Sweetheart was born and bred in Rockaway. A slender wrist of sand between the vice-grips of the Atlantic and Jamaica Bay, his part of Rockaway (nestled between Riis park and “The Buildings” far off in the distance) is a safe haven, a real old fashioned Rockwellian neighborhood, boys on bikes tearing around the 20 or so square flat blocks of small but well maintained white-shuttered bungalows, well kept lawns, geraniums, impatiens, front porches, and everywhere, American flags. A neighborhood of teachers, cops, firemen. From the bay side, you can see the entire languorous spread of Manhattan, the Empire State and Chrystler buildings standing, silent and great, for the old guard in midtown, and the riot of downtown seemingly (and actually) miles away. A distance you can’t really feel when you’re in the city, but from afar seems silent and great. We were there last night, visiting his Mama, getting some supplies for his sister’s wedding this weekend, the mundane. From afar, streaming up from downtown the light was on, the beam shining up, up, up endless into the heavens, silent, and great. I didn’t take a picture. My heart was silent, and great.
image of Manhattan from Rockaway from here