Far Rockaway in Queens has called itself “Hamptons West” since 2001, largely from promotion by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. The Hamptons are the expensive vacation areas on the eastern end of Long Island, about two hours away from New York City. The Rockaways advertise a closer, cheaper alternative.
An older nickname for the same Rockaway area is “Irish Riviera.”
Wikipedia: Far Rockaway, Queens
Far Rockaway is one of the four neighborhoods on the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. It describes the easternmost 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, the cultural and financial center of New York City. 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.
New York (NY) Times
NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: BENDING ELBOWS; Party Time in Rockapulco, Hamptons West
By CHARLIE LEDUFF
Published: July 22, 2001
The dandies have their Hamptons, but the multitude has the Rockaways, a sandy swath in southern Queens that lays up on the Atlantic.
There is a good beach there at 116th Street that they call Rockapulco. There is a jitney that will take you there. It is called the Q53 bus. It costs $1.50 and it starts in Woodside, winds through central Queens and drops you at the head of the beach.
Southeast Queens (NY) Press (January 18, 2002)
A Day In The Life Of The New Borough President:
Making Plans, Making Speeches,
And Making Time For Change
By TAMARA HARTMAN
Helen Marshall began the first scheduled event of her 12th day as Queens Borough President with her purse hanging by one strap from her arm as she searched for her picture identification to prove who she is to a guard.
ON THE ROCKAWAYS
Marshall calls it “the Hamptons West” and believes they can and will live up to that potential. She has been meeting with representatives of the Rockways and plans future meetings to pull the neighborhoods together. “They feel they have been neglected,” Marshall said.
New York (NY) Times
To Rockaway by Water, Without Owning a Boat
By COREY KILGANNON
Published: June 5, 2003
Jonathan L. Gaska, the district manager of the community board that covers the Rockaways, said he hoped the weekend service would lead to a commuter line: ‘’We’re glad the beach ferry’s coming. You got to crawl before you walk.’’
The Queens borough president, Helen Marshall, echoed that sentiment and added: ‘’You’re going to have Manhattan people finding out that the Rockaway beaches are wonderful. I call it the Hamptons West.’’
Rockaway (NY) Wave (July 8, 2005)
As the brand new beach park was officially unveiled on Beach 103 last week, a beaming Senator Malcolm Smith promised to outdo Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer by funding not just one but two more. Smith also referred to Rockaway as “Hamptons west,” and said that’s why he was decked out in a blue blazer and crisp white slacks rolled up above his ankles.
Government’s Annual Reports
by Gail Robinson
February 20, 2007
Helen Marshall of Queens hailed the Rockaway as Hamptons West, but “more convenient and affordable than the Hamptons,” while Carrion touted “520,000 square feet of shiny new office space at the Hutchinson Metro Center.”
New York (NY) Daily News
Queens Borough President sees bright future for Queens, Mets
BY NICHOLAS HIRSHON
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Wednesday, January 16th 2008, 4:00 AM
She pointed to new business improvement districts in Bayside and Sunnyside, and plans for a YMCA and a hotel in the Rockaways that she said will cement its “Hamptons West” nickname.
New York City • Neighborhoods • (0) Comments • Monday, February 18, 2008 • Permalink