Head to Manhattan Beach for a staycation day
Eye On Real Estate
Staycations are good for the soul.
Sometimes you really need a quick getaway from your life, but spare cash for an airplane ticket and a hotel room is in short supply.
Any summer staycation worthy of the name calls for at least one day at the beach.
Coney Island is dreamy, of course, an ideal staycation getaway for New York City residents.
We’re obsessively devoted to its famous landmarks like the Wonder Wheel and the Parachute Jump. And a walk down its cherished Boardwalk will take you to Brighton Beach, where you can eat borscht at beachfront Russian cafes.
But today we’re going to extol the virtues of Brooklyn’s other point of access to the Atlantic Ocean — Manhattan Beach.
That’s the name of both an excellent public beach and the surrounding peninsular neighborhood.
A sign posted on Oriental Boulevard, which runs through the middle of the neighborhood, refers to Manhattan Beach as “Brooklyn by the Sea.” We like the sound of that.
Manhattan Beach Park is a 40-acre recreation area that opened in 1955.
The city created it to help alleviate crowded conditions on Coney Island’s beach.
The parkland in Manhattan Beach had belonged to the federal government, which had acquired it during World War II for use as the Coast Guard and Maritime Training Station.
The beach is beautiful.
When we went for a visit on a prime beach-going day — a hot, sunny August Sunday — we found a mellow, happy scene.
There were lots of people ensconced on the sand beneath beach umbrellas, and lots more splashing in the refreshing waves. But it wasn’t crowded in a claustrophobia-inducing way.
Nostalgia for Miami Beach
You’re never, ever going to think any beach at the north end of the Eastern Seaboard resembles Miami Beach.
It’s located in a tropical zone, so the sea is a pretty color and palm trees abound. Its Art Deco-style hotels and homes will knock your socks off.
But. Keep this in mind the next time you’re hit with a wave of nostalgia for Miami Beach. You can find echoes of it on the streets of Manhattan Beach.
Numerous houses in the neighborhood have a Miami Moderne look. They’re brightly painted stucco that’s beautiful in hot sunlight, have sleek lines and are situated just a block or two from the ocean.
Their presence makes a stroll through the neighborhood an entertaining part of a staycation day.
One of our favorite Manhattan Beach houses can be found at 293 Amherst St., right on the ocean. It’s got a white stucco and glass-brick facade and is designed with lots of curving walls. It reminds us of the glamorous architecture that was showcased on “Miami Vice,” the iconic 1980s TV series.
Another great Miami Beach-style house is at 295 Corbin Place, which also stands beside the ocean — as does 293 Coleridge St.
Which way to the Spanish hacienda?
Also, check out Miami Beach-style 305 Hampton Ave., which is a golden-hued house a block away from the shore of Sheepshead Bay.
Just down the street, 321 Hampton Ave. looks like a Spanish hacienda in a very Miami Beach kind of way.
There are also eye-catching houses in other architectural styles. Some are Tudor-style designs. Some are big and elaborate. We love those, too.
Some of the beautiful houses near the shoreline were damaged by Superstorm Sandy and haven’t yet been repaired. We can imagine the anguish these homes’ owners have been through, and we’re saddened by it.
When your day is done, you can walk across a picturesque, blue-painted footbridge that connects Manhattan Beach to the neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay. You’ll wind up on Emmons Avenue, where there are numerous charming restaurants and cafes. Some have outside seating.