This was my husband Kumar's first time planning a weekend excursion since we... well... since before we had kids! It was a complete success - good job, love! It really meant a lot to me that he took the initiative and figured out the logistics. I think the last time he planned something without my involvement was when he proposed to me six years ago, coincidentally, at the nearby Breezy Point.
Fort Tilden + Jacob Riis Park is nicknamed the "Beach for the People" and it is. It's located in South Brooklyn, and is free to the public with basic amenities. I like the many means of transportation one can take to get to this beach - ride a bike, drive, subway to bus, ferry, and if you're comparing it to the time it takes to the Hamptons you could walk from my house to the beach in a little over 4 hrs. It feels very democratic. We took a cab and caught the ferry at the downtown pier. Kumar asked if we wanted to go to the beach at 8am and by 9am I was grabbing Starbucks, Kumar was with the boys getting tickets, by 9:05am we were on the ferry heading out into the New York Harbor, beach-bound. NOTE: The ticket line can get long so give yourself 30mins to purchase ferry tickets. The ride was relaxing and offered all of us just enough points of interest to keep us looking outward the duration of the 1.25hr ride.
Once we got off the boat we followed the crowd and the only once did we have to give any thought to where to go, when the strollers went in one direction and the polyamorous crowd (rumors of NC-17) with fancy grocery store prepared foods went in the other. I did anticipate this moment. Alas, we brought a stroller, the other beach for another time, we took a left toward the public beach and I not so silently wondered if the galavanting beachgoers we'd just left would be having a better day. Nope, our beach was very PG, welcoming, with bathrooms and also exceptionally good food - it was perfect.
We strolled the length of the boardwalk and I recognized buildings we'd passed on our walk to Breezy Point that early morning six years ago. I love the brick and tile architecture of the old bathhouses. If you imagine a movie scene set on a beach in the 1940s, you're probably close to the Jacob Riis Park Boardwalk.
Our preparedness was right on point. We brought a stroller, 2 diapers with wipes, 1 bottle of water, bathing suits, small beach blanket, 2 towels, our bag of water toys, sun screen, and snacks bought at Starbucks. I was expecting a Little Italy street fair lunch, but to my surprise the food options were very... New Brooklyn, healthy seeming and exceptionally tasty.
After four hours we packed up the stroller and headed back to the second to last ferry back home. We were welcomed by many parents of half-sleeping children. We stayed inside the boat and the boys slept the whole way back. It was a calm easy going day, a great place to bring babes or to go on your own. More of these days are in my future.
This was a great day trip from our home. Do you have a favorite staycation spot in NYC?
Directions to Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park: http://www.nyharborparks.org/visit/jari.html