Southern Brooklyn

NY Times Takes A Peak At Southern BK, NYC's Riviera

Click to see the NY Times' video on meeting people in Jamaica Bay

The New York Times posted a feel-good piece this morning about the Southern Brooklyn waterfront, dubbed “New York City Riviera.”

The reporters took a boat tour of the Jamaica Bay waterfront, pulling up alongside barges, boats and marinas to talk to those who live, work or play on the water. And what they found was a diversity consistent with the rest of Southern Brooklyn: a Jamaican family stationed on a houseboat; an Orthodox Jew in mid-prayer, dismissing himself at the end of his interview to deal with a hangover; a Ukrainian fisherman; a contractor from the Alps.

Despite the various backgrounds, those interviewed agreed on one thing at least: the waters of Jamaica Bay – stretching from Sheepshead Bay to the Rockaways and farther into Queens – is New York City’s pristine outback for outdoors-men and mariners.

“It doesn’t come any better than that. You wake up every day to this beauty and the seagulls,” said one of the interviewees.

“They say you have to enjoy the moment — this is the moment,” said the contractor, while preparing to inspect the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.

Those of us in Sheepshead Bay sometimes forget the stunning resources that border our community. Do you get out into Jamaica Bay and the Gateway National Recreation Area often? What do you like to do when you’re there?

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  1. So umm… anybody here with a boat want to have a small Sheepshead Bits meet up? You know… just me.

    Alternatively, a house on Mill Basin like the first guy will do.

  2. Back in the day, the spouse and I used to head out from Sheepshead Bay (Emmons and Ocean), and walk out along the Belt to Flatbush Avenue, exploring all the little bays and tidal flats along the way (Plumb Beach, Dead Horse Bay, Barren Island, under the bridges over the inlets).  Sometimes we’d go over the Gil Hodges Bridge to Rockaway and poke around in the old gun emplacements, sometimes when we were up to it, we’d hike to Canarsie Pier and beyond.  Then back up Flatbush (past Jordan Lobster Dock) to Kings Plaza (back when it was anchored by Macy’s and Alexander’s) and home along Ave U (before the south side of Marine Park was developed).

    Mostly it was just the scenery and some light bird watching/nature watching that brought us there.  Lotsa birds there in season, also horseshoe crabs in June, fiddler crabs, hermit crabs, etc.  Great place to get some exercise by taking a good hike.  We also used to drive to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve (do you still need a permit to park there?) for some more intense bird watching.

    Once, we met a cyclist along the path who told us he’d been up and down the East Coast, including the prime tourist spots in Massachusetts, and he’d never seen a coastline as beautiful as that along Jamaica Bay.  So there!

  3. I used to walk down the Belt Parkway from the Bay to Canarsie till I got older and got scared in my older age to do it alone. It’s such a beautiful walk. I always wondered about the people I saw along the way. Then again, they were probably looking at me wondering who that nut was walking.

    Hey, anybody up for doing the walk, I’m game!


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