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Beach Endorsements

What is it that draws New Yorkers to this stretch of sand over that? Eight seaside testimonials.


Fort Tilden  

1. Fort Tilden
Matthew Shawlin, 27, Actor-Waiter
“Fort Tilden is starting to get more populated, but you’re still not bothered by anybody. There aren’t that many crazies. It’s like a mini-vacation, like you’re not in New York at all. My old ritual was to chain-smoke on the beach. But that’s going to have to completely change because I quit smoking. Now I’m thinking of maybe running along the beach. Maybe doing a couple push-ups. Just a few. I’m going to be that jerk who’s running and doing push-ups while rubbing baby oil on his muscles. Like, ‘What, doesn’t everybody bring a mirror to the beach? What’s wrong with my cheetah-print Speedo? Don’t I look amazing?’ ”

2. Long Beach
Diane Kwan, 34, Bartender
“Long Beach is such a great commuter beach. I have a whole system: The night before, I get a water bottle and unscrew it and stick it in the freezer. On my way to the Atlantic Terminal station (which is only a six-minute walk from where I live), I buy the New York Times, and I read the paper on the L.I.R.R. It’s about a 57-minute ride. Once I’m there, I buy lunch at the salad bar at Waldbaum’s. Then I lay out. Usually, I do 50 minutes on each side. I’m like a little rotisserie chicken. I go in the water when it’s hot, or to pee. When I lay out, I’m topless. Sometimes there’s some weird ogling or I’ll get dirty looks from moms, but usually people don’t give me trouble. I’ll be laying out and all of a sudden there’s a community of topless women around me. I guess they see me and realize it’s okay. Afterward, I go for a drink at this place across the street from the station. I watch the clock, drink my wine, then I get on the train. An hour later, I’m back in the city.”

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