Rockaways

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Where to go for your next beach escape? There are lots of guides to finding the right Queens beach for a weekend getaway — Queens Mamas lists great beaches for kids, Huff Post lists a number of restaurants and activities on the peninsula, and Gothamist’s 2011 guide is rich with photos of good eats, architecture, and local dives. We’ll tell you how to get there, what to bring, and where to eat once you’ve made enough sandcastles to work up an appetite.

Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk – This beach is the easiest to access via subway. That means it’s where everyone else is headed too, which has its benefits — especially in the form of yummy goodness at Rockaway Taco and Veggie Island, and from the Shore Fruit bike kabob ladies. The masses generally pack in between Beach 85th and Beach 110th Streets, so if you want more peace and less party, we recommend either the swimming beach at Beach 60th Street or the end of the boardwalk past Beach 115th Street. The city-owned Rockaway Beach is super long, so take advantage of that fact to find your own spot to enjoy for the day. (GMAP)

What to bring – All you really need is your towel and your suit; you can pick up lunch, snacks, surfboards, and more in the neighborhood

Who to take – Everyone you know, including your foodie friends and your boogie-boarding kids

How to get there – 

  • A train to Beach 57 St or beyond
  • A train to Broad Channel; transfer to S (shuttle) train to Beach 90 St or beyond
  • Q52/Q53 bus from Woodside, Elmhurst, or Forest Hills
  • Rockabus shuttle from Williamsburg

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The NY Daily News reported yesterday on a proposed pipeline project running through Queens and Brooklyn. There’s a major pipeline already running out in the ocean that isn’t bothering anybody at the moment, but the proposed pipeline would run straight through the Rockaways and into Brooklyn. It’s called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project and would go under Jacob Riis Park in the Gateway National Recreation Area, home to marine life that could be affected by the project.

National Grid, on the hunt for energy solutions, is part of the project. Taking a stance against this project is a local environmental activist group called Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers.

There’s an informational meeting  about the project tonight at 7:00 at the Knights of Columbus Rockaway Council 2672. See our event listing for details.

If approved, construction would begin next year with gas flowing by 2014.  If you want to know more, read up on the the Williams Companies. They’re based in Oklahoma.

Image source: Williams Companies

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In perfect Memorial Day tradition, the Big Apple Circus is coming this weekend. If you don’t get tickets to one of this weekend’s many shows, don’t worry, the big top will be up in Cunningham Park until June 17. Tickets start at $15 and your kids will love you forever.

Memorial Day also means that city beaches are open. Maybe hit the sand in the Rockaways for a beach BBQ. If you’d rather not get in the water, you can go kayaking in the East River for free with LIC Boathouse various trips are available on Sunday and Monday. There are tons of parades you can go to, according to the TimesLedger, or maybe watch “Romeo and Juliet” in an abandoned Long Island City building instead. Tickets are $15 and the show runs this weekend and until June 10 at 26-15 Jackson Ave.

Possibly the most unusual event of the weekend is “Journey On” at the Secret Theatre by improv theater group, “Playing with Reality.” If you go, let us know all about it. Tickets are $15 and the show runs on Saturday at 6 p.m. and on Sunday at 7 p.m. and at various other times until June 10.

Some galleries to check out this weekend include Space Womb from noon to 6 p.m. Radiator Arts, from 3 to 6 p.m., Yace Gallery on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Oh, and Spiderman is going to be at the New York Hall of Science, on Saturday at 1 p.m. FYI.

Image: Anna Volodko, courtesy of the Big Apple Circus

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This weekend is “It’s My Park” day. What this means is that there is a park near you that will get some TLC. Socrates Sculpture Park at 32-01 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City, is having it’s annual Kite Flight where people will sing that Mary Poppins song:

http://youtu.be/UGaTfGHELV4

Just kidding. But you can make your own kite on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and don’t worry, there will be people to instruct you and give you supplies.

As part of your green weekend, you can pick up a free tree at several borough locations as part of the city’s Million Trees giveaway. Free trees can be obtained on Saturday from 10:00 am to Noon at Astoria Park, 19th Street and Astoria Park South and at 174-10 67th Ave at PS 173. You can get more free trees on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at 70th Avenue and Queens Boulevard. Happy planting!

If you are more into the beach this weekend, the Rockaways will hold its first annual Bike Parade on Saturday. If you want to register to be in the parade, you may still have time. Get ready to see decorated bicycles of all types leave Jacob Riis Bathhouse at Beach 154th St. Rockaway, NY at 11 a.m. Participants will get to decorate their bikes starting at 10 a.m., or you can just show up with your bike already decked out. If you want to view parade participants, there will be a “Best of Show” competition at Beach 97th St. Beach Boardwalk at 1 p.m.

Another fun event on Saturday is the 4th Annual Build it Green Block Party from noon to 3 p.m. we love this one, because it’s basically a giant swap, where people bring anything they don’t want and exchange it for other things. You could essentially walk in with an ugly t-shirt and leave with a DVD player. The fun begins at noon in front of Build It Green! NYC’s Astoria Reuse Center at 26th Ave. between 3rd and 4th Streets. There will be music, free coffee, free face painting, screen printing and Brooklyn Grange (the roof farm in LIC) will be there so you can get your weekend produce shopping done early. Oh yeah, the Western Queens Compost Initiative will also be there to teach about worms and what not, and there will be music.

On Saturday afternoon, the Queens Museum of Art will host a free short film festival by budding borough artists from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Film fun continues on Sunday, when the museum will celebrate the 8th Anniversary of CinemaRosa, Queens’ first and only independent Queer film screening series. Films begin at 3 p.m. and there will be cake.

Sunday is community day at the Noguchi Museum, which means everyone gets in for free. Yes, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there are all sorts of things planned, many of which are geared toward celebrating the environment.

The LIC Arts Open will continue with its amazingness all weekend. On Saturday there will be a block party on 22nd Street between 43rd and 44th Avenues from noon until 6 p.m. Highlights this weekend include the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival, where one funny winner will walk away with $25,000- for this kind of money, who knows who may participate. LICSPOT has some great posts about the Arts Open, to give you a feel for it.