#TBT: Fort Tilden, 1962

From the Uncle box: Here are some of Jack O’Connor’s photos from when he was stationed at Fort Tilden, 1962. His story was that after he caused trouble in basic training at Fort Dix, NJ, his commanding officer said he going to send him “to the end of nowhere” as punishment.*

Jack liked to brag that he would go AWOL to get breakfast at home on Beach 91st.

 

*Grain of salt disclaimer: Uncle Jack was prone to hyperbole.

 

 

All photos ©narrowbackslacker.  

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Bonus: Also 1962. I can’t tell where this was taken…. but I suspect it is also Ft. Tilden (and if not, it’s someplace else in Rockaway). Does anyone recognize the building in the background?

Ft.Tilden1962 3 Continue reading

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Photos from Rockaway Beach, 1988

In 1988, I took a few pictures of places around the neighborhood because I was bummed that I hadn’t taken any of Playland before they tore it down. They are not particularly good photos, but I thought people might like to see them for a wee stroll down memory lane. I do miss Boggiano’s hot dogs, but I can’t say I miss the sad state of Rockaway Beach in the 1980s.

You can see the empty lot where Playland used to stand reflected in the glass.  ©narrowbackslacker
You can see the empty lot where Playland used to stand reflected in the glass. ©narrowbackslacker

Here are a couple from the Cross Bay Bridge. Courthouse hasn’t changed (other than to further deteriorate) but the restaurants on the Bay sure have.

View from the Cross Bay Bridge, 1988. There's the old Pier 92 (now Bungalow Bar) and Bridge Cafe (now Thai Rock).
View from the Cross Bay Bridge, 1988. There’s the old Pier 92 (now Bungalow Bar) and Bridge Cafe (now Thai Rock). ©narrowbackslacker
Bait and Booze: The old Bridge Cafe, 1988. I did my underaged drinking there, but don't blame the owners. My fake ID was excellent. ©narrowbackslacker
Bait and Booze: The old Bridge Cafe, 1988. I did my underaged drinking there, but don’t blame the owners. My fake ID was excellent. ©narrowbackslacker
Another view of the Bridge Cafe (now Thai Rock) from the Cross Bay Bridge. You can see the old Texaco station (Nick's) in the background.
Another view of the Bridge Cafe (now Thai Rock) from the Cross Bay Bridge. You can see the old Texaco station (Nick’s) in the background.

Who doesn’t want to go to Irishtown?

Who doesn’t want to go to Irishtown?, via NarrowbackSlacker

I’ve been a fan of the Bowery Boys podcast ever since I first stumbled across their charming investigation into Rockaway Beach back in 2012. Having grown up here, and listened to every old timer’s take on what happened, how, and why, it was refreshing to listen to two outsiders’ impressions of our little peninsula and its unique history. They do their homework, combing through books and newspaper archives, and they talk about the place with the unabashed enthusiasm of people discovering it for the first time (there are people in this city who’ve never heard of Irishtown!). After that podcast, I was hooked, and so was my son. We always download an episode or two when we’re heading out for a car trip, and learn a little something about NYC history, legend, and lore along the way.  Check out their blog for primary sources, photos, and more.

For RBNY locals, the Rockaway Beach (episode 140)  and the Robert Moses (100) episodes are  must-listens. The latter, in particular, left me pondering whether what Rockaway needs now is a  Moses-esque dictator to reign in the bureaucracy and get the boardwalk replaced already. Moses’ legacy is complex, to say the least: he built a lot of stuff, and destroyed a lot in the process. But going into our second summer without a boardwalk, it’s worth considering that maybe getting something built that doesn’t quite please everyone is better than getting nothing built at all.