Nature did not make me a beach person. I'm basically made out of transparent tissue paper, I burn even after liberally and frequently applying SPF 55, I can't swim and I can't stand the feeling of sand basically anywhere above my feet. But David loves the beach on a near-spiritual level and I love exploring (and him), so we compromised this weekend and went to Rockaway Beach.
Rockaway Beach is accessible by the A and S trains, and during weekends this summer the S has been extended to Rockaway Blvd allowing you to transfer from both the Lefferts Blvd and Far Rockaway-bound A trains. For me, the journey somewhere is always half the fun, and the subway ride to Rockaway is long, but as far as I know it's the only subway track that runs over a large body of water so at least the views are interesting.
Before we headed to the beach, David ran to Rite-Aid and bought an $8 beach umbrella. It might sound silly, but that cheap piece of plastic and cloth increased my enjoyment of the beach so significantly that I have no idea why we didn't buy one sooner. Last year I finally got a bathing suit that I feel (mostly) comfortable wearing in public, but this stupid umbrella immediately changed my life for the better.
I would like to go back and explore the actual town of Rockaway apart from the beach—I hear there are some delicious hipster tacos being made at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club—but we had a great time just lounging. I made a dent in my latest book (this totally appropriate beach read), ate a (boneless) hot dog from the concessions and photographed it like a shameless millennial—I don't know if I'll ever officially consider myself a beach person, but I'm starting to see the appeal.