Far Rockaway is one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in New York City.

 

The community of Far Rockaway on the Rockaway Peninsula sits between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. During the 1800s, the Rockaway peninsula became a vibrant beach community that later produced such influential persons as financier Carl Icahn, Nobel Laureates Baruch Samuel Blumberg, Richard Feynman and Burton Richter, and Pulitzer Prize winner Alan M. Kriegsman.

 

 

In the mid 20th Century, the Rockaways saw a significant decline in the vacation economy as New Yorkers took advantage of lower airfares to explore beaches outside of the Northeast. Middle income New Yorkers flocked to the peninsula to pursue affordable year-round housing but by the 1960s, affordable housing was replaced with low-income housing for New York City’s ever-growing population.

 

 

By 1975, the Rockaways became home to 57% of the public housing in Queens, and decades of decline fueled by disinvestment and failed urban renewal policies turned the Rockaways into one of the poorest communities in America where the vast majority of residents have not completed high school, let alone aspired to such accomplishments as the Nobel or Pulitzer Prizes.