I should have had this column in last week, but I did not know it was going to be such a spectacular weekend. I usually do not go swimming this early in the year and I almost went in for a dip!
Here is my annual beach etiquette column and it is for all of our new residents and our visitors that were pouring off of the ferry this past week. One loyal reader said Kevin should place my column as one of the photos on the boardwalk, but my suggestion has been ignored!
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. I truly think this rule will be broken as the beaches close to the ferry are so small from boardwalk to shore.
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 the families with children that 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 his things he listed 25 years ago was: clean up your own mess. This is not beach etiquette; it is etiquette in general. My daughter and I rode Beach Channel Drive across from the ferry and there was an empty package of chop meat on the sidewalk. CHOP MEAT? This was in addition to the tons of garbage that was strewn about. 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. I have to start Jamaica Bay etiquette as well, because a jet skier came into Bungalow Bar with his life jacket and no shirt underneath. It is a restaurant, I do not think you are going to sink, you’ll be okay. Take off the life vest and grab a tee shirt.
PS. Thanks to our mayor, I never would have guessed beaches would be open on time!
By Beth Hanning