The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Living in hectic Parkside Caledonia, it's easy to forget how close we are to the cooling breezes and soft surf of the ocean. We all know that the Q at Parkside will take us to Brighton Beach or Coney Island in less than half an hour. But that's not your only option, and one of these hot days take a hot tip and try out another beach.

Ever take the Bedford Avenue B49 heading south? Stay on this frequent-running bus to the end and you'll hit the much-less crowded Manhattan Beach near the Kingsborough Community College. And here's another tip - along the way you'll hit Sheepshead Bay's Emmons Avenue, home of the semi-romantic marina and the kickin' klams at Randazzo's Clam bar. Mrs. FlatBed is partial to Helen Randazzo's famous sauce - it's good on just about everything. It's a nice walk from the beach to Randazzo's or vice-versa, so make a date of it.

But for my money, you can't beat Far Rockaway for the real-ocean experience. I've been to many fine beaches, but I still find Long Island's south shore at the top of the list. People talk about Jones Beach, Fire Island, the Hamptons. But you know what? It's all the same land mass, and the only difference is the clientele. So if you ain't got a car and you ain't got the big dough, take our reliable B41 down Flatbush to "the Junction" (that's what the locals call where Ave H, Nostrand and Flatbush meet - and hey, now you're a local!). That's where a sneaky-pete of a bus called the Q35 takes you right to Far Rockaway's Jacob Riis Park - definitely the most awesome and happening city beach (tip - walk all the way to the left and watch the guys swim trunks get tighter and tinier). But now I'm going to give away the big secret. Stay on the bus just a few stops more and you're in the residential part of Far Rockaway. Get off anywhere, walk the two blocks to the beach, and voila - you've got a quiet barely-populated chunk of Strong Island sand all to yourself. Most days you'll have decent waves to boot. Here's the Q35 schedule, and tell 'em Clarkson sent you. Happy body surfing!

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