Breezy Point, Queens
|Neighborhoods of New York City|
|Nickname(s): Irish Riviera, Cois Farraige|
|• Total||0.78 sq mi (2.0 km2)|
|• Median income||$86,941|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917, 646|
Breezy Point is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, located on the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, between Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay on the landward side, and the Atlantic Ocean. The neighborhood is governed by Queens Community Board 14.1 The community is run by the Breezy Point Cooperative, in which all residents pay the maintenance, security, and community-oriented costs involved with keeping the community private. The cooperative owns the entire 500-acre (2 km2) community; residents own their homes and hold shares in the cooperative.2 Breezy Point and the Rockaways are less urbanized than most of the rest of New York City.
Breezy Point Tip, to the west of the community, is part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which is run by the National Park Service. This isolated, 200-acre (0.81 km2) area includes an ocean-facing beach, a shoreline on Jamaica Bay, sand dunes, and marshland. It is a breeding spot for the piping plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and common tern.3
According to the United States Census Bureau, the community's ZIP code (11697) is 98.2% white and has the nation's 2nd highest concentration of Irish-Americans, at 60.3% as of the United States Census, 2000 (Squantum, in Quincy, Massachusetts, is #1, at 65%).4 The community's demographics are maintained as a result of a Cooperative rule that a person, prior to buying a house, must be recommended by three members of the Cooperative and approved by its Board of Directors.25 Breezy Point functions mainly as a summer get-away for many residents of New York. Estimates put summer residency at 12,000, while year-round residency was 4337 in the most recent Census.4
Due to its history of Irish-American population, Breezy Point has been called the "Irish Riviera." Since the mid 90's, Italians and Jews have also moved into Breezy Point, making the concentration of Irish-Americans drop.6
The community began as summer beach bungalows, in the "early 1900s," according to the New York Times.6 Breezy Point was sold to the Atlantic Improvement State Corporation for $17 million in 1960. The residents of the community purchased half of the land for approximately $11 million and formed the Breezy Point Cooperative. Today, it consists of about 3,500 homes.7 The construction of apartment buildings commenced in the late 1960s and was halted by City ordinance.8
Breezy Point is patrolled by its own private security force that restricts access to owners, renters and their guests. It also features three of New York City's ten remaining volunteer fire departments.9
On October 29, 2012, Breezy Point was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Jamaica Bay and Atlantic Ocean flooded the land between these bodies of water. Most Breezy Point homes were damaged or destroyed by high water. Residents lost everything in their basements, and hundreds of vehicles were ruined by the storm. One car caught fire when someone tried to start their vehicle. Residents put the fire out before help arrived.11
At 10 pm, a six-alarm fire was reported at 173 Ocean Avenue. Local volunteer firefighters were trapped in place for several hours due to the flooding. Once the waters receded, the Point Breeze and Rockaway Point Fire Departments rescued more than 41 civilians. FDNY could not get into Breezy due to the high flood levels. Point Breeze FD extinguished fires by the promenade. Rockaway Point and Roxbury are located on the ocean side. Rockaway Point lost all their rigs due to high water and helped Roxbury with their lines. They found 130 homes burnt to the ground,.1213 Nearby, another 50 homes were damaged by the fire.11 According to an official report in December, rising seawater caused the fire by contacting a house's electrical wires.14
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2012)|
According the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, beaches on the Breezy Point peninsula are home to one of the most diverse breeding shorebird areas in the Metropolitan area. Shorebirds that breed here include:
- The federally threatened Piping Plover
- The Migratory Bird Treaty Act-protected American Oystercatcher
- The New York State Species of Special Concern Black Skimmer
- The New York State threatened Common Tern
- The New York State threatened Least Tern.
The beaches are owned by the federal government and are federally and state-protected areas in which development is extremely limited.
Breezy Point residents are zoned for schools in the New York City Department of Education. P.S. 114 Belle Harbor serves grades Kindergarten through 8. The beaches in Breezy Point are owned by the Breezy Point Cooperative as a consequence of litigation with the federal government in the 1980s.
Breezy Point Shopping Center includes the Blarney Castle pub, Deirdre Maeve's grocery store, the Sandcastle work clothing store, a Ridgewood Savings Bank branch, a coffee shop, a hardware store, a liquor store, and an auto repair shop and independent gift shop. The main office of the Cooperative is also located here.
Elsewhere in the community are a beauty salon, a beach bar, two restaurants, a surf shop, a travel agency, and The Dug Out, a walk-up bar-style candy, snacks shop, and teenaged hangout, which operates during the summer.
Notable current and former residents of Breezy Point include:
- Timothy J.Dufficy, New York State Supreme Court Justice
- Charles J. Hynes, Kings County District Attorney
- Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes. Mr. McCourt mentions in his memoir Tis that his mother, Angela McCourt, spent time with him at a house in Breezy Point.
- Brian McNamee, former strength and conditioning coach for the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays15
- Bob Turner, United States Representative for New York's 9th Congressional District
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
- Sciolino, Elaine. "A Cooperative on the Beach Loves Privacy", The New York Times, September 10, 1984. Accessed November 21, 2007.
- Breezy Point Brooklyn Bird Club, Accessed November 24, 2008.
- QT-P13. Ancestry: 2000 for 11697 5-Digit ZCTA, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 2, 2007.
- Richardson, John H. (March 2013). "The Neighborhood". Esquire 159 (3): 192–203. ISSN 0014-0791. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- Herszenhorn, David M. "THE CENSUS -- A Region of Enclaves: Breezy Point, Queens; Bounded by Gates, Over a Toll Bridge", The New York Times, June 18, 2001. Accessed November 1, 2007. "The neighborhood, started in the early 1900s as a summer bungalow community and called the Irish Riviera..."
- "Rockaway..."place of waters bright""
- Documerica 1973, The Atlantic Magazine
- Hamill, Denis. "Brave firehouse heroes get my vote", New York Daily News, April 26, 2007. Accessed September 8, 2008.
- http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/30/superstorm-sandys-wrath/ hpt=hp_t1
- Cause of Breezy Point Fire During Sandy Determined: City Fire Marshals say that rising sea water came in contact with electrical wires WNBC News, Dec 24, 2012
- Kovaleski, Serge F. "A Baseball Lover, Key to Tarnishing a Yankee Era", The New York Times, December 15, 2007. Accessed February 19, 2008. "Mr. McNamee was raised in the Breezy Point section of Queens, on the westward end of the Rockaway Peninsula, an area with many police officers, like his father."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Breezy Point, Queens.|
- Breezy Point Tip visitor information
- Breezy Point 9/11 Memorial
- Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipes & Drums Band