Just a fun, summery update to make you feel even worse the Monday morning after a long weekend (or maybe one that's already made you feel shitty if you happened to be at the beach over the past few days): concessions stands in the Rockaways have apparently been banned this year from selling hard liquor, and have been told by authorities to stick to beer and wine.
Of course, newly-opened, Sandy-damaged businesses that tend to count on booze sales as a key part of their bottom line haven't been thrilled by the news, which came as sort of an abrupt surprise when the Parks Department informed them of the change in policy. “We’d love to have it back,” Low Bar co-owner Lindsay Robinson told the Daily News. “We didn’t have any problems with it last year.”
Reportedly, the new no-liquor rules were actually requested by life guards, citing (admittedly, legitimate) concerns about serving liquor to people who will then be in and around the water after 6pm, when lifeguards leave the beaches. "Statistics have long proven the correlation between alcohol and drownings,” a Parks Department advocate told the paper. “Anything to help lessen the chances is positive, but especially at this time of the day when there is no lifeguard coverage.”
And, yes, it's pretty hard to make an especially strong argument in favor of giving alcohol to people who are about to get into the ocean, though it's worth noting that swimming is actually still closed at a number of the beach's outposts that have been affected by the new laws. “We’re responsible people, we know how to deal with selling alcohol,” said Caracas owner Maribel Araujo. “I would like to have a sitdown with the lifeguards and understand what their concerns are.”
The Parks Department itself hasn't said too much about the decision, other than to note that it's a policy that they plan to re-visit annually (hence, the abrupt change from last year's laws). I guess there's always next summer?
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.