Boardwalk: Just Do It
For those elected officials who haven’t noticed, Rockaway is a great community. A small town, if you will. Just like many small towns all over this country. Judging from how our politicians have reacted (or NOT reacted) to our loss of the Boardwalk, I don’t think they get it. Or they don’t want to get it. In either case, let me explain what I mean about our community of folks who have sand in their shoes.
Losing the Boardwalk is not just losing a boardwalk. It is losing the aorta of this town. It is what the life’s blood of this community courses through. It is our “front porch” if you will. Just like the front porch in homes in other small towns, it is where people meet up with their neighbors to talk about their kids, their parents, school, baseball. It is the single most important place for getting to know each other and fostering that sense of community that is so evident in the Rockaways and makes Rockaway the place that it is.
It is where joggers run. It is where everyone rides their bike. It’s where everyone goes to watch the surfers. It is a place where seniors can get out of their homes and sit in peace and watch the waves. It is where young people gather and make friends that will last a lifetime. It’s where people can walk from one area to another without having to navigate through small streets and traffic. It is where folks can go, on a hot evening, and read a book with a breeze cooling them, rather than having to sit in airconditioning.
This past summer, the Boardwalk became something new too. It became an attraction for young people who have made the “concessions” the “in” place to be. The fun that was evident on those summer evenings was so refreshing and wonderful. Rockaway was alive again, with a promise of only getting better and better.
Having lost our Boardwalk, we have lost our front porch. We have lost our connection to each other. It is time for someone, somewhere in government, to set about restoring our Boardwalk as quickly as possible. Don’t let this turn into a 10 year project. By that time, our resurgence will have lost its momentum. Long Beach is doing it already, as is the Jersey Shore. Don’t spend years thinking about this. Just do it!