The forecast for this weekend currently looks absolutely spectacular and I know we all hope to get to the beach. However, I am a week late with my column as Monday’s high temperatures had many beachgoers who did not know the beach etiquette. Here is my annual beach etiquette guide and it is for all of our new residents and our visitors (which I am sure there will be a lot of due to the ferry and the shuttle and the anticipated high temperatures).
Rule 1: When you get to the beach and there is a lot of space, please do not sit directly on top of people already at the beach. I never understand why someone who has never seen me or met me before wants to sit so close to me? Don’t you want your own space as well? 1b: This also goes to setting up a huge crew directly in front of someone. Many times, the residents know that the tide will be coming in as the day goes on and you sitting directly in front of them is both blocking their view and now creates a problem when you have to move when the tide comes up the beach.
Rule 2: I love music. Our group often has a radio on the beach. However, when your music is so loud that the entire beach cannot even hear their conversation, that is rude. 2b: This noise rule also applies to vulgar language. Rockaway is a family-oriented beach, so please respect that families with children are surrounding you.
Rule 3: Clean up after yourself. This was said in Robert Fulghum’s book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." One of the things he listed 25 years ago was: clean up your own mess. This is not beach etiquette; it is etiquette in general. I walked the boardwalk Monday night and the boardwalk already had empty ketchup containers and ice cream wrappers. I understand that we do not have enough cans but make an effort to at least place your trash in a bag and bring it to the closest can.
Rule 4: Dress appropriately. I saw a few people wearing what they thought were clothes on the boardwalk Monday NIGHT. There is no reason to be at the concession stands at night with no clothes on. And wear bathing suits, not underwear. I have said it before and I will say it again: they are not expensive at Target! Also, please do not change right on the beach, find a restroom.