Far Rockaway in Queens NY

Far Rockaway is one of the most distant New York neighborhoods from Manhattan.

Far Rockaway is one of the four neighborhoods on the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York City borough of Queens. It is the most eastern section of the Rockaways, usually the area east of Beach 77th Street, comprising the neighborhoods of Bayswater, Edgemere, Arverne, as well as Far Rockaway proper and Downtown Far Rockaway. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 14.

Far Rockaway's character is that of an inner-city, oceanfront district, in some ways having more in common with Asbury Park, New Jersey than with New York City. Far Rockaway is one of the most distant New York neighborhoods from Manhattan. Formerly populated by Eastern European Jewish and Irish immigrants, it now has a large African American population, though the westernmost portion still remains mostly Irish. Downtown Far Rockaway has a moderately large Central American population. There is also a large Orthodox Jewish population in the easternmost part of Far Rockaway, which borders Inwood and Lawrence, and other areas in the densely-Jewish Five Towns area across the Nassau County border. The area is home to a large and growing number of Haredi Jews with a large network of yeshivas and Jewish communal needs.

Recently, the area is being renewed with new beach houses and waterfront development. There has been a steady attempt at cleaning up the area, and along with its rough appearance, the crime rate is relatively high.

Far Rockaway is one of two New York City neighborhoods whose subway terminus is within realistic walking distance of the city limits (the Wakefield section of the Bronx is the other). This fact led to an interesting scenario in 1985, when New York City banned the sale of spray-paint cans to persons under the age of 18, in an effort to stem the tide of graffiti in the city; teenagers would travel across the city line into either Nassau County (after getting off the subway at the last stop in Far Rockaway) or Westchester County (from the last stop in Wakefield) to purchase spray paint there (Nassau County has since followed suit and prohibited spray-paint sales to minors, but Westchester County has not).