Far Rockaway

An Interview with Maria Lisella, the New Queens Poet Laureate!

This past June, Astoria resident and Queens native Maria Lisella became the borough's new Poet Laureate. Maria will be joining us at Central Library on Sunday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m. for our Open Mic for Poets.

Maria is the author of three books of poetry, including the recently published ...

Read Across the Globe: October 19

Help Queens Library shine a light on literacy and join the global effort to set a new Guinness World Record for the most children read to in 24 hours.

Bring your child to this one-day event to listen and read along as part of this worldwide effort to promote literacy!

Reserve your spot and get a FREE T-SHIRT for ...

Learn More About Elder Law

Would you like to learn more about planning for your retirement and financial future? If so, come join us at one of our many Elder Law Seminars (free of charge), where you can learn valuable information about financial planning for yourself and your loved ones.

A specialized attorney will be discussing various ...

An Alternate Path to the High School Diploma with the National External Diploma Program

  • Earn a traditional high school diploma from Long Beach High School
  • Flexible and confidential
  • Complete program in 6 to 12 months
  • Aligned with the college and career readiness standards
  • Work through online activities and with an advisor to complete your program
  • Work at home, ...

10th Annual StartUP Queens

Get the Tools You Need to Launch Your Own Business and Enter a Contest to Win $10,000 in Seed Funding!

The mandatory training sessions for the 10th Annual StartUP! Compettion begin in October. All participants must complete a session on each of the four training topics.

All live training sessions are ...


Mail-A-Book continues to enrich the lives of the homebound with both new and traditional ways to communicate with its customers!

Queens Library’s Mail-a-Book Service offers customers the convenience of having library materials delivered to their door free of charge. These materials include books in large print, regular ...

Lincoln Center Programs at Queens Library

Discover the magic of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in your neighborhood! Queens Library has partnered with Lincoln Center to bring FREE events to a library near you.

Lincoln Center Local offers live hour-long programs combining performance with a question-and-answer session in a dynamic, first-hand encounter with ...

Our New Music For October!

Looking for new music? Look no further than your local Queens Library!

Every month, our expert staff will bring you the best of what's new in our physical and digital collections.

This month features music from The Weeknd, Vince Staples, Courtney Barnett, Hilary Duff, NF, the New Hanover Public Library Rap Club, Elvis ...

Queens Library Presents Jelani Cobb on Nov. 24

Breaking the Line: A Parable of Race and Education in Queens, NY

Queens Library presents an evening of frank conversation with author/professor Jelani Cobb on the history of migration and civil rights in Queens and how it has played out in one of the most diverse boroughs in the nation. He will trace today’s ...

An Evening Conversation with Jelani Cobb

"Queens Library Presents" is a new series of literary salons and other community-based literary events designed to bring our programs out of library buildings and into Queens communities.

We’re honored that our first event will be an evening of conversation with author Jelani Cobb on ...

There are no programs scheduled here at this time. Please check our Programs page for our other locations and programs you might be interested in attending.

Free computer access is available at all the libraries.

The Far Rockaway Community Library has:

  • 10 public computers for adults/li>
  • 8 public computers for young adults
  • 4 public computers for children
  • 1 catalog computer
  • Free Internet access
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Limited free printing


Queens Library Public Internet Use Policy.









International Language Collections at the Far Rockaway Community Library include:

  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • French


Special Interest/Noteworthy Collections at the Far Rockaway Community Library include:

  • Black Experience
  • Jewish Experience
  • Small Business Resource Materials
  • Adult New Reader books
  • Russian Books, CDs, and Videocassettes


Child Care / Preschools
Community Board
Community Organizations & Services
Fire Department
Local Hospitals
Local Newspapers
Parks and Playgrounds
Police Department
Post Office
Private / Parochial Schools
Public Elementary Schools
Public High Schools
Public Intermediate / Junior High Schools
Senior Centers
Elected Officials
Special Services

Child Care / Preschools
Shannon Adote
2006 Seagirt Boulevard, Apartment 3G, 3rd Floor
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-6995
Valerie Bacchus
316 Beach 19th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-6281
Bowen’s Unique Headstart L.L.C.
449 Beach 21 Street, 1st Floor
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (866) 263-6734
Delreta Brown
15-19 Dunbar St., Ground Floor
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-3709
Blanche Community Progress Day Care Ctr. 2
44-02 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-7881

Community Board
Community Board District # 14
1931 Mott Avenue,
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-7300

Community Organizations & Services
101st Precinct Community Council
16-12 Mott Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 868-3441
The Action Center for Education and Community Development, Inc.
1414 Wheatley Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 337-5040
Madison Square Boys & Girls Club
426 Beach 40th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: 718) 471-5453
fax: (718) 471-9648
Margert Community Corporation
325 Beach 37th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-3724
fax: (718) 471-5342
Parent’s Action Program, Inc.
3226 Mott Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-2425
People United for Local Leadership (PULL)
1441 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-4496
fax: (718) 471-2005
Rockaway Artist's Alliance
260 Beach 116th Street
Rockaway Park NY , 11691
phone: (212) 474-0861
fax: (718) 474-4373
Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation
1920 Mott Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-5300
fax: (718) 327-4990

Fire Department
Engine 264 / Ladder 134
16-19 Central Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691

Local Hospitals
St. John's Episcopal Hospital South Shore
327 Beach 19th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 869-7000
Peninsula Hospital Center
51-15 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 734-2000

Local Newspapers
The Wave
88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Beach NY , 11691
phone: (718) 634-4000
fax: (718) 945-0913

Parks and Playgrounds
Redfern Playground
Beach 12th Street & Redfern Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
Westbourne Playground / PS 104 Playground
Mott Avenue & Bay 25th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
Grassmere Playground
Grassmere Terrace & Brookhaven Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
Beach 44th Street Playground
between Beach 43rd-44th S
Far Rockaway NY , 11691

Police Department
101st Precinct
16-12 Mott Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 868-3400

Post Office
Far Rockaway Post Office
1836 Mott Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (800) 275-8777

Private / Parochial Schools
Bnos Bais Yaakov (PreK-8)
710 Hartman Lane
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 337-6000
Christian Training & Recreation (PreK-K)
14-25 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway NY , 11671
phone: (718) 327-1284
Church of God Christian Academy (K-12)
1332-1336 Central Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-9590
Rockaway Childcare Center (PreK-K)
14-66 Beach Channel Drive
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-1384
St. Mary Star of Sea School (PreK-8)
595 Beach 19th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-2242
Talmud Torah Siach Yitzchok (PreK-8)
1513 Central Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-6247
Torah Academy For Girls (K-12)
444 Beach 6th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-8444
Torah Academy High School For Girls (9-12)
636 Lanett Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-1300
Yeshiva Darchei Torah (PreK-12)
257 Beach 17th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 868-2300
Yeshiva School of Far Rockaway (9-12)
802 Hicksville Road
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-7600

Public Elementary Schools
P.S.43 (K-8)
160 Beach 29th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-5860
P.S. 104 The Bays Water (PreK-6)
26-01 Mott Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-1910
P.S. 105 The Bay School (PreK-8)
420 Beach 51st Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 474-8615
P.S. 106 (K-5)|
180 Beach 35th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-5828
P.S.197 The Ocean School (K-5)
8-25 Hicksville Road
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-1083
P.S. 215 Lucretia Mott (K-5)
535 Briar Place
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-7928
P.S. 253 (PreK-5)
1307 Central Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-0895

Public High Schools
Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School (9-12)
8-21 Beach 25th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-2154
Far Rockaway High School (9-12)
8-21 Beach 25th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-6001
Peninsula Preparatory Academy Charter School (K-5)
10-45 Nameoke Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-7220

Public Intermediate / Junior High Schools
I.S.53 Brian Piccolo (6-8)
10-45 Nameoke Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-6900
P.S. / M.S. 43 (K-8)
160 Beach 29th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-5860

Senior Centers
JCC of the Rockaway Peninsula
1525 Central Avenue
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 327-7755
JASA Queens Care Management
131 Beach 19th Street
Far Rockaway NY , 11691
phone: (718) 471-6677

Elected Officials
NYS Assembly
Hon. Phillip Goldfeder
District Office 95-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Beach NY, 11693
phone: (718) 945-9550
fax: (718) 945-9549
Albany Office LOB, Room 542
Albany NY, 12248
phone: (518) 455-4292
fax: (518) 455-4723
US Congress
Hon. Gregory W. Meeks

District Office 153-01 Jamaica Ave., 2nd Floor
Jamaica NY , 11432
phone: (718) 725-6000
fax: (718) 725-9868
Legislative Office 2234 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC, 20515
phone: (202) 225-3461
fax: (202) 226-4169
Boro President
Hon. Melinda Katz
Hon. Bill de Blasio


The Ramones sang about its world famous beach. The Vanderbilts, the Astors, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Washington Irving vacationed in resorts along its solitary shore. Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman grew up there—at 792 Cornaga Avenue. Far Rockaway, located at the eastern end of the Rockaway Peninsula and nestled against suburban Nassau County, is one of New York City's most overlooked scenic treasures with the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay washing the beaches on its opposite shores. Occupying nearly half of the narrow peninsula, Far Rockaway features miles of oceanfront boardwalk and includes the neighborhoods of Bayswater, Edgemere, and Arverne.

Long before Feynman and the resorts, the area was originally inhabited by a small tribe of Canarsie Indians who named the peninsula Reckowacky, which meant "the place of our own people", also interpreted as "our place of laughing waters." It wasn't until the mid-1600s that the Rockaways first came under European control when the entire peninsula, along with most of Long Island, was sold by a local tribe to the Dutch. The British soon took over and, following several ownership disputes, Richard Cornell, an iron magnate from Flushing, bought the Rockaways and became the area's first European settler when he moved with his family to Far Rockaway on land that would later become part of Central Avenue.

Cornell's descendents held onto the Rockaways until 1833 when they sold most of their land to a group of wealthy entrepreneurs who used the oceanfront property to build the Marine Pavilion, Far Rockaway's first reputable hotel. The Pavilion quickly gained popularity among New York City's elite who fled the City amid a cholera outbreak for the warmth and relative isolation of the seaside resort. Longfellow, Irving, colonial artist John Trumbull, and pioneer journalist George P. Morris were just a few of the notables who stayed there. The Pavilion burned down in 1864 but—as many other hotels and resorts popped up along its shore—the Rockaways continued to be a celebrated vacation spot.

To accommodate the growing appeal of the Rockaways—a railroad trestle was built over Jamaica Bay in 1880 connecting the peninsula to the Queens mainland. As a result, the next 20 years saw the development of several local communities including Far Rockaway, which became an incorporated village in1888 and Arverne-by-the-Sea which achieved the same status in 1895. It would take another three years, however, for the Rockaway communities to officially become part of Greater New York City.

The time of the Rockaways being a resort community for the city's rich and famous ceased in the early-to-mid 20th century as improvements in transportation made the peninsula more accessible to the general public. The construction of the Cross Bay Bridge (1925), Marine Parkway Bridge (1937), and the introduction of New York City subway service via the A line on the refurbished railroad trestle in 1956 all contributed to the Rockaways' transformation to an upstart working class community.

Today, the Rockaways retain a distinctive coastal beach town meets blue-collar neighborhood flavor with rows of white and pink bungalows in the shadows of mid-rise condominiums. It's a place where barefoot kids with sunburned faces and fishing rods across their shoulders buy tackle around the corner from a McDonald's restaurant—where it's not uncommon to find capsized skiffs on front lawns along streets with maritime names like: Foam Place, Gull Court, Swan Road, and Seagirt Boulevard. And when on a cool, late summer day you can taste the refreshing, tonic, salty-sea air and the low-flying gulls seem bigger than the JFK-bound planes above them—you can appreciate why the Rockaways were once known as the American Riviera.



Rockaway..."place of waters bright.” The Wave. http://www.rockawave.com/common/history/history.html

Far Rockaway, Queens. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Rockaway,_Queens

Rosenberg, Miriam. Dual Ceremony for Rockaway Nobel Laureate May 11. (2005). The Wave. http://www.rockawave.com/news/2005/0429/Community/155.html

Amon, Rhoda. The Rockaways: A Paradise for Everyman. Newsday. http://www.newsday.com/extras/lihistory/spectown/hist0012.htm

Far, Far & (Rock)Away. Forgotten NY. http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/borderlinefarrock/farrock.html

Hazelton, Henry Isham. The Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York1609-1924: The Rockaways. http://www.rootsweb.com/~nynassa2/rockaways.htm

Andrew Carnegie, the benevolent steel tycoon, once said: “no man can become rich without himself enriching others.” True to his word, St. Andrew—as he was called by Mark Twain—donated almost $60 million in his lifetime to help build over 2,500 libraries throughout the English-speaking world. Sixty-seven of these libraries were constructed in the City of New York alone—as it was Carnegie’s intent to establish a branch library system spanning all five boroughs. Being a Scottish immigrant from humble beginnings, it is not surprising that New York—the gateway for millions of new Americans in the early 20th century—was the recipient of his greatest largesse.

The first of the New York City Carnegie Libraries to open in the Borough of Queens was the Far Rockaway branch which was dedicated on August 18, 1904. Located prominently on the corner of a busy promenade and surrounded by a sprawling lawn—the simple yet handsome one-story brick building was raised on land deeded to the City for educational purposes by local philanthropist Benjamin Mott. The noble provision accorded by Mott may have proven far more fruitful than the generous Hempstead patriarch could have ever foreseen—and more enriching than even the wealthy industrialist could have imagined—as it is largely possible that the original Far Rockaway branch library held the great and singular distinction of cultivating the burgeoning academic talents of three Nobel Prize winners: Burton Richter, Richard Feynman, and Baruch Blumberg. Each of these scientific virtuosos graduated from nearby Far Rockaway High School between the years 1935 and 1948—making it very likely that at least one and perhaps all three members of this distinguished trio once studied in the library’s stately reading room beneath the painting of the tall, Melville-esque ship that adorned its far wall.

Tragically, the Rockaways lost a potential historical landmark when the building that housed the original Far Rockaway branch library was destroyed by fire in 1962. It wasn’t long, however, before local residents—and the future Nobel Laureates among them—had their library service restored as a replacement branch was quickly built and has stood on the same site since 1967.



Lighting the Way: The Centennial History of the Queens Borough Public Library 1896-1996 by Kroessler,

The Architecture of Literacy: The Carnegie Libraries of New York City by Mary B. Dierickx


Deconstructing the Philanthropic Library: The Sociological Reasons Behind Andrew Carnegie's Millions to Libraries. http://www.michaellorenzen.com/carnegie.html

The Carnegie Libraries. http://www.nypl.org/press/carnegielibraries.cfm

The Wave.http://www.rockawave.com/news/2005/0415/Coumminity/186.html

ThinkExist Quotations. Andrew Carnegie quotes. http://en.thinkexist.com/quotes/andrew_carnegie/

Special Services

Queens Library for Teens, located 1 block away at 2002 Cornaga Ave., Far Rockaway. The Library will serve youth from middle school through age 19. It boasts 32 computers, homework helpers, magazines for in-library use, and a wide range of programs. Current hours are 2:30 - 6 Monday - Friday. Please contact Queens Library for Teens at 718-471-2573.

Queens Library HealthLink