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The Post-Sandy Beachcomber’s Handbook


Long Island

Long Beach
Gets a trolley … and Shoregasboard!

Sandy was not kind to this narrow barrier island: Restaurants flooded, cars were ruined, and the historic boardwalk was torn asunder. Miraculously, though, every last beach reopened by Memorial Day. A nearly mile-long chunk of reconstructed boardwalk will debut in July (with others to follow); overhung with better lighting, it’s being built with storm-resistant hardwood. Annual festivals and concerts will return as planned, joined by Shoregasboard, a collection of food trucks from local brick-and-mortar eateries affected by the storm. Look for mobile purveyors of barbecue, frozen yogurt, and more stationed at the intersection of Riverside Boulevard and the beach, accompanied by seating areas, palm trees, and volleyball courts. There’s even a new trolley to whisk visitors direct from the LIRR to the beach’s popular southern stretch, or transport them to the less crowded western end.

Meatballs on the sand
A trio of eats from the Shoregasboard menu …

The “Istanbun,” a chipotle-hummus-stuffed pickle that’s crusted in falafel, deep-fried, and served on a bun with sauerkraut and tahini; from Beach Buns ’N Bites by Sugo Café.A pastrami sandwich on rye from Lido Kosher Deli.A meatball hero (made with milk-fed veal and no bread crumbs) on Italian semolina bread from Villaggio.

The State of the State Parks
An update on Long Island’s popular state-run beaches.

Robert Moses
Workers have repaired a collapsed traffic circle, a damaged boardwalk, and broken fences as well as rebuilt three lifeguard shacks, removed Dumpsters full of debris, and cleared the flooded eighteen-hole golf course. The biggest challenge, however, was replacing lost sand; 500,000 cubic yards have been trucked in to date. The beach reopened for Memorial Day, but parking remains limited owing to ongoing repairs.

Jones Beach
The flooding and wreckage here were brutal. But thanks to an emergency cash infusion and round-the-clock toiling, Jones Beach reopened Memorial Day weekend, its boardwalk planks and railings completely reassembled. The Jones Beach Theater, which was submerged under four feet of water, is back, too, gearing up for a stacked lineup of summer concerts (Phish, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan). The fishing piers, boat basin, and bait shop were obliterated, and construction is ongoing; the West Bathhouse is also undergoing renovations, but those were scheduled pre-Sandy.

Sunken Meadow
The storm breached one of the protective dikes and flooded the eastern end, uprooting as many as 500 trees and ruining fences. The western side saw bluff erosion, which actually widened the beachfront. It reopened Memorial Day.

Orient Beach
Not only did this North Fork beach lose sand and half a mile of its asphalt roadway, but also every building was flooded, utilities were ruined by saltwater, and a lifeguard shack and picnic tables simply disappeared into the ocean. Since Sandy, the park has been repaved, seen utility equipment reinstalled, and undergone a stormproofing overhaul; amid repairs, it, too, reopened Memorial Day.

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