Beach Commute Guide
by Sophie Vershbow
Unfortunately despite its many benefits, NYC is not a place that caters to the residential pool industry. Sure you’ll occasionally meet someone who belongs to an Equinox that houses an over chlorinated pool for triathlon-trainees, but that hardly satisfied the desire one feels to jump into a cold body of water on a hot summer’s day. Instead we must count down the hours until we can hop in a car and escape to somewhere in the rough vicinity of the ocean (or at least a good kiddie pool).
But wait, this is New York City, you don’t own a car. Are you even close friends with someone who owns a car? And even if you do pay the amount of money someone in Iowa pays for rent just to keep your car parked in the city, getting out of NYC on a summer weekend can be excruciating. Bumper to bumper traffic, screaming twins in the convertible next to you, discarded lobster rolls on the side of the road— it’s a blood bath out there!
In order to keep the peace, we've compiled a list of hands-free ways to get you to and from the beach this summer without going insane. Whether you have a place in Southampton or just need to escape the Bushwick for a day, we help you get you out there without you ever having to sit behind the wheel.
The Hamptons via Long Island Railroad (LIRR)
Pros: No traffic. I’m sorry should I say that again? NO TRAFFIC. Sneak a 4-pack of Barefood Wine mini-chardonnay bottles in your tote bag and relax as you’re whisked out of the city.
Cons: Let’s be honest, navigating Penn Station at any time of day, let alone during rush hour, is like something out of Dante’s Inferno. There’s also no real luggage storage in the cars, so you’ll have to be content with your massive Vera Bradley tote on your lap for 2-3 hours if you’re not keen on elbowing a business-person until he or she removes his briefcase from the limited overhead storage bins.
How to: Check http://www.mta.info/lirr for schedules and prices. The time table tends to be a bit all over the place, so if possible try for the 4:25PM Friday afternoon One-Stop Premium Express Cannonball, which delivers you to East Hampton in just over 2 hours.
The Hamptons via The Jitney or The Hamptons Luxury Liner
Pros: At least you don’t have to do the driving.
Cons: Traffic + other people = no bueno.
Comparison: The Jitney is like the bus to summer camp, only you’re forced to sit next to an investment banker who talks on his phone the entire time. A round trip fare to East Hampton will only run you $56, which somehow feels more justified than the Luxury Liner’s $90 charge, since who wants to shell out nearly $100 to sit on a bus for 3+ hours. Still, it’s name doesn’t have “luxury” for nothing, and you’ll get to ride in style with plush leather seats, TVs, and carpeted floors (apparently some people care about bus carpets).
The Jitney does get major brownie points for having stops in Brooklyn, whereas the Luxury Liner only stops on the Upper East Side. DOWN WITH THE WASP STEREOTYPE!
How to: Visit http://hamptonluxuryliner.com or http://www.hamptonjitney.com to reserve your ticket. Definitely buy a multi-trip package to save money if you plan to be in the Hamptons a lot this summer.
The Hamptons (or anywhere else) via Helicopter
Pros: Do I really need to spell out the benefits of taking a private helicopter to what I’m assuming is your mansion in the Hamptons? It’s fast, it’s likely private, and you’re going to look like a total baller.
Cons: Not a financial option for 99.9% of us.
How to: Have your butler book the flight or download the Flyblade App here and get airborne!
Long Beach via Long Island Railroad (LIRR)
Pros: The actual beach of Long Beach is easy walking distance from the nearest LIRR stop. The roundtrip ticket costs $26 during peak hours,, and clocks in at just under an hour. It really doesn’t get any easier than that!
Cons: It bears repeating that Penn Station is actually the worst place on earth, and should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately hopping on the train once it’s in Brooklyn means risking not getting a set.
How to: Check http://www.mta.info/lirr for schedules and prices.
Sandy Hook Beach via Ferry
Pros: This New Jersey Beach is an awesome option for anyone looking to escape the city heat for a day. Best of all, Sandy Hook is easily accessible by ferry, which takes just 45-minutes from Manhattan. School buses await your arrival in New Jersey to drive you the 10 minutes from ferry to beach.
Cons: The ferry costs $45 round trip, which is a bit hefty for a boat not taking us to Nantucket.
How to: Visit the Seastreak Ferry website to look up departure times http://seastreak.com/nynjschedules.aspx
Coney Island Beach via Subway
Pros: Did you know that the subway can take you to the beach!? OK yes, I know what you’re thinking: isn’t Coney Island kind of....gross? Look, as I see it for $5.50 round trip you can handle the old Russian lady next to you sunbathing topless. Plus if you get tired of developing your tan you can check out some of the rides and eat a few hot dogs. Ideally not in that order.
Cons: Coney Island isn’t exactly the nicest beach option out there. The subway trip can also be quite the trek depending on where you live.
How to: Grab your metrocard and hop the D, F, N, or Q to Stillwell Avenue
Jacob Riis Park via Ferry or Subway
Pros: Jacob Riis Beach, part of the 26,000+ acre Gateway National Recreation Area in Rockaway, Queens, is also accessible by public transportation! If you get sick of the sun, check out the Riis Bathhouse, which is an art deco architectural landmark.
Cons: The subway trip is really long from Manhattan, with a lot of walking involved once you get off in Queens.
How to: Take the New York Beach Ferry from Pier 11 in the Financial District, or use HopStop to figure out the best subway route from your house.
Bonus: Hotel Pools (multiple)
Pros: The private pools at Manhattan’s Gansevoort, Dream, and Empire hotels are straight out of movie sets. Fluffy custom towels, hot pool boys, and a body of water that’s only touched a few select, high net-worth individuals that day. You can also pretend you’re in a music video!
Cons: Assuming you’re not actually a guest of the hotel, you risk getting kicked out and being humiliated in front of that C-list celebrity lounging poolside. I doubt you can get arrested for pool-crashing, but it’s always a possibility post-Giuliani days
How to: Take a shot of tequila, say a prayer, and give it your best shot. Samantha Jones (aka Annabelle Bronstein) got at least a few weeks of our her charade!