochvarg for the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society, is a collection of photos and stories of Long Beach, NY.
- I Funny by James Patterson is about a boy named Jamie Grimm, who lives there and deals with bullies.
- Long Beach is a beneficiary of the 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief. During the event, Billy Crystal talks about growing up on Long Beach. Billy Joel, who also lived in Long Beach, performed.
- Legendary rock icon Joan Jett filmed her music video "Change The World" on the Long Beach boardwalk.
- Long Beach hosted the 2011 Quiksilver Pro where pro surfers such as Kelly Slater competed.
Nicknames and Slogans
- The City by the Sea (as seen in Latin on its official seal).
- "You always have Long Beach sand in your shoes." (Local)
- The Riviera of the East
Notable natives and residents
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- Vinny Accardi - guitarist of the band Brand New
- Larry Brown - Basketball star and coach graduated from Long Beach High School.
- Cab Calloway - band leader and singer, lived on the Long Beach/Lido divide during the late 1940s, and his daughter Chris attended Mrs. Borzillieri's nursery school
- Vernon and Irene Castle - Dance pioneers who introduced dances such as tango and foxtrot to the US in 1910s lived in Long Beach and operated a fomous nightclub their "Castles By the Sea." Their lives were dramatized in the 1939 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle.
- Alan Colmes - political analyst formerly on Hannity & Colmes, resides in Long Beach
- Billy Crystal - film and television superstar who was born and raised in Long Beach
- Larry Garrison - film and television producer, journalist, N.Y. Times best selling author and celebrity was raised in Long Beach
- MF Doom - underground hip-hop artist
- Mike Francesa - WFAN 660AM New York City radio host, was born and raised in Long Beach
- Jim Ford - film and television actor / stuntman rents an apartment in Long Beach
- James "Scottie" Graham - former Ohio State and NFL player, grew up in Long Beach and graduated from the high school
- Rocky Graziano - boxer, lived in Long Beach for many years; his daughters both went to school there, and the Graziano family were regular Sunday night clients of Lenny's Steak House in the West End
- Eleanor Holm - Olympic Swimmer Movie Star & Star of the Aquacade, grew up in Long Beach.
- Richard Jaeckel - television and film actor, who starred in The Dirty Dozen, was born in Long Beach
- Derek Jeter - New York Yankees shortstop and team captain since 2003, lived in Long Beach
- Joan Jett - rock star, lived in Long Beach and filmed a music video here
- Billy Joel - singer/musician, lived in Long Beach
- Pete Johnson - former Ohio State and NFL player graduated from Long Beach High School
- Hal Kanter - TV Writer Sgt Bilko graduated fron Long Beach High
- John Lannan - pitcher for the Washington Nationals, was born here
- Allard K. Lowenstein - Congressman, Anti-Vietnam War leader and Liberal activist lived in Long Beach and represented it in Congress in the late 1960s.
- Jim McMullan - television and film actor, born in Long Beach
- Mark O'Connell - drummer of the band Taking Back Sunday
- Audrey Peppe - Figure skater. Member 3 US Olympic teams & runner up for National championship. Grew up in Long Beach; graduate of LBHS
- Mike Portnoy - drummer for metal band, Dream Theater
- Lillian Roth - actress, lived in Long Beach as per the Long Beach historical Society
- Arnold Rothstein - gangster; during Prohibition, he maintained a weekend/summer house on the west side of Franklin Boulevard, at the boardwalk
- Frederick Jay "Rick" Rubin - music producer and record executive who attended Long Beach High School
- Zack Ryder (Matthew Cardona) - professional wrestler, currently signed to the Raw brand of World Wrestling Entertainment, resides in Long Beach
- Edgar J. Scherick - film and television producer, ABC network executive, and creator of ABC's Wide World of Sports; was born and raised in Long Beach, and graduated from Long Beach High School
- Christopher Tuffin - producer of such films as Tell-Tale and 2001 Maniacs; was born and raised in Long Beach and graduated from Long Beach High School in 1989
- Ruth Underwood - marimbist with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
- Chaim Weiss - murdered student at the Mesivta of Long Beach in 1986
- Mary Weiss - the Shangri-Las
The right section is Long Beach:
- Our History provided by Newsday (City of Long Beach Official Site)
- The Long Beach Hotel: 1880-1907 (I Love Long Beach New York.com)
- "1907: Fire Destroys Hotel," In Our Pages, International Herald Tribune, accessed 29 July 2007
- "Average Weather for Long Beach, NY - Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Roslyn Bernstein", Baruch College, CUNY
- Bernstein, Roslyn (2009). Boardwalk Stories. New York: Blue Eft Press. ISBN 978-0-9840546-0-2.
- Billy, Crystal (2005). 700 Sundays. New York: Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-57867-3.
- Roberta Fiore, Carole Shahda Geraci & Dave Roochvarg for the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society (2010). Long Beach (Images of America Series). New York: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-7258-6.
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