Bummer summer: Fort Tilden to be closed all season

Next year, friend. via Facebook

Tilden, after Sandy. Next year, friend. via Facebook

A couple days ago, fresh from walking through the cold rain of late February, a couple of us started making grand plans for weekly visits to Fort Tilden, secluded beach paradise. We saw it as a reward for surviving winter. But, once again, because of that goddamn hurricane, our reward has been ripped away from us. Straight from the mouth of a Gateway National Recreation Area rep: Fort Tilden is closed for this summer. Better luck next year.

Now, before you shrug that off by noting that Fort Tilden had no lifeguards and wasn’t really even “open” in that sense, so you’ll go anyway, well, you can’t. The area is going to be fenced off by the Parks Department. And for good reason too: press spokesperson Daphne Yun told us that because of erosion due to Sandy “there’s exposure of bulkheads and other wooden debris” that was covered by the sand. So now you know what was under there at least. Even worse Shore Road was completely wrecked by Sandy and “pieces of concrete are still floating there in the water.”

Given that Gateway is a huge national park and had “literally a list of 1000 things to fix,” places were bound to get left behind before the summer. The fact that there are never lifeguards on duty makes it even more necessary to close the beach, since in the event of someone swimming into some of the concrete, there’d be no one to save you. Still, most of Gateway’s parks are going to be up and running for the summer, including Jacob Riis Park, which is right next to Fort Tilden, so at least we have that.

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