I decided to take a break from the usual route and again got into the city late again (all those errands) and didn’t start the journey until 1:15pm. I started the trip on the number One Subway and walked down 207th Street to the A Subway at 207th Street. I took the over hour ride from the beginning of the A line to the end of the A line at 116 B in the Rockaway Beach area. This was my first trip to the Rockaway Beach in all the time I have lived in the New York City area.
My goal was to go to Rippers 8601 Shore Front Parkway, a beach side hamburger stand that had been heavily written up all over the internet and taste the perfect hamburger. I had to see what the raving was all about.
It was a long trip by subway. I sat and read the paper as the various stops passed by with the inter-changing people getting on and off the subway. I have never seen so many guys under the age of 30 with scraggly beards with backpacks and untucked shirts. I swear I think I am seeing a clone of a person with no personality on their way to a 9:00am class. Guys tuck your shirts in already. It isn’t cool!
I finally got to Rockaway Beach stop 116 in about an hour and a half. I got out of the subway to stretch before getting back on the subway and took the line to the 90th Street stop and got off. It is a scary stop with all the projects surrounding the stop. Once you cross the street and get past the strip mall and closer to the beach, the area gets nicer. The Boardwalk and beach are really nice but it was a very windy day and tough to sit on the beach for any length of time.
Ripper’s 8601 Shore Front Parkway at Rockaway Beach
Ripper’s was worth the trip. The food and service were excellent. The staff could not have been nicer and friendlier. I had a cheeseburger and fries with a Coke and thoroughly enjoyed it. According to the Village Voice, the restaurant is a joint venture between Roberta’s, a pizzeria in Bushwick, Brooklyn and the Meat Hook, a butcher in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The burgers are perfectly cooked and flavorful.
After so many bad burgers on this walk, this one finally tasted like a freshly ground burger with the right seasonings. It had a rich beef flavor to it. The French Fries are freshly cut and have been dipped in flour and then flash fried seasoned with black pepper, paprika and salt. They have a salty richness to them as well. The portion sizes are very generous and I did not need dinner that night.
The best was the wonderful opera music that the staff was playing which I thought was a very nice touch and really made for a festive atmosphere even though the ladies at the next table made it clear that they did not appreciate opera music. They were playing ‘The Masked Ball’, which was very enjoyable. With the wonderful music, sounds of the waves in the background and the salt air on this sunny yet windy day made for the perfect lunch. The main reason I went today is that they close next week at the end of September and will not open again until next Summer.
Yes, the Ripper Burger was worth it!
After a nice lunch on the picnic tables outside and a great conversation with staff, I walked over to the beach. It was not a day to lounge on the beach with all that wind and the waves were pretty rough. I saw a couple of brave souls swimming although the red flags were out. I was able to put my feet in the ocean one last time which was nice after such a long trip and the quick on the boardwalk was pleasant after being cooped up on a subway all afternoon. Then it was back to the subway for the trip back to Inwood.
Note to all subway riders, take a good look on each station after you leave the Broad Channel stop and get on the local S train. At each station stop from the 90th Stop to the 116th Stop, there is a stain glass display by each subway sign. Take a good look at the colorful and beautiful work by artist Michael Miller done in 2010. They are very beautiful.
Artist Michael Miller
Located at the Beach 90 Station in Rockaway Beach, the artist, who is a graduate of New Mexico State University and the School of the Art Institute Chicago, was given the commission by MTA Arts in Transit and created this piece using the inspiration of his paintings to make these glass creations. These were created between 2009-2012 and can be seen at all the stations.
Subway Station 90 artwork by Michael Miller
I stopped in Broad Channel, a subway stop and small island beach community off the Rockaways’. Broad Channel has a nice homey feel about it with all the kids playing in the playground by the school and library, all the American flags up and down Cross Bay Boulevard and several people saying hello to me. I thought it had a down home feel to it.
I can still see the effects of Hurricane Sandy from three years ago as some homes have still not been rebuilt while others have redone their homes. Walking the boulevard was a nice way to walk off lunch, see the neighborhood and look at the shore line and the very distant view of Manhattan.
The Main Drag on Broad Channel Island
Then came the long trip back to Inwood, I dealt with the on again off again passengers and a large group that came on at the airport stop. For those of you who are flying into New York City and want the cheapest transportation into Manhattan, the A train can be beat. It is a little longer but still a great way to travel.
I got back to 207th Street by 8:15pm, seven hours late and an interesting way to spend the afternoon in search of the perfect hamburger. 207th Street back to the Number One Subway was alive with people. Many of the outdoor cafes on Broadway and on the beginning stretch of 207th Street were in full swing on this nice but cool night.
While 207th Street was not the outdoor flea market like it is on the weekends, it was still lively with people shopping and eating out. I then took the long train ride on the One Train downtown. I got home by 9:30pm. It was a nice trip to the shore.
For those of you who are the adventurous sort, take one of the subway lines from beginning to end. This trip was an eye opener to a part of the city I hadn’t ever visited in all my years coming into New York.
From A to A starts at the 207th Street stop to Rockaway Beach.
Places to Eat:
8601 Shore Front Parkway
Rockaway Beach, NY 11693
Open: Check the website for seasonality
My review on TripAdvisor:
Places to Visit:
Rockaway Beach-right in front of you
Broad Channel Island-take time to walk around the island and its small downtown.
Don’t the glass work art at each beach stop in the Rockaways by Artist Michael Miller.