IDEAS WANTED Rockaway
Clean and utilize the fresh water pond in Fort Tilden. This should be a place of beauty and ecological study, not a garbage dump.
Restore one or all of the Fort Tilden bunkers to their wartime state (this might even come in handy as North Korea’s rockets are aimed at us as I write.... I think a drone strike is in order! This would be a fascinating tourist attraction, my understanding is they go below grade quite a bit. Costly for sure but let’s not let a small thing like money squish my dreams. The promenades of the bunkers also make great places to throw parties, I remember going to a few - years (and years) back. The acoustics are awesome and you disturb no one. Can you disturb someone who is a no one? Perhaps just live music? Another beer garden?
Set up a community farm in Fort Tilden where plots are leased out and people can go and tend to their plots, trade secrets and crops. Growing competitions with a big party at harvest time.
Run tours to whatever rooms house the windows that overlook the whole peninsula via the two towers of the Marine Parkway bridge. I have lived here 43 years and have never seen a photograph taken from the perspective of those windows; in fact I am curious as to what such a room holds.
Horseback riding on the beach? Set up some stables and run riding classes. Maybe have competitions of some sort. I realize this can be messy or litigious if someone falls but the idea of sunset horseback rides on the beach seems like another alternative for entertainment and potential tourist attraction.
My last idea and possibly the best is to put a big amusement park by the boardwalk between Beach 99th and 95th Streets. Put a Skee-ball arcade by the boardwalk on 116th Street and have weekly fireworks and encourage people to utilize the boardwalk in the evening. Okay, those last few ideas came from a voyage in Mr. Peabody’s time machine but those were good times.
I realize most of my ideas center around the Fort which is probably under the tight control of the Feds to ensure that the place just languishes to a slow death by deterioration. Speaking of which, they need to study those yellow buildings at the beginning of the fort and require that all new construction is modeled after them. Those buildings have stood open and exposed to the elements for years. They have survived every storm we have had. The roofs are probably 60 years old and are still pretty much intact.
These are my ideas and I have no idea how I came up with them. —Brian S.
RH: That’s a fancy piece of brainstorming from a new contributor.
And here’s some more ideas from one of the column’s regulars….
Bring back the Rockaway Trolley!! With all this talk about what train or bus will stop where, just bring back the Trolley, the Trolley stops everwhere and people will love it! Right down RBB. There is also no service west of Beach 116th Street (they have to get home, too). The street needs to be re-done, the city should take advantage NOW and lay down the Trolley tracks!
I’m starting to sound like my father, “BRING BACK THE TROLLEY” - next I’ll be turning my head and launching a piece of Lucky Strike tobacco off my tongue into Nowheresville!
I’ll be ending every sentence with “Don’t you god damn tell me what tell, I was there!”
P.S. We’re gonna stop by the ROCKA DOME and say “HI” on Saturday! —Matt Whalen
RH – Well Matt, his lovely wife Susan and their two kids DID stop by the Dome during our Ideas Wanted filming on Saturday, so we finally got to meet the guy who has been peppering us with neat ideas for months. Keep ‘em coming!
OK folks, so there you have Brian and Matt’s ideas, what about yours? Send them to