Last summer everybody (i.e. the NYC media) was all Rockaways this Rockaways that. And guess what? This summer we'll be singing the same tune, because the Rockaways are still white hot. So hot that Andrew VanWyngarden, co-founder of popular psychedelic rock band MGMT, just bought a house on Beach 93rd Street for $375,000. "Rockaway Beach is the Hamptons of New York City," realtor Maureen Walsh (who was not involved in VanWyngarden's transaction) coos.
Throughout the neighborhood, the locals are well aware the hipsters are taking over. And realtors like Walsh couldn't be happier. "Throughout the Rockaways the whole neighborhood has gotten better," Walsh tells us. "And why not? You don't have to be in an office 9-5. Why not own something down here, work off-site down here, and if you need to get back to Manhattan you can be there in an hour. If you're out in the Hamptons, you're going to be stuck in traffic for four hours. I've seen a lot of people who own condos in Manhattan buying property here. Last year was good, and this year is even better."
Another realtor, Brian Heffernan, seems to think there's such a thing as too much success. "There's very little inventory and big demand," he lamented. "From 88th Street to 98th Street there is very little inventory. There's literally nothing available." Nevertheless, if you've got $375,000 to burn, Heffernan tells us there's another former two-family home that just went on the market on the same block as MGMT! Your move, Yeasayer.
And in addition to such scenester amenities as The Meat Hook, Caracas Arepa Bar and Blue Bottle Coffee, the area could soon be getting a giant beer garden, located on 26,784 square feet of property on a vacant lot at 72-10 Beach Channel Drive, across from Jerry Rea's used car lot. It's all a bit speculative at this point, but local entrepreneur Hammed Adeniyi says he intends to open "modern urban garden environment mixed with outdoor bar and food service technology, tens, outdoor speakers, jungle gym, and games."
According to Adeniyi, the Rockaway Beer Garden will "beautify the community while providing a platform to educate, socialize, explore, and come together." It's still but a pipe dream, but the way things are going in the Rockaways, we're guessing you'll be pounding pints with Kyp Malone out in the beer garden by Labor Day.