#MonthlyPicks | June ’16 by Samantha Cintron
One of the greatest – and most unsung — things about Rockaway is its fantastic food scene. Let’s start with Community House, a family-friendly gastropub at the old Irish Circle site. The service is great, and the fish tacos and mini-burgers are excellent. Plus, it’s spacious so you don’t feel crammed. I love the dark wood décor, and there’s an outdoor, covered patio in the back with ping pong tables. I think I’ll have my next birthday party there.
Pico Kitchen & Cantina is another gem. It’s a top-notch Mexican place with tremendous lump crab meat guacamole. They make a delicious margarita, and again, I love the dark wood décor.
Then there’s Cuisine by Claudette, which is famous for its coffee and hummus. The owner, Claudette, has a tremendous story, having lived in Morocco, France, and Israel. She masterfully blends the best of these fares, and makes so many of the specials by hand.
My family has a fascination with Fort Tilden, an old garrison which once housed antiaircraft missiles and boasts tremendous views of Jamaica Bay and even the Manhattan skyline. The fort lies by a freshwater pond and a maritime forest and the grounds are often used for art exhibitions. My 12-year-old daughter Michaela Rafaela, loves to ride her bicycle there, exploring all the secret paths.
There is no place in New York City like the Rockaway boardwalk. I stroll on it all year round, often walking in the sand by the ocean. It’s nature, energy, and beauty. I can even be convinced to brave the elements there during a snowstorm or heavy rain.
For shopping, I prefer the Blue Bungalow, a Rockaway gathering place where you can buy unique gifts, house wares and accessories. The owners, Liz Smith-Breslin and Jeanne Jamin, make many of the items themselves.
For exercise, I go to Crom Physical Culture for shredding and bagwork which helps to relieve stress and increase muscle tone. I really like the owners, Sarah and Chris Romulo. They are an amazing couple.
At other times, I build energy and stay focused by going to Hot Yoga Rockaway Beach with the wonderful Anita Ruderman.
Finally, I love checking out the pop up vendors at Riis Park Beach Bizarre during the summer. There’s great live music, too. I can’t wait to hit the beach soon and see what’s there.
Samantha Cintron is a licensed massage therapist who opened the Nuture U Wellness Center about 100 yards from the beach in Rockaway last May. The new company offers everything from shiatsu to Chinese cupping to aromatherapy. Plus, a clinical psychologist and acupuncturist are on site.