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Klaus Biesenbach’s Rockaways

Klaus Biesenbach’s Rockaways


The chief curator at large of the Museum of Modern Art and director of MoMA PS1 shares his favorite spots

Photo by Casey Kelbaugh

Say what you will about him, but Klaus Biesenbach, chief curator at large of the Museum of Modern Art and director of MoMA PS1, knows how to raise a profile. His commissions -- including the renowned Marina Abramovic show, in which the artist stared down visitors in the museum's atrium for 736 hours; Tilda Swinton's sleep-in-a-box act, The Maybe; and eight nights of performances by the German band Kraftwerk -- have given MoMA a new vigor while broadening the conception of art. This past summer, Biesenbach expanded his vision to the other side of Queens, with a group show at Fort Tilden, a popular strip of beach in the Rockaways, where he lives part-time. Here, his favorite Rockaway spots. Because it's never too early to prep for the summer.


Photo by Elizabeth Lloyd

Rockaway Taco
"Co-owned by the ruggedly handsome Rockaway impresario David Selig, this is the pulsating heart of the Rockaways in the summer. It has attracted the foodies and the beauties, the surfers and the locals, the hipsters and the helpsters, to enjoy the best tacos on the peninsula."

95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd.; RockawayTaco


Photo by Edward Salamanca

Edgemere Farm
"Edgemere Farm is a zero-profit, ecological pioneer farm housed on an acre between the beach houses, growing organic food for all the Rockaway foodie hot spots. It shares the space with the Healing Garden at Far Rock Farm, a project of the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger."

385 Beach 45th St.;

American Princess Ferry
"Catch the ferry from Manhattan to Rockaway at Pier 11 near Wall Street. The boat has a beautiful little bar at its heart and makes you feel like you're somewhere around the Italian or Greek islands. As you pass under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, you leave Coney Island on the left, then head out on the open ocean before anchoring at Riis Landing."


Photo Credit: Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

The Beachfront at Beach 149th Street
"This section of Jacob Riis Park is one of the campiest, most glamorous beach experiences you can ever have in New York, with plenty of voguing and sparsely clad visitors."


Photo Credit: Pablo Enriquez, Courtesy of MoMA PS1 (c) 2014 (left). John Madere, Rockaway Beach Surf Club (right).

Rockaway Beach Surf Club
"This is a working surf club, where early-morning surfers store their boards and shower before going to work in any of the five boroughs. It's been an important base station for post-hurricane recovery efforts, and it's a fun hangout spot, an exhibition locale, and a performance space that features music and film screenings. Look for the Olafur Eliasson skateboard hanging over the bar."; 302 Beach 87th St.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of MoMA PS1 (c) 2014

Fort Tilden
"The abandoned military buildings at this site -- barely standing ruins without doors or windows, filled with beach sand and covered in graffiti -- have become some of the most desired photo-op settings on this part of the Atlantic Coast."
169 State Rd.

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