I am Thankful For…

This time of year we reflect on all that we are thankful for. While 2020 has been a nightmare, I’m sure we can all find the little moments of appreciation that were afforded to us.

For me, I’m thankful for the fascinating nature that surrounds us in Rockaway and our public parks. These spaces have been an outlet for me to cope through the pandemic. In the past 8 months, I’ve spent more time on the beach and on my bike exploring and at National and NYC Parks than ever before. And all of this right on the peninsula. I feel grateful to have the beauty of the coast and the ocean steps away, available for me to escape to, at any moment.

Many friends of mine living in apartments in Brooklyn commented on my IG stories during the early days of Covid, saying how lucky I was to live by the Beach, and that’s when it really clicked, how fortunate I am.

Sonic Constellation

Recently I discovered two outdoor gems. They are both worthy of visitation. The first is under the el at 59th Street in Far Rockaway. The outdoor installation and mural is a collaboration with The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, (RISE), NYC Dot, NACTO and Underhill Walls (A Street Artist Group @underhillwalls). The art is described by RISE as a statement on the environmental impacts of our technology driven, consumerist society.

It felt liberating to walk slowly in the middle of the street, no cars, viewing the bold mural on the asphalt under my feet. And walking under what I call the “plastic brain” (Sonic Constellation sculpture), looking up at the colored plastic bottle caps into the sky was an impressive experience.


Sonic Constellation 2 Rockaway Arverne Rise

The second  place I suggest visiting is the Historic Arverne Fishing and Recreation Area, located on 69th Street and the bay. The Wave recently wrote about it’s refurbishment in an article titled Lifting Up Arverne. After reading, I knew I’d go the following weekend.




My first thought was, “Wow, this is a forgotten New York spot.” There aren’t any signs pointing to its location. The park is tucked always on a residential block. It feels like a local secret. The Rockaway Bay Coastal Association (RBCA), Ladies of Business of Rockaway (LBRB), The Heart of Rockaway Civic (THOR) and Assembly member-elect  Khaleel Anderson, along with other community members did a fantastic job sprucing up the bayside recreation area. The new planters,  inspirational signs, paintings and picnic tables are welcoming and provide a space to sit and relax. There are upgraded fishing stations too!  The best time to visit  is right before sunset for the colorful views over the bay.

I’ve always thought the bay side of Rockaway is underutilized. It has so much potential as public park land. I’m glad to see things are mobilizing and I hope to be a part of the volunteerism next time.  It’s important now more than ever to support local efforts to continue the beautification and environmental preservation of the peninsula.

Rockaway is a natural wonderland and I’m so thankful to be immersed in it.

tagged in nyc parks