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Page 34
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016
The Rockaway Times
Hartigan Asks
for Beach Etiquette
By Joe Hartigan
As a Belle Harbor resident
for more than 35 years, I take
exception to the new type of
beachgoers now residing in
Belle Harbor, which I refer to
as the ME-sters. Some parts
of Rockaway have surfers and
hipsters, but in Belle Harbor
there are the ME-sters.
During the last two years
(on the weekends) you see
these same Belle Harbor
residents from Beach 129th
Street to about Beach 136th
Street come to the beach
around 10 am, set up their
beach chairs, go home, then
return 2 1/2 hours later. The
new twist to this practice is
that they set their chairs in a
straight line across the shore-
line with around a five-foot
space between each chair
taking up more space than
they could actually need or
use. If you stand on top of the
dune on a beach day morning
you can see a continuous row
of chairs across the front of
the beach, but there are few
if any of the Belle Harbor res-
idents sitting in those chairs.
This practice of selfishness
is clearly neighbor vs. neigh-
bor, especially on weekends
when most of those on the
beach are residents (due to
the weekend parking restric-
I often go for a swim around
10 am and when I stand at the
top of the dune I get a very
good idea of who does carry
out this practice on sunny/
nice weekends. To see the
same individuals take ad-
vantage of their neighbors is
plain wrong. I have known
most of my neighbors for
over 25 years and I would not
think of taking more beach
space than I actually need.
Here are a few examples of
the ME-sters behavior:
Setting up a square tent 30’
back from the high tide mark
then taking caution tape and
marking off an access path to
the water. Setting up chairs
across the front of the beach
with a five foot spacing then
a square tent and then a bean
bag game behind the tent
taking a space roughly of 30’x
Using a long board with
no leash to ride waves in the
shore break with young chil-
dren in close proximity.
Setting up beach chairs
across the front beach then
playing a bean bag game right
next to where the rest of the
neighbors are forced to sit.
Two young girls, no more
than 11 years old, using a
stand up paddleboard, more
than a block off the beach
on a north wind day, with no
life jackets. (An off duty fire-
fighter went out on his pad-
dleboard and brought them
back to shore.) To this day,
I still wonder what the life-
guards were thinking. Even
more important-- what were
their parents thinking!
At nighttime on the last
weekend of the summer,
I learned that there was a
large group of young children
watching a movie on a blow
up screen (which I think is
a great idea). An individu-
al with a wagon loaded with
fireworks similar to the Ma-
cy’s fireworks display showed
up and lit them off from the
top of the dune in the path
to the beach within 50’ of the
children watching the mov-
ie. To this day, I can’t under-
stand why no one stopped
Continued on page 40
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