Photos of New York's Beloved Inclusive Gay Beach, Jacob Riis Park That Feel Like Home
Chris Berntsen has been a fixture at Jacob Riis park for nearly five years. Every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the 34-year-old photographer treks to the sparkling stretch of white sand on Rockaway Peninsula’s southwestern edge in Queens, New York, to document the community that gathers in the shadow of the decrepit Neponsit Beach Hospital, a former tuberculosis sanitorium sitting abandoned for two decades.
The beach was named for the Progressive-era photojournalist Jacob Riis in 1914. Known for his 1890 book How the Other Half Lives documenting the harsh conditions of tenement life in New York, Riis was also an advocate for the park. It is often called the “people’s beach,” developed for poor immigrants, as opposed to nearby Jones Beach, which was meant to attract middle-class weekenders.
Read the full story of the beach here.
Published at Fri, 28 May 2021 14:50:25 +0000