On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
In the comments to my last submission, WaterGirl mentioned that water makes her happy. Well then, let’s take a walk on Rockaway Beach for WaterGirl. Walk with me …
I took the A train to Boardwalk and B59th St. Now, you might think that passing a major airport as you are nearing your destination where you plan to shoot ASMR-y video of gentle waves might raise some alarm bells. I, on the other hand, managed to arrive at the beach blissfully unaware of what awaited me.
The area I scouted on Google Maps looked perfect – sand, stones, waves, sunshine and birds. Needless to say, it took about one minute to realize that I was under the flight path of JFK jets. (Why the airspace over my filming area wasn’t automatically closed once I arrived remains a mystery.)
Luckily, there was an easy solution to my problem. Turn left or right and walk away from the jet noise. So, I turned left, walked for about 20 minutes and ended up, you guessed it, under the flight path of JFK jets. Maybe I’m biased since I didn’t turn right, but it looked like every single plane taking off was veering left. Live and learn. (While the cellphone audio wasn’t usable, the Tascam DR 10 audio was quite good.)
Once I found a nice spot, I set my gimbal down on the sand, near the water, and walked around collecting seashells. All of a sudden, a woman walking on the beach headed straight towards me, inquired if the setup was mine and told me, in a firm and conspiratorial voice, that it’s noon and the end of low tide; she then sprinted away.
Not being a seafaring person myself (tides, how do they work?), I surmised her warning had something to do with being too close to the water’s edge. I moved everything on a little step stool I had brought along and managed not to have my equipment swept away at sea.
I spent about one hour filming the ocean, complete with 20 minutes of video with an odd green dot on it (a reflection from the sun?) and decided to call it a day. The return walk looked nothing like this picture. The clouds had moved in and it was a completely different atmosphere.
It was very gray and broody, and even the birds were acting differently, all huddled up. While the sunny ocean was nice, the cloudy one was much more interesting and enjoyable.
Not trying to go all artsy on you with a Black & White composition. I just couldn’t color balance not matter what I tried. I really need to learn how to use something like Lightroom.
Last, but not least, we have three lovely seagulls to end our walk.
Nice shots, thanks!
Paul in St. Augustine
I live in Florida, and to see a beach with no people looks…strange. You have a great eye for the camera, thanks for sharing.
No fisher people ?
@Paul in St. Augustine: It turns out you can have a beach with no people if it’s under the flight path of a major airport!
My wife’s mom grew up in Rockaway and she( my wife) has been talking for 30 years now about wanting to go and snoop around the area. Even though we are only an hour away, we have never made it.
@Paul in St. Augustine: When I go to Seagrove and fish at sunrise there are normally just a few walkers.
I’m enjoying the juxtaposition of the calm, serene pictures and jets revving up for take off. Thank you for the pictures and the description. A nice metaphor for real life.
I think the black and white photo is fantastic, especially that lonely little twig.
Great photos. I love the dog racing the jet. Kinda, sorta.
Great pictures. From the beaches of Brooklyn, past the Rockaways and all the way to Fire Island, New York has some of the nicest and most accessible beaches in the country.
West of the Cascades
It’s not hard, not far to reach we can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach!
Beautiful photos, thanks! Reminds me of two decades ago when I took a ride on the A train out there, inspired by the Ramones, trying to escape the noise of the city.
It was nice to spend the morning with you at the beach. thank you so much!
I loved your choice of “broody”. I love being by the water when a storm is brewing, everything just feels different.
Beaches are great! And I love all these shots, so thanks for taking the jet engines for the team.
My NY peeps always take me to Long Beach. It’s not under JFK’s flight lanes but it is kind of authoritarian out there. No dogs, especially no dogs off leash (who doesn’t like seeing a dog running free at the shore?). Life guards that yell at you for everything. People are herded into small little (very crowded) blocks so the life guards can watch them. Step in the water out of the block and get threatened by the life guards.
Out here in N. Cal, we don’t really have any life guards. You go in the water and it’s all up to you to survive it. I love NY but would never move back. Visiting is fun enough now.
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
@kindness: i understand your enjoyment of dogs running free on the beach, but I want to note it is important to obey “no dogs” signs at beaches. Here in N CA, endangered, nesting shorebirds (plovers etc.) have fragile nests easily destroyed by romping dogs.
Thank you all!
@West of the Cascades: Saw the Ramones perform that song in 1981. Was at a club called Rock Away, Beach Channel Drive and 108th Street in Rockaway. As you can imagine, the crowd loved it,
@Paul in St. Augustine:
I should have mentioned I was there in December. (I would never go to the beach in the summer to film. All those pesky people getting in the way of my nature shots.)
Nice write up, thanks for taking us along.
St Maarten seems to make it work.
I’m late but I wanted to let you know that these are lovely! I met a man from NY today who worked at JFK while the Concorde was still flying. He said it was wonderful but really pretty loud so I guess it could have been worse. The last day’s party was amazing. according to him. Fun day for me getting to relive that with him. Thanks for sharing!
Great pictures. What a fine day at the beach.
Looks like you had some Great Black-Backed Gulls there — the largest gull in the world.
Technically there is no such bird as a “seagull.” Birders love to say that pedantically.
Well, some birders do.