It’s hard to pinpoint why the history of Far Rockaway is so alluring. Perhaps because it was once such a popular and fashionable destination, yet little remains of its opulent architecture and frolicking Victorian crowds. The grand hotels and homes that once lit up the waterfront have all succumbed to fire, development or the sea. The coast has shifted and entire islands have disappeared.
Neighboring Coney Island (and its sister parks of yore: Dreamland, Luna Park and Steeplechase) have also seen constant change since their respective Grand Openings. At their height, they boasted journeys to the moon, wild sideshows, romantic promenades, hanging gardens and trips through time to distant lands. As a rule, little expense was spared in cultivating amusements of the highest quality–from the one million lightbulbs that made Dreamland dreamy, to the fully functioning “Lilliputian Village” with over 300 dwarves. Though a handful of rides still dot the landscape, the sheer imagination and ingenuity of those long gone amusement parks is lost, remembered only distantly through stories and fading photographs.
Our Far Rockaway Collection is an homage to those fancy and fantastical summer days, when New Yorkers exchanged their cramped city streets for Queens’ breezy coast.