Far Rockaway, Queens
|Neighborhood of Queens|
Far Rockaway street scene
|City||New York City|
|Named for||Place name of the Native American Lenape.|
|• Median income||$27,820|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917|
Far Rockaway is a neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. It is the easternmost section of the Rockaways. The neighborhood starts at the Nassau County line and extends west to Beach 32nd Street. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 14. The name "Rockaway" may have meant "place of sands" in the Munsee language of the Native American Lenape. Other spellings include Requarkie, Rechouwakie, Rechaweygh, Rechquaakie and Reckowacky.[note 1]
In September 1609, Henry Hudson and his crew were the first Europeans to see the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay. Hudson was attempting to go to the Northwest Passage. In September 11, Hudson sailed into the Upper New York Bay, and the following day began a journey up the modern-day Hudson River.
Rockaway was, back then, inhabited by Canarsie Indians. The name Reckowacky, which is also spelled Requarkie, Rechouwakie, Rechaweygh, or Rechquaakie,[note 1] was to distinguish the Rockaway village from other Mohawk Nation villages; "Reckowacky" means "lonely place", or "place of waters bright". By 1639, the Mohegan tribe sold most of the Rockaways to the Dutch West India Company. In 1664, the English got the land from the Dutch.[note 2] In 1685, the tribal chieftain, Chief Tackapoucha, and the English governor agreed to sell the Rockaways to one Captain Palmer for 31 pounds sterling.
The Rockaway Peninsula was originally part of the Town of Hempstead, then a part of Queens County. Palmer and the town of Hempstead disputed over who owned Rockaway, so the land was sold to Richard Cornell, an iron master from Flushing in 1687. Cornell and his family lived on a homestead on Central Avenue, near the Atlantic Ocean shore; upon his death, Cornell was buried in a small family cemetery, Cornell Cemetery, which is the only designated New York City landmark in the Rockaways. The Rockaway Association wanted to build a hotel on the Rockaway peninsula. The association, consisting of many wealthy members, bought most of Cornell's old homestead property. The Marine Hotel, which was built on that site, became a place where the Vanderbilt family, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Washington Irving, eventually stayed. The Rockaway Association also built the Rockaway Turnpike. The Marine Hotel burned to the ground in 1864, but more hotels and private residences were built in the area.
Horse-drawn carriages and horses originally comprised a transport mode to the Rockaways. A ferry traveled from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. By the 1880s, the Long Island Rail Road's Rockaway Beach Branch was built from Far Rockaway station. The steam railroad went to Long Island City and Flatbush Terminal (now Atlantic Terminal), which facilitated population growth on the Rockaway Peninsula when it opened in the 1880s. Benjamin Mott gave the LIRR 7 acres (2.8 ha) of land for a railroad depot. Land values increased and businesses in the area grew, and by 1888, Far Rockaway was a relatively large village.
By 1898, the area was incorporated into the Greater City of New York. Far Rockaway, Hammels, and Arverne tried to secede from the city several times. In 1915 and 1917, a bill approving the secession passed in the legislature but was vetoed by the mayor at the time, John Purroy Mitchel.
The proximity of the location to the beach made it an ideal place for tourists and vacationing people from the other boroughs. Bungalows were the homes of choice for many residents of the community who lived in Far Rockaway. In the 1950s and '60s the Rockaways saw many public housing developments built because the neighborhood's heyday as a resort community ended about 1950. The families that used the nearby Long Island Rail Road to get to the area each summer began to vacation elsewhere as travel by automobile became more accessible to many people. The popularity of the area also suffered after the railroad abandoned the Rockaway Beach Branch in 1950, making travel to the Rockaway Peninsula far less convenient to people from other parts of New York City. Much of the housing in the area was converted into year-round housing for low-income residents, and some of the bungalows were used as public housing. In the 1970s, New York City went through a crippling budget crisis that had a massive negative impact on social services. This decline in service impacted the Far Rockaway community severely.
The Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association was created by Betzie Parker White, Roger White, and Carole Lewis in September 1984. The mission of the organization was to improve the quality of the Far Rockaway community through preservation, education, and cultural programs. Fellow community resident Richard George became a board member in 1985 and became organization chairman in 1990. He continues the mission of the founding members with a special emphasis placed on the preservation of the bungalows “because they are a piece of the city’s history and a reminder of what the Rockaways were.”
The collection was donated to the Queens Library Archives in 2008. The collection contains 11 boxes of materials that highlight the history, correspondence, and activities of the organization devoted to the preservation of the Far Rockaway bungalows.
Far Rockaway is served by the following transportation services:
- The New York City Subway's IND Rockaway Line (A trains), which has a terminal at Mott Avenue.
- The Far Rockaway terminal station for the Long Island Rail Road's Far Rockaway Branch. The branch had originally been part of a loop that traveled along the existing route, continuing through the Rockaway Peninsula and heading on a trestle across Jamaica Bay through Queens where it reconnected with other branches. Frequent fires and maintenance problems led the LIRR to abandon the Queens portion of the route, which was acquired by the city to become the IND Rockaway Line.
- MTA Regional Bus Operations: Q22, Q113, Q114, QM17
- Nassau Inter-County Express: N31, N32, N33. Unlike other NICE routes in Queens, these buses operate open-door in Far Rockaway, meaning customers can ride these buses wholly within the neighborhood without necessarily going to Nassau County.
- NYC Beach Bus. A shuttle bus between downtown Brooklyn or Williamsburg and the area around Beach 84 and Jacob Riis Park.
Education and library
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The neighborhood, like all of New York City, is served by the New York City Department of Education. Far Rockaway residents are zoned to several different elementary schools:
- P.S. 43
- P.S. 104 The Bayswater School
- P.S. 105 The Bay School
- P.S. 106
- P.S. 197 The Ocean School
- P.S. 215 Lucretia Mott
- P.S. 253
Far Rockaway residents are zoned to I.S. 53 Brian Piccolo.
All New York City residents who wish to attend a public high school must apply to high schools. Far Rockaway High School was located in Far Rockaway, but was shut down in 2011. Beach Channel High School is near Far Rockaway.
Church of God Christian Academy is a K–12 co-ed school, located on Central Avenue.
Nikitas Language Abroad Schools, a series of language schools, is also located in Far Rockaway.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Schools (past and present):
Synagogues (past and present):
- Richard Bey (born 1951), talk show host.
- Baruch Samuel Blumberg (1925–2011), 1942 graduate of Far Rockaway High School; won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1976.
- Joyce Brothers (1925–2013), family psychologist and advice columnist
- Chinx (1983-2015), rapper, Riot Squad, Coke Boys
- Mac DeMarco (born 1990), singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, producer.
- LeRoy Ellis (1940–2012), basketball player
- Father MC (date of birth unknown), rapper
- Morton Feldman (1926–1987), American modernist composer.
- Richard Feynman (1918–1988), physicist and Nobel Prize winner
- Phil Goldfeder (date of birth unknown), member of New York State Assembly
- Carl Icahn (born 1936), businessman
- Stubby Kaye (1918–1997, born Bernard Sholm Kotzin), comic actor
- Alan M. Kriegsman (1928–2012), raised in Far Rockaway; graduated from Far Rockaway High School; won Pulitzer Prize in Criticism (1976), the first Prize awarded for writings on the art of dance.
- Nancy Lieberman (born 1958), women's basketball pioneer
- Emil Lucev (born 1933), Brooklyn historian.
- Bernard Madoff (born 1938), former American stockbroker, investment advisor, and financier, now convicted of fraud
- Steve Madden (born 1958), shoe designer and former CEO of Steve Madden Ltd.
- Alice Nielsen (1872–1943), Broadway performer and operatic soprano
- Phil Ochs (1940–1976), folk-protest singer (resided here for a period during childhood; also died at his sister's home here)
- Robyn Ochs (born 1958), bisexual and marriage equality activist
- Ryan Pearson, basketball player
- Kelly Price (born 1973), R&B singer
- Rammellzee (1960–2010), rap pioneer
- Burton Richter (born 1931), 1948 graduate of Far Rockaway High School; won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1976.
- Russell Sage (1816–1906), railroad tycoon whose legacy is the First Presbyterian Church of Far Rockaway.
- MC Serch (born 1967 as Michael Berrin), former member of the hip hop group 3rd Bass
- Raymond Smullyan (born 1919), mathematician
- Sonaro (born 1984), music producer
- Steve Stevens (born 1959 as Steve Schneider), Grammy Award winning guitarist for UK rocker Billy Idol
- Herbert Sturhahn (1902–1979), football player elected to the College Football Hall of Fame
- Stack Bundles (1984-2007) rapper
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
- "Rockaway... 'place of waters bright'", rockawave.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
- "The Dean Georges Collection: Far Rockaway, Edgemer, Arverne". Rockaway Memories. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
- Nevius, Michelle and James, "New York's many 9/11 anniversaries: the Staten Island Peace Conference", Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
- Rockaway, The Playground of New York, Annual yearbook of the Rockaways, June, 1934
- Henry L. Schoolcraft, "The Capture of New Amsterdam," English Historical Review (1907) 22#88 674–693 in JSTOR
- Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300055366., p. 120.
- "The Rockaways". Rootsweb.com. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
- "Beach Bungalow Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Wilson, Charles (16 March 2012). "The Subway-Accessible, Surf-Ready, Urban Beach Paradise". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "Fiscal crisis in 1975 taught New York hard lessons of chopping, freezing that are handy now". Daily News (New York).
- Autz, Lisa. "Far Rock Man Stands Up for Bungalows". TimesLedger Newspapers. Community Newspaper Group. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- IND Rockaway Branch/Jamaica Bay Crossing, accessed June 14, 2006.
- Queens Bus Map
- "Approval Matrix". New York magazine. Sep 30, 2013.
- Morales, Tina. "SCHOOL OF THE WEEK/Far Rockaway High School", Newsday, February 25, 1990. Accessed July 3, 2010.
- "The Best Queens Celebrities 2002", Queens Tribune, accessed May 14, 2007.
- Dr. Joyce Brothers: Television and Radio Writer, Producer, Host, Museum of Television & Radio, Accessed May 14, 2007. "The daughter of lawyers, Joyce Diane Bauer was born in Manhattan and raised in Far Rockaway, Queens."
- Nancy Lieberman player profile, Old Dominion University, accessed May 14, 2007. "On May 6, 2000, the Far Rockaway, NY native earned her degree from Old Dominion University in interdisciplinary studies."
- " John Carney. The Education of Bernie Madoff: The High School Years". Clusterstock. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
- Dominguez, Robert. "BRINGING IT BACK HOME. Steve Madden's new ad campaign focuses on his fashion center - Queens", Daily News (New York), October 19, 2006. Accessed November 24, 2008. "But Madden was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, where his family is from, and his corporate headquarters are in a huge, Tudor-style building in Long Island City not far from the Queensboro Bridge."
- We Love Our Nielsen (Pat McNamara. January 9, 2009)
- Tomasson, Robert E. "Phil Ochs a Suicide at 35; Singer of Peace Movement", The New York Times, April 10, 1976. Accessed July 24, 2008.
- Weiss, Jeff (July 1, 2010). "R.I.P. Rammellzee: The original abstract-rapping outlaw". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
- "IN SEARCH OF THE Z PARTICLE", The New York Times, October 26, 1986. Accessed October 2, 2007. "BURTON RICHTER was born in Brooklyn 55 years ago, but grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens."
- Jackson, Brian Keith. "Ice, Ice Babies: Reality-TV show tries to create the next Eminem.", New York (magazine), December 31, 2006. Accessed November 23, 2007. "I grew up in Far Rockaway, and you’d always see shoes on the line."
- Raymond M Smullyan, University of St Andrews School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences. Accessed June 11, 2007. "Raymond Smullyan, known as Ray, was brought up in Far Rockaway in New York City."
- Herbert "Cobbles" Sturhahn, College Football Hall of Fame. Accessed August 13, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Far Rockaway, Queens.|
- Old Rockaway, New York, in Early Photographs by Vincent Seyfried, William Asadorian
- Far Rockaway: Abandoned Bungalows a 2009 photo essay by Nathan Kensinger