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Christine Quinn, City Council Speaker, b. 1966

“It was a gazillion degrees.”


Christine Quinn, age 2, on the Rockaway boardwalk with her Titanic-survivor grandmother (left) and a family friend.   

My whole family loved Rockaway. You could rent a room in a boardinghouse, like the Quinns did, or you could rent a bungalow, like my mother’s family, the Callaghans, did. You could take the subway to Rockaway, if you had to go back to Manhattan for work, like my aunt did. You’d spend all the days at the beach, and you would have these kind of crunchy sandwiches that were all full of sand, and as good Irish immigrants, they’d bring thermoses of hot tea. And then we’d go back to this teeny-tiny bungalow, with no air conditioning, and my grandfather would have undoubtedly cooked a roast beef. It would be a gazillion degrees, and the last thing you wanted to eat was an enormous piece of meat.


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