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Surf Life a Dolphin

Ever since pro-surfer Keith Malloy’s bodysurfing documentary Come Hell or High Water hit the festival circuit last year, beachgoers have been itching to pull on flippers, grab a hand plane, and shoot the curl. “You can’t learn to surf without bodysurfing first,” says local coach Di Mattison (lessons: $120 to $200; 646-659-9370, conatussurfclub.blogspot.com). Rockaway Beach, already popular with wave junkies like Imagine Swimming co-founder Lars Merseburg (pictured), offers beckoning breaks at 63rd and 90th Streets. Other go-to spots include Ditch Plains in Montauk; Gilgo Beach for more forceful, farther-flung breaks; and the less-crowded Lido Beach, ideal for learners because of its gentle waves. What’s the big draw? “You feel in-sync with nature, like a dolphin skimming the water,” says Merseburg. “Once you’re in a barrel sans board, you’re just hooked.”

Photo: Pari Dukovic

Swim With the Masses

Whatever your opinion on public pools, let alone Williamsburg and its inked constituents, there’s no denying that anticipation is high for the June 28 reopening of McCarren Park Pool. A Moses–La Guardia brainchild, McCarren first opened in 1936 along with ten other city pools as part of a WPA initiative. It fit up to 6,800 swimmers and remained operational till 1984, when it was shuttered for renovation. The pit was more or less abandoned until 2005, when bands like Wilco began using it for concerts. Now a $50 million revamp has once again transformed the space into a 1,500-capacity pool, newly U-shaped and cerulean-blue. A concrete “beach” with spray fountains bisects a kiddie area and 25-meter lap lanes; come winter, the city plans to turn the deck into an ice rink. But why think about winter now?
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Photo: Courtesy of NYC Parks Photo Archive/Color by Gluekit

Party On, Party People

Nowhere is the city’s singles scene more thriving than at its rooftop-pool parties. Unattached models, actors, and ­fashion-industry types flock to the Jimmy at the James’s hotel pool soirées, which started last summer but now boast international D.J.’s like LionDub and Belinda Becker, plus a new cocktail menu coming in July. Bikini-clad girls in heels and the power brokers who try to woo them populate the Sunday pool parties at Gansevoort Park Avenue (pictured). In its sophomore year, the series marks the only time the heated rooftop pool opens to the public—and even then, access is only guaranteed with bottle-service reservations (from $100). The Thompson LES, meanwhile, has added new Topshop/Topman fashion parties (July 5, August 2, and September 6, from 6 to 10 p.m.) to its regular lineup. Expect beach balls aplenty, a pop-up clothing boutique, and a pool packed with libidinous twentysomethings. The vibe is sexy, so dress to scandalize.

Photo: Thomas Prior

Let Them Get Wet

Just try walking a kid past a gushing hydrant in the heat of summer. You can’t. They want in. Offer a legal alternative by diverting them to the newly reconstructed J. J. Byrne Playground in Park Slope (pictured), where a water pump and spray showers guarantee giddy soakings. Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village, meanwhile, was built on a swamp, and so its play area is wetland-themed, complete with sprinklers masquerading as cattails and dragonflies.

Photo: Joseph Michael Lopez

Take It All Off

Asbury Park’s proposal to go topless is dead in the water, which makes Gunnison Beach in Sandy Hook New Jersey’s only legal spot for au naturel sunbathing, easily accessed via the aptly named Seastreak ferries ($26 to $45; seastreak.com). Play volleyball and Frisbee in your birthday suit when Nude Recreation Week kicks off July 9. The family-friendly outings include naked Hula-Hooping and a July 14 body-painting contest sponsored by the American Association for Nude Recreation, which is gunning for a multisite Guinness record for the most number of painted bodies.

Photo: James Mangan

Reconsider Coney

The beach and boardwalk at Coney Island span 400 acres, but that’s hardly enough to accommodate the seething mass of humanity that pours onto them every summer—11 million at last count. All that flesh, plus the dizzying noise and the sunbaked stench of overflowing trash cans, sends some New Yorkers running for quieter shores. But what a shame when embracing Coney can be so crazy-fun. Ride the clattering Cyclone, which turns 85 this year, then book it to Luna Park, where a go-kart racetrack and Boardwalk Flight, a free-fall ride that swings 200 feet up in the air at 60 miles per hour, have been unveiled. Pizza, if you can stomach it, awaits at the forthcoming Coney outpost of Grimaldi’s (1215 Surf Ave., nr. W. 12th St.; no phone yet).

Photo: Nick Ruechel for New York Magazine

Charter Your Own Yacht

Hamptonites eager to nab a table at Montauk’s scene-y Navy Beach restaurant can slip in by booking out Heron Yacht Charter’s 63-foot, custom-built catamaran. The cedar boat, set to arrive in the hamlet by July 1, sails right up to the restaurant, guaranteeing those onboard a spot for dinner. (Navy Beach considers it eye candy for landlubbers.) Private cruises run from Montauk to Block Island or Sunset Beach, making swimming and fishing pit stops as requested. Routes cost $150 per guest, with a minimum of six guests, and include food, wine, and co-captains Cameron and Shannon McLellan. For sea dogs with time to spare, longer trips to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Maine can be arranged.

Photo: Courtesy of Heron Yacht Charters

Eat Your Way to a One-Piece

The tastiest beach—that’d be Rockaway—continues its culinary evolution this summer with the addition of seven new food vendors (La Newyorkina, Rickshaw Dumpling, Steve’s Ice Cream, DP Pizza, Santa Salsa, the Lobster Joint, and Pelicans Jungle II, a side project of the Commodore crew) and an events lineup that will include a Back Forty crab boil and surfing and ­sushi-making demos with Matsuri’s Tadashi Ono (go to rockawaybeachclub.com for details). Shorefruit, a kind of twee-bicyclist version of Edible Arrangements founded by two partners who grow organic vegetables on the roof of their Rockaway houseboat, will be selling fresh-cut watermelon, pineapple, and mango on skewers for $3 a pop. Also new is the Rockabus, a yellow school bus making weekend runs between Williamsburg and Shore Front Parkway ($18 round trip; rockabus.com).

Photo: Huger Foote for New York Magazine

Sunbathe Like Kanye

The spendiest cabanas right now aren’t on the shores of Sagaponack; they’re on a rooftop in Chelsea. The Côte d’Azur–inspired Beach at hotel-nightclub monolith Dream Downtown trucked in several tons of sand, set up 50 ­chaises longues with movable umbrellas around a partially glass-bottomed pool, and erected two opulent “beach” cabanas, each equipped with sleek L-shaped sofas and coffee tables; 42-inch LED-screen TVs; baskets of sunscreen, magazines, and bottled water; and enough room to fit your whole entourage. The VIP treatment comes at a cost, of course: Rentals are $1,500 a day, and no, that doesn’t include a hotel room or the de rigueur bottle service.

Photo: Edward Menashy/Courtesy of the Dream Downtown

Reginald Chan (left) Third Avenue and 17th Street. On September 15, 2006, Chan was hit by a flatbed tow truck while making a delivery of Chinese food.

Brandie Bailey Houston and Essex Streets. On May 8, 2005, Bailey was struck by a private sanitation truck while on her way home to Williamsburg after waitressing at the West Village restaurant Red Bamboo. Bailey was a regular at CBGB, where a memorial was held in her honor.

Craig Murphey (left) Ten Eyck Street and Union Avenue, Williamsburg. Early in the morning of October 18, 2007, Murphey was biking home from escorting his date to her South Williamsburg apartment. According to police reports, Murphey attempted to outrun a gas truck turning left on Ten Eyck Street. His pelvis shattered on impact, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. In his honor, over 40 friends have since received tattoos that read BE BETTER.

Frank C. Simpson Linden Boulevard near 175th Street, St. Albans. Simpson, a janitor returning from the evening shift at a Con Edison facility, was hit by a Dodge Stratus on November 9, 2006.

Jose Mora (left) North Conduit and McKinley Avenues, Cypress Hills. On September 4, 2006, 11-year-old Mora was on his way to the barber for a back-to-school haircut; that week, he was to start the sixth grade at nearby Junior High School 302. He was struck by a Honda while walking his bike across an intersection.

Jonathan Neese South 4th Street and Roebling Street, Williamsburg. On August 12, 2006, Neese, a bike messenger known as “Bronx Jon,” was struck by a livery cab while cycling from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Sam Khaled Hindy (left) Base of the Manhattan Bridge. On November 16, 2007, Hindy was run over after mistakenly entering a Manhattan Bridge lane reserved for cars.

Habian Rodriguez Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing. On September 1, 2007, Rodriguez collided with a city bus and died 30 minutes later.

Elizabeth Padilla (left) Fifth Avenue and Prospect Place, Park Slope. Commuting to the Brooklyn Bar Association on June 9, 2005, Padilla swerved to avoid the open door of a parked P.C. Richard’s truck. She lost control of her bike and fell underneath the wheels of an ice-cream delivery truck.

Juan Luis Solis East Gun Hill Road and Bouck Avenue, the Bronx. Attempting to pass a double-parked car on June 22, 2007, Solis was struck by a box truck and died of severe head trauma. The truck did not stop.

Jeffrey Moore (left) Chauncey Street and Rockaway Avenue, Bed-Stuy. According to witnesses, on May 29, 2007, Moore was run over (twice) by his girlfriend Jeanine Harrington. She was indicted on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon (her Nissan Pathfinder).

Derek Lake Houston Street and La Guardia Place. On June 26, 2006, Lake reportedly skidded on a steel construction plate and was crushed underneath the wheels of a passing truck.

Elijah Armand Wrancher (left) Springfield Boulevard and 130th Avenue, Springfield Gardens. On August 28, 2007, 12-year-old Wrancher attempted to ride his bicycle while holding onto a moving truck. He lost his grip and fell under the truck’s rear wheel.

David Smith Sixth Avenue and 36th Street. On December 5, 2007, Smith was biking up Sixth Avenue when the passenger-side door of a parked pickup truck opened unexpectedly. He was knocked into the path of an oncoming truck.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Fall Fashion Features

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.

 

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.
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