Rockaway Beach is getting high marks in a report card from a non-profit group which calls it the best beach in the city.
The surf's up and the grades are in. Not-for-profit group New Yorkers for Parks rates Rockaway Beach as the beach in the city.
"We look at every bathroom, every drinking fountain. We look at the shoreline at every beach and the boardwalks or the pathways. And so Rockaway did particularly well on all four items," says New Yorkers for Parks Research and Planning Analyst, Lucy Robson.
That's no big surprise to Shane Murphy. The Rockaway Beach native takes in those prime waterfront views everyday from La Fruteria at the Beach 97th Street Concession.
"It's probably the nicest place, to me, in New York City. I never go to Manhattan. Ever. I stay here, there's no reason for me to leave. And for me, it's my own paradise in New York," said Murphy.
Rockaway Beach scored a 90 out of 100 on this report card, a big jump from the 56 it got back in 2007.
But because the entire boardwalk will not be complete until 2017, it could only be graded on the existing walkways.
"The boardwalk? It's not the same, how it was. I mean it's not original, they obviously have new material. But the boardwalk is becoming more innovative for people," said Bayswater resident Matthew Eskaran.
This is the first report card released by New Yorkers for Parks since Hurricane Sandy.
The group wanted to allow the Parks Department enough time to rebuild and replenish the areas before making another assessment.
"We know that the storm created huge amounts of damage especially here at Rockaway Beach, as well as the beaches on the Atlantic Coast across the city," says Robson.
The report card also includes six key recommendations for the Parks Department. The first one is to continue making capital repairs to facilities and infrastructure destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.