It’s nearly 120 miles long and it’s practically the largest suburb of the New York City Metropolitan area. Over 7.5 million people live there. New Yorkers love taking long, peaceful walks within the endless miles of pristine coastline and don’t mind the hour plus commute to work, the rail line is easy and reliable, and what’s an hour to a New Yorker anyways.
Formed thousands of years ago by glacial movement, Long Island, is really more a peninsular than an island. And jutting out like a fishtail into the frigid Atlantic, the winters here can get brutally cold though the summers are also blistering hot.
Seven years ago Superstorm Sandy made landfall in Atlantic City, NJ and inflicted major damage to New York City and its surroundings. In Long Island over 100,000 homes and businesses were damaged and the storm swept away half of the barrier island’s sand, eroding sand dunes and lowering beach elevation. One thing the beach community learned – dunes protect the community and blunt storms.
Since then, the Army Corps of Engineers have rebuilt and fortified the beach. Over 1.2 trillion tons of sand have been pumped into Long Beach reinforcing sand dunes, which will play a crucial role in future flood risk reduction.
Suburbia Long Beach has retained this unique urbanish New York look and feel. Although, I’m over 25 miles away, I feel like I’m smack dab in the middle Brooklyn with the same diversity and character substitute a an enormous sandy white beach instead of massive buildings in the skyline.
I was lucky to be able to deliver a load to Plainview and with no loads leaving Long Island, I would be stuck here for in this miserable island for now – Poor me
So I had no choice but to head to the beach and I set my eyes on Jones State Park. Soon to my dismay, I found out that all the parkways restricted truck traffic. Thanks to the inglorious work of Robert Moses who ordered his engineers to build bridges low over the parkways to keep bus loads of Blacks from visiting Jones Beach.
Fortunately, I stumbled upon Atlantic Avenue that served as a straight thoroughfare to off-the-radar Long Beach.
The beach was clean and expansive and looked more like Southern California than Long Island, New York. Despite it been a Friday, the beach was practically empty – just me and the sea gulls. I decided to take a dip by the jetty.
The temperature was a mild 60s, overcast with a steady wind chill. But due to the record hot temperatures recently, the water temperature was still a comfortable 70.
After the quick dip, I headed to the Junction Sports Bar to catch the Braves play the Cardinals. It was a big day for baseball with four divisional playoff games scheduled one after another with some overlap.
I ordered the shepherds pie which was surprisingly really tasty. Instead of the traditional ground beef, they used chunks of beef They were featuring a $4 Heineken special during the games
To my relief, the Braves tied the series and while the Yankees played the Twins, a Rolling Stones cover band started performing on the stage. People were fixated on the Yanks, but after they won, people filled the dance floor and continued the party there.
I’ll never be your beast of burden
So let’s go home and draw the curtains
Music on the radio
Come on baby make sweet love to me