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Water Taxi Beach: a Curbed Guided Tour

You may not know it, but we're obsessed with Long Island City's Water Taxi Beach. Ever since news of it broke last year, we've wanted to visit this thin strip of imported Jersey Shore sand along Queens' riverfront, but you know, it's in Queens. Then it wasn't summer anymore. But the beach reopened for the season on Memorial Day weekend, and PBR-shortage be damned, we pledged to board the?what'sitcalled??oh yeah, the 7 Train, and see what all the fuss was about. We made it, barely, and we were greeted by an interesting collision of families, Brooklyn hipsters and Upper East Siders fresh off the Water Taxi itself. Above you see the entranceway that greets your arrival to the beach. After the jump, a quick tour of the premises.


Once you walk in, to the left you have the bar and food shacks. It was opening weekend and they were a little light on supplies. Promised elk burgers became hot dogs-or-nothing, and the only beers were Jever and Graffel until Magic Hat arrived later in the afternoon (oh, precious PBR!). The daiquiris were great, however, and only $7.50!


Then you get to the picnic table area, where waitress service is available. Claiming a picnic table early is key Water Taxi Beach strategy, for when you want to take a break from the sand and get into a fierce game of Uno.


It's a weird vibe, because you have people in jeans and sneakers not giving into the faux-beach experience, and then people who go all out. Those are the people in swim trunks who fly kites. They actually believe they're at the beach...


...until the wind off the East River gets their kite tangled up in the fence that prevents you from actually touching any water.


To the right of the picnic zone is the open sand area, so bring your beach towel and sprawl out. It got fairly crowded around 3 p.m., so there wasn't much room for paddle ball and badminton, although people tried. Oh, how they tried. Across the water is the biggest reminder that you're in Long Island City and not the Hamptons. Curse you, United Nations.


At the far end of Water Taxi Beach is a big tent, where people were?no joke?swing dancing to the DJ's tunes, which were a little too loud for our old man ears. There's also another bar over there, where the Magic Hat was being served up.


Bye-bye Water Taxi Beach! See you maybe next year!
· Water Taxi Beach [watertaxibeach.com]