New York Times
July 30, 2006
By MELENA RYZIK
“HOT DOGS! Two-dollar hot dogs!”
That is the late-night rallying cry from the vendors at the Water Taxi Beach, which is less of a beach and more of a pier jutting into the East River in Long Island City, Queens, with 440 tons of imported sand.
But with beer, epicurean snacks (unlike the tofu dogs, the elk burgers pretty much sell themselves) and a killer view, it is a near-perfect spot for a night out. It is especially crowded on Saturdays, when there are D.J.’s, dancing, and even some wayward acrobatics at a new gathering called Rebound. Organized by a few downtown D.J.’s, it is intended as an after-party to the Warm-Up series, another D.J.-and-dancing event at the nearby P.S. 1 Museum.
“This is almost better than P.S. 1,” Ryan Sloan, 30, said as he and a friend, Sandar Hla, absorbed Midtown’s glow. People were turning cartwheels, making out and dancing barefoot. A family of ducks floated by; a group of friends buried themselves in the sand. It was as close to a love-in as Queens is likely to get. Why, then, is it only near-perfect?
For one thing, it is in a hard-to-find spot in a borough not known for sophistication. Or as Hiram Bonet IV, a truck driver from Richmond Hills, put it, “There’s no chi-chi-pooh-poohness.”
Well, there didn’t used to be.
“I thought it was going to be full of hipsters and cool kids, and it is,” said Myles Kane, an editor from Williamsburg. Would he prefer fewer cool kids?
“I guess so,” Mr. Kane, 27, said, sighing, “but what the hell am I?”
To be fair, hipsters aren’t the only ones who have discovered Rebound. “You have your Hamptons crowd, your bridge-and-tunnel crowd, and children break dancing,” said Ms. Hla, 30.
She took in the water, the skyline, the elk burgers. “It’s like sensory overload,” she said, “the moment you fall in love with everything all at once.”
Mr. Sloan added with a grin: “I don’t know how we get home, but other than that, it’s great.”
It’s about to get better. Starting Saturday, a night ferry will shuttle partygoers between Rebound and East 34th Street in Manhattan. It’s $6 each way and takes four minutes. Which is actually pretty close to perfect.
Second Street and Borden Avenue, Long Island City, Queens.
GETTING IN Admission is free; check directions at http://www.watertaxibeach.com.
DRESS CODE Bare feet and bikini tops.
D.J. LINEUP Includes Tim (Love) Lee, Metro Area, D.J. Spun, Justin Carter, and Probus.
SIGNATURE DRINK BlueTini (fresh blueberry and ginger-infused gins, dry vermouth), $14.