The subsequent months following Hurricane Sandy, I was completely oblivious of what certain areas of the Rockaways looked liked or at least the ones least talked about. I’m a very inquisitive person by nature and adding to the mix the fact that I’m a photographer leaves little doubt that I would inevitably want to explore sectors that are entirely off the beaten path.
Away from the lifeguards and crowded boardwalks is a former military base which from what I’ve heard has become one of New York’s greatest hidden beaches. I took along with me 2 good friends Diana and Howard and granted we were exploring on borderline hypothermic winter conditions and not a sun-drenched Summer day but on could still gain the sense there’s absolutely a different vibe to the place, it’s more lonely and quiet relative to the neighboring Jacob Riis Park where you’re surrounded by people selling things and eating hot dogs or awaken by the sound of blowing whistles.
The easiest way to arrive to Fort Tilden is to drive because from my understanding it’s rather difficult to get there by public transportation since there’s several buses and then a half hour walk across the toll bridge that you would normally have pay $3.25 driving each way.
Fort Tilden belongs to the Gateway National Recreation Area and it’s actually open year-around even though we came across a sign at the very entrance that stated there was no entry despite the widely open gate. Needless to say we ventured inside and took in the occasional creepiness factor that permeated the place coming mostly from the several dilapidated and heavily graffitied walls of the fort and surround houses.