Getting out of the water at Rockaway Beach

Ephemeral New York

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.

Rockawaybeachpostcardmcny

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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