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An Ode To 'Cheerful' Post-Sandy Design In Rockaway

The beaches of Rockaway took a beating during Hurricane Sandy, tearing up the boardwalk and displacing tons of sand, but the Parks Department kicked things into high gear to get the sandy shoreline ready for summer. New concession stands, lifeguard stations, and boardwalk islands were constructed, built to not only better serve beach-goers, but better protect the waterfront in the face of another storm. Bloomberg archicritic delights in the post-Sandy structures in his latest piece, which brings us to another installment of Rhyme Time With James Russell.

Warped trellises,
A chartreuse-painted concession stand
wave a cheerful greeting.

Small, symbolic signs
of storm-resistant renewal.
The best thing to happen to New York City's beaches
since parks czar Robert Moses.
They suggest a brighter, better-protected future.

Small details delight.
Broad beach stairs,
Wood salvaged from storm-wrecked boardwalks
benches perfect for people watching.
Angled slats in jazzy aluminum railings
refract the varied colors of the sea light.
Vines crawl across a revetment of rocks
made to diffuse storm-wave energy.

Surfer station wagons stand high above the sand.
They rise on stilt feet akimbo,
some with a metal-stairway proboscis that stabs the sand.
Their stylishness thankfully equals their prominence.

A massive dune designed to repel waves and flooding.
An undulating dunescape along the beach,
crowned by low trees and waving beach grass,
could be beautiful
but will likely block the view.
· Sandy-Bashed Rockaway Cheers Small Changes, $20 Billion [Bloomberg]
· Hurricane Sandy coverage [Curbed]