Hope all is well. Thanks again to both you and Carol for maintaining the best link to Rockaway possible.
I just received a copy of a new book about Rockaway, "Between Ocean and City" by Lawrence Kaplan and Carol P. Kaplan. The publisher is Columbia University Press. I believe Lawrence graduated FRHS in 1951.
I lived and worked in Rockaway from 1946 through 1978. I witnessed first hand the demise of our beloved neighborhood.
Lawrence Kaplan and Carol P. Kaplan have provided a no-holds-barred explanation of how and why Rockaway became what it is today. The book contains many first person accounts and photos of what life used to be like, and what it's like today.
It's a very interesting read.
Lawrence (Larry) Kaplan
FRHS Class of 1951
Rockaway Beach was once a popular seaside resort in south Queens with a small permanent population. Shortly after World War II, large parts of this narrow peninsula between the ocean and the bay became one of New York City's worst slums. A historian who grew up in the community and his wife, a social worker, have written an illuminating account of this transformation, exploring issues of race, class, and social policy and offering a significant revision of the larger story of New York City's development. In particular, the authors qualify some of the negative assessments of Robert Moses, suggesting that the "Power Broker" was responsible for many positive initiatives affecting Rockaway. Based on extensive archival research and hundreds of hours of interviews with residents, urban specialists, and government officials, past and present, Between Ocean and City is a clear-eyed and harrowing story of a largely African American community's struggles in the face of grinding poverty, urban renewal schemes gone wrong, and a forced ghettoization by the sea.
About the Author
Lawrence Kaplan, who has taught English
and American history at the CCNY, spent his formative years in Rockaway.
Carol P. Kaplan is a practicing social worker and an associate professor
at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.