Confession time: I hate beaches.
Oh, I love a good shoreline. I love the ocean. But a beach with perfect, white sand, where I can sit and soak up the sun? I’d rather be at the dentist.
There’s just something sterile and artificial about most beaches that I’ve visited. Too many people, too much blank sand. There’s no chance for anything wild or unpredictable.
So I should have really hated Rockaway Beach.
I mean, it’s in New York City. I wasn’t expecting to find anything wild, or quiet, or lovely. I wasn’t expecting that I would end up staying all afternoon, relaxing and exploring and watching the funny birds fight over mussels.
So I was wrong.
The area around the beach was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Sections of the beach were still being repaired when I went in August, more then two years after the storm. In the area where I walked, near Fort Tildon, you can see places where the boardwalk was simply washed away.
That might have explained the lack of crowds. But even the most dilapidated stretches of the beach were very much alive.