rockaway beach: travel diary

my recent visit to rockaway beach wasn’t a planned one. that is, I did decide to go there, but only after my dad & i missed our morning flight out of jfk and couldn’t book another flight home until 9:15pm. we both felt that a day at the beach would be a perfect way to relax after what, as you might imagine, started out as a stressful day at the airport.


i had been to rockaway beach once before, shortly after i had moved back to minneapolis after living in new york for two years. something about rockaway has felt deeply spiritual to me ever since my first visit.

this strip of atlantic coast so near to the largest city in the united states feels especially clean & pure after spending days, weeks, or months in the concrete jungle of manhattan & brooklyn. it is perhaps the closest way, besides central park or prospect park, to really experience nature when living in or visiting new york.


i spent the last two years living in southern california, where i got to know the pacific ocean on a more intimate basis. seeing the atlantic again, i couldn’t help but notice that there are distinctive differences between the two oceans. i liked thinking about the fact that my grandparents came over the atlantic from europe by boat to start a new life in america.

my dad & I both enjoyed the rejuvenation that beaches provide — we took photos, sat on the sand & read, collected shells, & walked on the shore. this beach always reminds me that life & death are natural processes, and that the cycles of nature are truly beautiful. each shell is a memento of this. the ocean & its shores represent both dimensions — dark & light, death & life, choas & order. i was grateful to have these moments of reflection at rockaway once again.