I am sorry that this column is coming late this season. I was on the beach this weekend and saw so many offenders, so here is the annual column with a 2020 slice.
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 families with children that are surrounding you. And if you want to listen to the rude and vulgar language when you are alone, use headphones. A lone young man this weekend set his large radio directly in front of a large group of children playing volleyball and the lyrics were awful.
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 his things he listed 25 years ago was: clean up your own mess. This is not beach etiquette; it is etiquette in general. I understand that we do not have enough garbage cans, but make an effort to at least place your trash in a bag and bring it to the closest can. I heard a great conversation yesterday from a friend, “The beach clean-up was tough Saturday!” PS: If you ask the “parkies,” they will give you garbage bags!
Rule 4: Dress appropriately. I saw a few people wearing what they thought were clothes on the beach this weekend. There is no reason to be strolling the beach topless. This is not customary in our country. 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.
Please understand that I am not against non-residents of Rockaway enjoying our beaches. I just think that if they knew the rules, it would be a bit better.
By Beth Hanning