#InTheLoop | What Does Kevin Alexander Love about Queens?
BY QEDC It's In Queens
I cannot rave enough about the food, service, drinks, and interactions I’ve had over the years at Pico RBNY (great Mexican), Jameson’s Pub (great Americana), and East Meets West Superb Chinese Food and Catering (great Chinese)! Admittedly, I still have one or two stops to check out in my ongoing Rockaways food journey, including Plum Tomatoes by La Sorretina (Italian) and Callie’s Restaurant (Americana), which has an awesome outdoor seating area. However, my favorite spot has to be Harbor Light Pub & Restaurant. The delightful eatery combines location (outdoor seating), great Americana eats and drinks, friendly staff, and patrons to make it an area favorite.
A short walk away from Harbor Light is my favorite treats place, Ciro’s Pastry Shop. Ciro’s has cakes, pastries, cookies, and a café that capture your attention because of the open sight lines from the storefront straight to the displays. My favorite item is the mouth-watering chocolate éclairs.
The Beach 129th Street Business District is a one-block commercial corridor in Belle Harbor. It’s walking distance from Rockaway Beach and Jamaica Bay. I enjoy strolling through the district because of its curbside appeal — whether it’s a restaurant, fresh food, retail store, or professional-service business. Just as important, the sidewalks are clean and uncluttered, and the storefronts are clear and inviting. Third, the people are engaging, warm, and friendly. They want your business and work extremely hard for it.
After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation conducted several peninsula-wide campaigns to help businesses re-open. I remember driving along Newport Avenue, heading west to an emergency meeting in Breezy Point, when I passed Harbor Light, although it had been reduced to rubble and a blue sign. I immediately circled back around to Beach 129th Street and witnessed the owners struggling to remove water, debris, muck, damaged goods, and supplies, while also making emergency repairs in order to re-open for locals who depended on them. They took the time in the middle of a crisis to provide my staff and legions of volunteers with the information we needed in order to get them the help they deserved. It was a lesson never forgotten: natural disasters don’t discriminate, and we all need a helping hand, whether it’s in Belle Harbor, Far Rockaway or anywhere in between, it’s all one Rockaway!
Kevin W. Alexander is President and CEO of the Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, which consists of a diverse group of community leaders who address the peninsula’s social and economic conditions.
Top image: Jameson’s Pub; Bottom image: Kevin Alexander