Remember playing this game? Essentially it goes like this, you think about “what if something was whatever…”
I like to play this game in my mind as I cycle around Rockaway thinking to myself several “what if” scenarios. Mind you I have not done anything to try and make these “what if” scenarios come to fruition but it’s a fun exercise. I was back in Greenpoint this past weekend and I learned that Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was set to play in McCarren Park and do the entire Pet Sounds album. I thought, “what if the Beach Boys were to play in the park?” Forty years ago? No one would believe it possible. But these things sometimes have a way of happening if you “vision” them. So here goes my Rockaway “what ifs…?”:
What if the Hammels Housing became condo buildings and you could own them, instead of just renting them. Would that make things different?
What if the city said to Arverne By the Sea “great job,” why don’t you guys just keep building all the way down along the waterfront as far as you can go? Oh, and by the way we, the city, will build a really nice shorefront road that goes all the way down to Far Rock. And we will build sewers along that road that actually drain somewhere other than the road you drive on!
What if Hilton or Marriott finally said to themselves, “what the hell have we been thinking?” and bought the Neponsit Home and turned it into a world-class hotel with all sorts of water sports and jobs for kids in the area. And we could all send those pesky relatives that like to visit during the summer to the hotel!
What if the guys who bought and renovated the Kings Theater in Brooklyn came and bought the Seaport Theater on 116th Street and did the same thing. And they smartly made the side lots parking for the venue. And real bands came to play there, and local bands got to open for them!
What if the government built a road at the first Crossbay Bridge out of Broad Channel that went right across the bay to Kennedy Airport! And they allowed fishing off that bridge and bike lanes too.
What if the city finally sold the Courthouse on Beach Channel Drive to some entrepreneur who opened up a beautiful French restaurant and boutique hotel right here in Rockaway!
What if those empty lots on Beach Channel Drive were home to parking during the summer? And a trolley was installed to take people along the beach to any beach they wanted to go and back to their cars when they wanted to leave. And residents who don’t have parking spots had year round discounted access to the site too.
What if Gateway was the recipient of a special grant from the federal government in honor of the 100-year anniversary of the National Parks and repaired the beachfront road that everyone loved so much and extended it!
What’s your favorite Rockaway “what if ?”