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. On 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. It incorporated as a village on September 19 of that year.
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.
In addition to the Far Rockaway Beach Bungalow Historic District, the Russell Sage Memorial Church, Trinity Chapel, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The nearby beach made Far Rockaway an attractive destination for tourists and vacationers from the other boroughs. Bungalows were the homes of choice for many residents of the community who lived in Far Rockaway. The popularity of the resort suffered after the railroad abandoned the Rockaway Beach Branch in 1950, and by the increase in automobile ownership, followed by air travel, which opened up distant destinations to large numbers . As the neighborhood's heyday as a resort community declined in the 1950s, substantial numbers of public housing developments were built. Much of the housing was converted into year-round housing for low-income residents, and some bungalows used as public housing. The 1970s New York City budget crisis had a negative impact on social services. which negatively affected Far Rockaway.
The Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association was created in September 1984, to "improve the quality of the Far Rockaway community through preservation, education, and cultural programs." "
A collection of materials highlighingt the history, correspondence, and activities of the organization was donated to the Queens Library Archives in 2008.
Far Rockaway is served by the following transportation services:
- The New York City Subway's IND Rockaway Line (A train), 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 M.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 as a stand-alone institution in 2011, as happened to many large underperforming, older traditional high schools in the city during the administration of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The 1929 building remains extant and has been repurposed as the Far Rockaway Educational Campus, home to a number of smaller, specialized academies who share the building. The former Beach Channel High School—which was similarly closed as a stand-alone institution in 2014 and repurposed to house several smaller, specialized academies—is in Rockaway Park, near Far Rockaway, and draws some of its students from 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.
Challenge Preparatory Charter School on Hartman Lane—publicly-funded but run by a private non-profit entity - serves elementary and middle-school pupils.
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Schools (past and present):
- Chaim Berlin High School
- Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR)
- Mesivta Chaim Shlomo
- Bnois Bais Yaacov
- Tichon Meir Moshe
- Sh'or Yoshuv Institute of Jewish Studies
- Siach Yitzchok Elementary School for Boys
- Torah Academy for Girls
- Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam
- Yeshiva Darchei Torah
- Yeshiva of Far Rockaway
- The Hebrew Institute of Long Island
- Yeshiva Bnei Torah
Synagogues (past and present):
- Agudath Israel of Long Island
- Agudath Israel of Rockaway
- Agudath Israel of West Lawrence
- Bayswater Jewish Center
- Beis Medrash Ateres Yisroel (Rabbi Avraham Blumenkranz)
- Bnos Israel Institute (Rabbi Shmelke Rubin)
- Congregation Kneseth Israel in Far Rockaway
- Congregation Shaarey Tefila
- Congregation Shaarey Zedek
- Congregation Shomrai Shabbos
- Young Israel of Far Rockaway
- Young Israel of Wavecrest and Bayswater
- Richard Bey (born 1951), talk show host; went to Far Rockaway High School.
- Baruch Samuel Blumberg (1925–2011), winner of 1976 Nobel Prize in Medicine; graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1942.
- Joyce Brothers (1925–2013), family psychologist and advice columnist; grew up in Far Rockaway.
- Stack Bundles (1983-2007), rapper, head of the Rockaway Riot Sqaud, grew up in the Redfern Housing Projects. Sqsqsqsq Squad Up! Chea!
- Chinx (1983–2015), rapper, grew up in both the Redfern Houses and Edgemere Houses (the latter of which is now known as Ocean Bay Apartments).
- Cormega (born 1970), rapper.
- Mac DeMarco (born 1990), Canadian songwriter and musician; has a house in Far Rockaway, where his album Another One was recorded.
- Joan Feynman (born 1927), astrophysicist and NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal recipient.
- Richard Feynman (1918–1988), physicist and Nobel Prize winner; grew up in Far Rockaway and graduated from Far Rockaway High School.
- Carl Icahn (born 1936), businessman and philanthropist; grew up in Far Rockaway and went to Far Rockaway High School.
- Nancy Lieberman (born 1958), women's basketball pioneer; grew up in Far Rockaway
- Bernard Madoff (born 1938), former American stockbroker, investment advisor, and financier who was convicted of fraud; went to Far Rockaway High School.
- Steve Madden (born 1958), shoe designer and former CEO of Steve Madden Ltd; born in Far Rockaway.
- Alice Nielsen (1872–1943), Broadway performer and operatic soprano; owned a house in Far Rockaway in the 1920s.
- Phil Ochs (1940–1976), folk-protest singer; resided here for a period during childhood and died at his sister's home here.
- Rammellzee (1960–2010), rap pioneer; born and died in Far Rockaway.
- Burton Richter (born 1931), winner of 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics; graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1948.
- MC Serch (born 1967 as Michael Berrin), former member of the hip hop group 3rd Bass; grew up in Far Rockaway.
- Raymond Smullyan (1919-2017), mathematician; grew up in Far Rockaway.
- Herbert Sturhahn (1902–1979), football player elected to the College Football Hall of Fame; born in Far Rockaway.
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- 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
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- Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, Volume 8, p. 9. New Jersey Legislature, 1913. Accessed July 26, 2016.
- "The Rockaways". Rootsweb.com. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Beach Bungalow Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Wilson, Charles (March 16, 2012). "The Subway-Accessible, Surf-Ready, Urban Beach Paradise". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
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- Autz, Lisa. "Far Rock Man Stands Up for Bungalows". TimesLedger Newspapers. Community Newspaper Group. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
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- "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- IND Rockaway Branch/Jamaica Bay Crossing, accessed June 14, 2006.
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- "Approval Matrix". New York magazine. Sep 30, 2013.
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- "The Best Queens Celebrities 2002", Queens Tribune. Accessed November 25, 2015.
- "Dr. Joyce Brothers: Television and Radio Writer, Producer, Host". The Paley Center For Media. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
The daughter of lawyers, Joyce Diane Bauer was born in Manhattan and raised in Far Rockaway, Queens.
- "The Break Presents: Chinx Drugz". Xxlmag.com. February 17, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Golianopoulos, Thomas. "The Bridge Is Over; The Queensbridge Houses were once at the center of the rap universe. What happened to hip-hop's most storied housing project?", Complex (magazine), November 25, 2014. Accessed July 16, 2017. "Born Cory McKay in Brooklyn, Cormega moved at an early age from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Co-Op City in the Bronx where he lived on a 22nd floor apartment with a balcony. Life was good until his father discovered crack cocaine.Mega moved to Far Rockaway, Queens, and then he began dealing drugs in Brooklyn."
- "Video // Mac DeMarco Announces New Mini LP + Tour Dates". Captured Tracks. April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Richard Phillips Feynman Facts, information, pictures". Encyclopedia.com. June 10, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- Crowe, Portia (May 4, 2015). "Carl Icahn told a story about his dad that always makes him tear up". Business Insider. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- "Nancy Lieberman player profile". ODU Sports. Old Dominion University. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
On May 6, 2000, the Far Rockaway, NY native earned her degree from Old Dominion University in interdisciplinary studies.
- "Lieberman, Nancy". Encyclopedia.com. May 6, 1996. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Carney, John (December 22, 2008). "The Education of Bernie Madoff: The High School Years". Business Insider. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Dominguez, Robert (October 19, 2006). "BRINGING IT BACK HOME. Steve Madden's new ad campaign focuses on his fashion center - Queens". Daily News (New York). Retrieved November 25, 2015.
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.
- McNamara, Pat (January 9, 2009). "We Love Our Nielsen". Patheos. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Tomasson, Robert E. (April 10, 1976). "Phil Ochs a Suicide at 35; Singer of Peace Movement". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- 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 (October 24, 2007). "Ice, Ice Babies". NYMag.com. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
I grew up in Far Rockaway, and you’d always see shoes on the line.
- "Smullyan biography". University of St Andrews School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
Raymond Smullyan, known as Ray, was brought up in Far Rockaway in New York City.
- "National Football Foundation > Programs > College Football Hall of Fame > SearchDetail". National Football Foundation > Home. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
|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