After reading a New York Times article on the resurgence of the Rockaways among twenty- and thirty-somethings as a mecca of weekend vacationing/staycationing, my mind started to tick. Of course the ticking revolved around Haverstraw, however, this may be a lesson for most still grungy rivertowns in the Hudson River Valley. Hipsters proudly proclaim that the Boardwalk is the new Bedford Avenue, and that Williamsburg has become so “Chuck E. Cheesed out” that these hip, young millenials are looking for adventure further and further out. Various staple restaurants in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and the East Village (L Train fare) have opened everything from taco trucks to Vegan cupcake and grass-fed burger joints just steps from the surf. What was once a Requiem for a Dream-like hellhole, is now the epitome of cool summer.
Haverstraw has already been there and done that in the weekend/summer scene. During the earlier part of the twentieth century, the Village was a major stop on the Vaudeville circuit and major silent film actors and actresses made their country bungalows all along nearby South Mountain Road (see Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, and more). Nyack Beach State Park was an absolute haven in its heyday. Haverstraw has a to-die-for waterfront on the wide Hudson River, boasts an ethno-chic downtown, high peaks for hiking, awesome 70’s-era old man bar, and of course, a burgeoning arts and restaurant scene. So, why not summer in Haverstraw? Really.