Long Beach, New York facts for kids
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Long Beach, New York
|City of Long Beach|
Kennedy Plaza in Central Long Beach
The City by the Sea
Civitas ad mare
|City of Long Beach||1922|
|Founded by||William J. Reynolds|
|• Total||10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi)|
|• Land||5.5 km2 (2.1 sq mi)|
|• Water||4.6 km2 (1.8 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||6,398.1/km2 (16,571/sq mi)|
|34th densest in US|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0955835|
Long Beach is a city in Nassau County, New York, United States. Just south of Long Island, it is located on Long Beach Barrier Island, which is the westernmost of the outer barrier islands off Long Island's South Shore. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city population was 33,275. It was incorporated in 1922, and is nicknamed The City By the Sea (as seen in Latin on its official seal).
The city of Long Beach is surrounded by Reynolds Channel to the north, east and west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
As of 2012, Jack Schnirman is the city manager, a position appointed by the City Council. It has been Democratic for many years.
- Arts and culture
- Aerial view
- Images for kids
Through the 19th century
Long Beach's first inhabitants were the Algonquian-speaking Rockaway Indians, who sold the area to English colonists in 1643. While the barrier island was used by baymen and farmers, for fishing and harvesting salt hay, no one lived there year-round for more than two centuries.
In 1837, the barque Mexico, carrying Irish immigrants to New York, ran ashore on New Year's Day.
In 1849, Congress established a lifesaving station.
Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn, was the first to attempt to develop the island as a resort. He formed a partnership with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to finance the New York and Long Beach Railroad Co., which laid track from Lynbrook to Long Beach in 1880. That same year, Corbin opened Long Beach Hotel, a row of 27 cottages along a 1,100-foot (340 m) strip of beach, which he claimed was the world's largest hotel. In its first season, the railroad brought 300,000 visitors to Long Island. By the next spring, tracks had been laid the length of the island, but they were removed in 1894 after repeated washouts from winter storms.
In 1906, William Reynolds, a 39-year-old former state senator and real estate developer, entered the picture. Reynolds had already developed four Brooklyn neighborhoods (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Borough Park, Bensonhurst, and South Brownsville), as well as Coney Island's Dreamland, the world's largest amusement park. Reynolds also owned a theater and produced plays.
He gathered investors, and acquired the oceanfront from private owners and the rest of the island from the Town of Hempstead in 1907; he planned to build a boardwalk, homes, and hotels. Reynolds had a herd of elephants marched in from Dreamland, ostensibly to help build the Long Beach Boardwalk; he had created an effective publicity stunt. Dredges created a channel 1,000 feet (300 m) wide on the north side of the island to provide access by large steamboats and sea planes to transport more visitors; the new waterway was named Reynolds Channel. To ensure that Long Beach lived up to his billing it "The Riviera of the East", he required each building to be constructed in an "eclectic Mediterranean style", with white stucco walls and red-clay tile roofs. He built a theater called Castles by the Sea, with the largest dance floor in the world, for dancers Vernon and Irene Castle.
After Reynolds' corporation went bankrupt in 1918, the restrictions were lifted. The new town attracted wealthy businessmen and entertainers from New York and Hollywood.
On July 29, 1907, a fire broke out at the Long Beach Hotel and burned it to the ground. Of the 800 guests, eight were injured by jumping from windows, and one woman died. The fire was blamed on defective electric wiring. A church, several cottages and the bathing pavilion were also destroyed. Trunks belonging to the guests, which had been piled on the sand to form "dressing rooms", were looted by thieves. A dozen waiters and others were apprehended by the police, who recovered $20,000 worth of jewelry and other stolen property.
The community became an incorporated village in 1913 and a city in 1922.
In 1923, the prohibition agents known simply as Izzy and Moe raided the Nassau Hotel and arrested three men for bootlegging. In 1930, five Long Beach Police officers were charged with offering a bribe to a United States Coast Guard officer to allow liquor to be landed. Corruption became rampant in Long Beach by then; in 1922, the state Legislature designated Long Beach a city and William H. Reynolds was elected the first mayor. Shortly thereafter, Reynolds was indicted on charges of misappropriating funds. When he was found guilty, the clock in the tower at city hall was stopped in protest. When a judge released Reynolds from jail later that year on appeal, almost the entire population turned out to greet him, and the clock was turned back on.
By the 1940s and 1950s, with the advent of cheap air travel attracting tourists to more distant places, and air-conditioning to provide year-round comfort, Long Beach had become a primarily bedroom community for commuters to New York City. It still attracted many summer visitors into the 1970s. The rundown boardwalk hotels were used for temporary housing for welfare recipients and the elderly, until a scandal around 1970 led to many of the homes' losing licenses. At that time, government agencies were also "warehousing" in such hotels many patients released from larger mental hospitals. They were supposed to be cared for in small-scale community centers. The 2.2-mile (3.5 km) boardwalk had a small amusement park at the foot of Edwards Boulevard until the 1980s. In the late 1960s, the boardwalk and amusement park area were a magnet for youth from around Long Island, until a police crackdown on drug trafficking ended that. While a few businesses remain on the boardwalk, it attracts bicyclists, joggers, walkers and people-watchers.
Beginning in the 1980s and accelerating in the 1990s, Long Beach has begun an urban renewal, with new housing, new businesses and other improvements. Today, the city is again a popular bedroom community, for people working in New York who want the quiet beach atmosphere. With summer come local youths and college students and young adults who rent bungalows on the West End; they frequent the local bars and clubs along West Beech Street. Just behind the boardwalk near the center of the city, however, vacant lots now occupy several blocks that once housed hotels, bathhouses and the amusement park. Because attempts to attract development (including, at one time, Atlantic City-style casinos) to this potential "superblock" have not yet borne fruit, the lots comprise the city's largest portion of unused land.
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck Long Beach. As a result of flooding, hundreds of vehicles were totaled and houses suffered various levels of damage. The estimated cost of all the damage was over $250 million. The city was without power and running water for two weeks after the storm. The boardwalk was also destroyed during the storm. The City began rebuilding the boardwalk with grants from FEMA and the State of New York. The first two-block section of the new Long Beach boardwalk reopened on July 26, 2013, and the entire boardwalk opened on October 25, 2013.
Long Beach Bus operates a twenty-four-hour municipal bus service with five routes, including three routes serving the city, one overnight circulator route, and one route, the N69, extending service to Lido Beach and Point Lookout under contract to Nassau County. Long Beach Bus also operates a trolley bus.
Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) has two bus routes that originate in Long Beach; the n15 and n33 travel to Roosevelt Field and Far Rockaway via Rockville Centre and Atlantic Beach, respectively. The n33 does not provide service wholly within Long Beach.
The Long Island Rail Road operates a terminal station at Park Place and Park Avenue with service on the railroad's Long Beach Branch. All other public transportation services in Long Beach converge at this terminal.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2).
Long Beach Barrier Island
Within its section of the barrier island, the city takes up the entire north-south span, fronting on both Reynolds Channel to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. A drawbridge, the Long Beach Bridge, connects it to Island Park, a small island community between Long Beach and the mainland of Long Island. To the west, another drawbridge, the Atlantic Beach Bridge, connects the island to Lawrence on the mainland of Long Island. The Loop Parkway, to the east along the Lido Beach and Point Lookout borders, connects the island to nearby Jones Beach and, going in the opposite direction, to the rest of the expansive Long Island state parkway system by the Meadowbrook State Parkway.
The first inhabitants on the Long beach barrier island were the Rockaway Indians; the Island was sold to the New Netherland colonists in 1643. Local Long Island baymen and farmers used the island for fishing and harvesting salt hay; no people lived on the Island year round for more than two centuries. The United States Congress established a lifesaving station in 1849, a dozen years after 62 people died when the barque Mexico carrying Irish immigrants to New York ran ashore on New Year's Day.
Development began on the island as a resort and was organized by Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn New York. Austin Corbin formed a partnership with the Long Island Rail Road to finance the New York and Long Beach Railroad Company which laid tracks from Lynbrook, New York to Long Beach in 1880. The company also opened the 1,100-foot-long Long Beach Hotel, at the time the largest in the world. The railroad brought 300,000 visitors the first season. By the next spring, tracks had been laid almost the full length of the Long Beach island, but after repeated winter storm washouts they were removed in 1894.
|Atlantic Beach||Lido Beach|
Long Beach has a moderate humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification, with hot summers and cool winters. It is one of the northernmost locations in this climate zone, allowing for the growth of warmer climate plants like Mimosa, Crape Myrtle, Southern Magnolia, and Sweetgum often seen further south. Precipitation is evenly distributed year round, mostly in the form of rain although snowfall occurs each winter. Its climate is tempered by the Atlantic Ocean current.
|Climate data for Long Beach, New York|
|Record high °F (°C)||71
|Average high °F (°C)||39
|Average low °F (°C)||26
|Record low °F (°C)||−2
Unlike most suburbs, Long Beach is a high-density community. Fewer than 40% of the homes are detached houses, and the city ranks as the 35th densest community in the United States. The city is less than a mile wide from ocean to bay and about three and a half miles long. The city is divided into the West End, home to many small bungalows, and the East End. West of New York Avenue, the barrier island is less than a half mile wide and West Beech Street is the main east/west commercial street.
East of New York Avenue, the island is wider between the bay and ocean and is home to larger more expansive family houses. There is the city's boardwalk, which begins at New York Avenue and ends at Neptune Boulevard. Along the boardwalk are many apartment buildings and condos. The main commercial strip is Park Avenue, which narrows into a small residential strip west of New York Avenue.
- Central District - The area between Magnolia Boulevard and Monroe Boulevard.
- North Park - The area north of Park Avenue, between the LIRR and Long Beach Road.
- The East End - The neighborhood between Monroe Boulevard, and Maple Boulevard or Curley Street.
- The Canals - The area comprising several streets running north - south, with parallel canals originating from Reynolds Channel. The canals begin on Forrester Street and end on Curley Street.
- The President Streets - The area comprising streets named after former U.S. presidents, with the exceptions of Atlantic, Belmont, and Mitchell Avenues, and Pacific Boulevard; the streets noted as exceptions connect directly from Park Avenue to Broadway, a parallel road to the south.
- Kennedy Plaza - An area in the Central District, at the intersection of National Boulevard and West Chester Street.
- The Walks - An area comprising extremely narrow sidewalks between houses. Each walk is named after a month.
- The West End - This area is home to small bungalows and houses located very close to each other, along small narrow streets. These streets, named after U.S. states, run from the beach to the bay, until they meet East Atlantic Beach at Nevada Avenue.
- Westholme - The neighborhood between New York Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard.
Parks and recreation
- Clark Street Park
- Lindell Park
- Long Beach Ice Arena - home of the New York Applecore and Long Beach High School's club hockey teams and former practice facility for the New York Rangers.
- Long Beach Tennis Center
- Magnolia Playground
- Ocean Beach Park (2.2 mile long boardwalk)
- Ocean View Avenue - the unofficial boardwalk of the West End
- Recreation Center
- Skate Park
- Veteran's Memorial Park (fishing pier and boat ramp)
- West End's Georgia Avenue Splash Park
- Dog Park on the bay
National Register of Historic Places
Multiple sites in Long Beach are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including:
- Barkin House
- Cobble Villa
- Granada Towers
- House at 226 West Penn Street
- Pauline Felix House
- Samuel Vaisberg House
- United States Post Office
Landmarks and historic districts
- 9/11 Memorial
- Holocaust Memorial at Kennedy Plaza
- John F. Kennedy Memorial
- Red Brick District
- Shine's Bar on the West End
Museums and community centers
- House at 226 West Penn Street (also known as Long Beach Historical & Preservation Society Museum)
- Martin Luther King Community Center
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,462 people, 14,923 households, and 8,103 families residing in the city. The population density was 16,594.9 people per square mile (6,398.1/km²). There were 16,128 housing units at an average density of 7,547.3 per square mile (2,909.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.20% White, 6.18% African American, 0.21% Native American, 2.32% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 4.75% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.80% of the population.
There were 14,923 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the city, the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $56,289, and the median income for a family was $68,222. Males had a median income of $50,995 versus $40,739 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,069. About 6.3% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
- Annual arts and crafts show on the boardwalk
- Annual fine arts show at Kennedy Plaza
- Arts in the Plaza (weekly)
- Beach tennis tournaments - Beach Tennis USA
- Fall festival at Kennedy Plaza
- Farmers market at Kennedy Plaza (weekly)
- Free summer concerts series on the beach
- Historical Society arts and crafts show on the boardwalk
- Long Beach International Film Festival
- Long Beach Polar Bear Swim - world record holder for largest polar bear swim
- St. Brendan The Navigator Parade and Festival (Irish Day) in October
- West End Electric Light Parade
- Wounded Warrior Project
In popular culture
In films and television
- Mario Puzo's 1969 novel and its eponymous film adaptation, The Godfather (1972), were set partly in Long Beach
- In the film Taxi Driver (1976), a driver says he made a big tip for taking a customer from Kennedy Airport to Manhattan "by way of Long Beach".
(Alphabetical, by author's last name)
- Boardwalk Stories (2009) is Roslyn Bernstein's collection of 14 linked stories set in Long Beach. Each story is paired with a black-and-white vintage photo of the boardwalk taken by photographer Dr. Kenneth Tydings, a long-time resident. Bernstein grew up in the West End of Long Beach.
- In his memoir, 700 Sundays (2005), the comedian Billy Crystal describes growing up in Long Beach.
- In his memoir The NewsBreaker, the producer/journalist Larry Garrison describes growing up here.
- John Dos Passos' book, The Big Money, mentions weekends spent in Long Beach in the 1920s.
- Images of America: Long Beach, NY (2010), by Roberta Fiore, Carole Shahda Geraci, and Dave Roochvarg for the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society, is a collection of photos and stories of Long Beach, NY.
- Paul Jackson's book, Our Town, Our Time: Long Beach, L.I., in the 1930s and WWII, is a nostalgic look at Long Beach and a social history of the time.
- Paul Jackson's book, Scoundrels by the Sea: The Sullied Past of Long Beach Politicians, Swindlers, Bootleggers - and Worse, is filled with stories of the crooked characters from Long Beach woven together with the city's notorious history.
- James Patterson's book, I Funny, is about a boy named Jamie Grimm, who lives in Long Beach and deals with bullies.
- Long Beach is a beneficiary of 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief. During the event, Billy Crystal talks about growing up on Long Beach. Billy Joel, who also lived in Long Beach, performed.
- Legendary rock icon Joan Jett filmed her music video "Change The World" on the boardwalk.
- Long Beach hosted the 2011 Quiksilver Pro where pro surfers such as Kelly Slater competed.
Nicknames and slogans
- "The City by the Sea" (as seen in Latin on its official seal).
- "There's Long Beach sand in my shoes." (local)
- The Riviera of the East
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