You know what they say, there’s the right way and the Rockaway.

So, let’s try to straighten out a few things even though it’s futile. What are people from Rockaway called? (Hey, don’t be a wiseguy). Rockawayites is the clunky default name. Rockawayans is a catchier but just doesn’t stick. Mostly, people are just “from Rockaway.”

And not, The Rockaways.

No resident of the peninsula should tell mainlanders that they are from The Rockaways.

It’s allowable for highway signs and maybe, newscasters, to use the plural because the peninsula has Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, and Rockaway Point. But locals should never say they live in The Rockaways. They live in, they are from, Rockaway. Singular. Although if they want to be specific and tell people they live in Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Rockaway Beach or Far Rockaway, that’d be fine. Oddly enough, whether on or off the peninsula, you’re unlikely to hear someone say they’re from Rockaway Park, though it’s the only sonamed place in the entire country. There are plenty of places named Rockaway and Rockaway Beach. (The Ramones, however, only hitched a ride to the one in Queens).

You can be from Far Rockaway but only rubes think it’s the whole peninsula. Visitors butcher this all the time. Newscasters, tweeters and instagrammers, will be at the boardwalk concessions or standing on Beach 129th Street and tell the world they’re in Far Rockaway. Drives us crazy.

There’s another place, it’s called East Rockaway. We think it exists just to confuse people. It’s more far than Far Rockaway and is actually part of Nassau County. And it’s not part of the Rockaway peninsula at all.

This is a summer guide so here are some directions. Whether you’re coming here, leaving here, or standing here, just call it Rockaway. There’s only one!


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