2014-06-20 / Columnists

Slice of Life

Beach Etiquette
By Beth Hanning

Since I was a child, I have heard of the term “DFDs,” which translated means “Down for the Day.” I always knew what it meant, and I laugh when someone asks me what it means. It simply means people who come down to use our beaches for the day.

I grew up on 117th Street, so we were right in the middle of much of the activity when I was a child. Our beach would be so crowded that on weekends we ventured to our grandparent’s beach on Beach 112th Street.

I am pretty sure that Rockaway is going to see a large amount of visitors this summer, many who are coming to see how we are recovering from the storm.

I think it would be wonderful if we all posted this column on various telephone poles and the concession stands to inform our visitors of basic beach etiquette.

Rule 1a: 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 2a: 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: Please clean up after yourself. I cannot begin to explain how many times we have cleaned up for people after they have left. I also have reminded people as they were leaving to take their trash with them as they leave. Yes I understand that there are not enough of the Parks Department cans and you may have to walk two steps out of your way, but hey, make an effort.

Rule 4: PDAs. Our beach is a public beach, not a private beach on a romantic getaway. You may hold hands but do not make out in the water or on your blanket. Thanks.

Rule 5: As far as beach umbrellas go, we do not want someone to get impaled while trying to enjoy a sunny day at the beach. I understand skin cancer and sunburn are a factor in you wanting to sit underneath the shade, but you need to put in some effort. Dig a hole and make sure it is securely in the sand. If you need help ask. I am sure each beach has an umbrella guru. We have plenty.

Rule 6: This rule applies to walking around the streets and in the neighborhood businesses. Shirts and shoes are not optional. Put them on. I do not care if you are thin and can rock the look, many of you cannot. This rule especially goes into effect after dark.

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 could go on with a few more rules, but baby steps.

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