So, I finally made it down to the beach this past Saturday and it was a glorious top ten day on the beach. There was not a cloud in the sky and the weather was just perfect. Surprisingly, the beach was also not that crowded. The only thing that was a little annoying is the two women who sat on top of our circle.
Now on Beach 121st, we have a rather large beach compared to some of our neighbors, so there is no need to sit on top of people. SO, I remembered I have not written a beach etiquette column in a while. Here it is for all of our new residents and our visitors (which I am sure there will be a lot of due to the ferry and the shuttle).
Rule 1: When you get to the beach and there is a lot of space, please do not sit directly on top of people already at the beach. I never understand why someone who has never seen me or met me before wants to sit so close to me. Don’t you want your own space as well? 1b: This also goes to setting up a huge crew directly in front of someone. Many times the residents know that the tide will be coming in as the day goes on and you sitting directly in front of them is both blocking their view and now creates a problem when you have to move when the tide comes up the beach.
Rule 2: I love music. Our group often has a radio on the beach. However, when your music is so loud that the entire beach cannot even hear their conversation, that is rude. 2b: This noise rule also applies to vulgar language. Rockaway is a family-oriented beach, so please respect that families with children are surrounding you.
Rule 3: Clean up after yourself. This was said in Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. One of his things he listed 25 years ago was: clean up your own mess. This is not beach etiquette, it is etiquette in general. Last year, a group of high school day drinkers (they actually wore high school shirts), tried to leave Beach 129th Street without cleaning their beer cans and liquor bottles. I aggressively went over to them as they were packing up and asked them: “You are not leaving this mess are you?” I must have embarrassed them because they started to clean up. I understand that we do not have enough garbage cans, but make an effort to at least place your trash in a bag and bring it to the closest can.
Please understand that I am not against non-residents of Rockaway from enjoying our beaches, I just think that if they knew the rules, it would be a bit better. I have a few more rules and they will be out next week.