Getting out of the water at Rockaway Beach

Coney Island may be New York’s favorite seaside playground, but at the turn of the century (and for many decades afterward), Rockaway Beach rivaled Coney as the city’s premier beach destination.


This 1907 postcard, from the Museum of the City of New York’s digital collection, shows us unspoiled sand, tents and hotels for guests, and a young girl in bathing attire that looks extremely uncomfortable by today’s standards.

Rockaway has been rediscovered again, supposedly by hipsters and surfers—but it’s doubtful that anyone will venture into the water in black tights.

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5 Responses to “Getting out of the water at Rockaway Beach”

  1. Adrienne Morris Says:

    Reblogged this on Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained–Books & Writing at Middlemay Farm.

  2. Cecile @ My Yellow Farmhouse Says:

    I find it interesting how areas go in and out of popularity, esp. in and around big cities like Boston and NYC. For a while in the early 80s we lived in Brooklyn Heights, which had ‘come back’ from many of the gorgeous homes having been turned into boarding houses for several decades.

  3. Lady G. Says:

    Reblogged this on The Realm Of Olde Brooklyn and commented:
    I’m all for modest swimwear, I particularly love the 40’s and 50’s styles, but I often wondered what the drowning casualty rate was during that era thanks to these heavy suits and stockings!

  4. GP Cox Says:

    Wow – you don’t see Rockaway very often! I was born on Broad Channel and went to the beach there often as a kid. Thanks.

  5. avwalters Says:

    My father-in-law, since passed, was once arrested at Rockaway. The shoulder strap on his bathing attire had slipped off the shoulder. The officer felt it was an intentional indecency.

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