Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tottenville Beach Is Lies

I had my reasons - though lord knows I'm an Outer Borough fetishist - for travelling to Staten Island. But they were all pure. I had received word of a mythical beach at the bottom of Staten Island, a quiet and unspoiled stretch of parkland at the southernmost tip of New York State - Tottenville Beach. And all we needed to do was take an R Train to the Staten Island Ferry, followed by the Staten Island Railroad. This process took a mere two hours, or twice as long as it would have taken to kayak there.

What we found, at the end of the railroad, was a superficially charming bit of suburbia, all painted wooden houses and well-tended gardens. This gave way to a much less charming version of suburbia, all ill-proportioned mansions and endless rows of SUVs parked in the street. And 20 minutes later, no Tottenville Beach. The Tottenville Beach, where "you can relax while sunbathing, or stroll down its sandy coast taking in the fresh air and beautful views."

[Quick aside here, but you may notice that I am taking care to mention Tottenville Beach as frequently as possible. This is so as to make this page visible to the casual google-searcher. And thus prevent future generations falling prey to such bilge as the above-quoted]

What do find at the end of Carteret Street but an abandoned and ill-maintained stretch of scrub. An insect-ridden, arid waste of prime real estate. When we chance upon the shore (you're in luck, the tide's in, explained the old-timer we stopped for directions), we encounter a two foot wide strip of dirt lined with a black and oily film. Which may or may not have something to do with the chemical storage tanks that were visible from the Tottenville Railroad stop. We turn round toot sweet.

As a final aside, you may have heard that the Staten Island Railroad, while not a part of the subway system basically consists of subway trains running at street level. The novelty wears off rather quickly. The first thing one should notice is that, being at street level, they maintain excellent wireless coverage, including those beepy Nextel walkie-talkie things. The daylight also seems to make the youth of the borough behave in an even less housetrained fashion than normal.

Long Island beckons. Bugger. Never thought you'd hear me say that.


At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not bad! You're #8 on Google by my count.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Maulleigh said...

Thanks for the heads up! You saved my boyfriend and me from sure domestic ruin!

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for saving us a mindless two hours... 30 seconds of google search well invested.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out south beach on eastern side -

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post is almost 3 years old. Go back to Tottenville beach and experience a once in a lifetime beach fun. GO VISIT OUR ISLAND!!!
It part of the NEW YORK CITY.

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that for real? is it nice there? will some please go there and make an occular inspection? coz when i googled it a dark sunset over exposed sunset is all i can see.

Please some post a new comment.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I WAS ABOUT TO PACK my son and cat to take a wonderful trip from crown hts bklyn in 90-degree heat at 2:20pm 20aug2009 (right now) .. and i Searched and found THIS POST. WOW. the web. and this blog. THANK YOU!!! i might still go enjoy the ferry ride & A/C on the subways .. but we won't be shlepping all the BEACH gear from coney island 3 days ago. ;-)


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