Photo Essay: Jones Beach Bids an Indian Summer Adieu

The summer of 2022 in New York State may become known as the summer everyone saw sharks.  Shark sightings became almost commonplace and reports of shark attacks – something foreign to New York beachgoers – became all too frequent news headlines, including one possible shark attack at Jones Beach.


In New York, summer to many people means Jones Beach State Park, commonly referred to as Jones Beach, one of the state’s majestic ocean parks and a barrier island on Long Island’s south shore, but autumn at the beach has its own distinct charms.


It was one of the last days that one could get away with a t-shirt and shorts there, as FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira, a group playing volleyball off in the distance, and a sprinkling families with children enjoyed a beach that draws tens of thousands of people on a single summer day.


Jones Beach appears to be little changed from when it opened 92 years ago this summer. In addition to 6.5 miles (ten and a half kilometers) of sand that gleams in the summer sun, the boardwalk area welcomes guests with ship-funnel trashcans and shuffleboard courts meant to evoke an ocean liner voyage.


Even before the official closing on Labor Day Weekend, blue-grey waves roll in, delighting beachgoers with another blissful day at Robert Moses’ first public works project. But the beach is only part of Jones Beach State Park, a colossus crafted by Moses, who found something completely different in 1929 when he began to sketch out its layout and design. It was “an isolated swampy sandbar accessible only by small boats and infrequent ferries, inhabited by fishermen and loners, surf-casters and assorted oddballs and beachcombers trying to get away from it all,” he recalled.


Here the possibilities for entertainment here are endless, ranging from bathhouses, swimming and diving pools, a stillwater bathing bay, a nature preserve, shuffleboard, a boardwalk with one million feet (304,800 meters) of planks, picnic tables, refreshment stands, a bait-and-tackle shop, scenic dunes, and two stages including an amphitheater that seats 15,000, originally the site of Broadway extravaganzas staged by Guy Lombardo.


 





 






 


(Photos: Accura Media Group)