Breezy Point, Queens

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Coordinates: 40°33′23″N 73°55′34″W / 40.5564945°N 73.9262483°W / 40.5564945; -73.9262483

Breezy Point is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, located on the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, between Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay on the landward side, and the Atlantic Ocean. The neighborhood is governed by Queens Community Board 14.[1] The community is run by the Breezy Point Cooperative, in which all residents pay the maintenance, security, and community-oriented costs involved with keeping the community private. The cooperative owns the entire 500-acre (2 km2) community; residents own their homes and hold shares in the cooperative.[2]

Breezy Point Tip, to the west of the community, is part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which is run by the National Park Service. This isolated, 200-acre (0.81 km2) area includes an ocean-facing beach, a shoreline on Jamaica Bay, sand dunes, and marshland. It is a breeding spot for the piping plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and common tern.[3]



According to the United States Census Bureau, the community's ZIP code (11697) has the nation's highest concentration of Irish-Americans, at 60.3% as of the United States Census, 2000.[4] It functions mainly as a summer get-away for many residents of New York. Estimates put summer residency at 12,000, while year-round residency was 4337 in the most recent Census.[4]

Due to its large concentration of Irish-Americans, Breezy Point has been called the "Irish Riviera."[5] Others within the community refer to it as Cois Farraige, Gaelic for "By The Sea."


Breezy Point was sold to the Atlantic Improvement State Corporation for $17 million dollars in 1960. The residents of the community purchased half of the land for approximately $11 million and formed the Breezy Point Cooperative. Today, it consists of about 3,500 homes.[6]

Breezy Point is patrolled by its own private security force that restricts access to owners, renters and their guests. It also features three of New York City's ten remaining volunteer fire departments.[7]


File:Queens USGS.jpg
U.S. Geological Survey Image of Breezy Point & the surrounding area.

According the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, beaches on the Breezy Point peninsula are home to one of the most diverse breeding shorebird areas in the Metropolitan area. Shorebirds that breed here include:

The Beaches are owned by the cooperative and are federally and state-protected areas in which development is extremely limited.


Breezy Point residents are zoned for schools in the New York City Department of Education. The school is P.S. 114 Belle Harbor for grades Kindergarten through 8.


Breezy Point Shopping Center has a grocery store called Deirdre Maeve's, a Ridgewood Savings Bank, a hardware store, Henley's Hanger, an independent gift shop, "Blarney's," a pub, a liquor store, and a coffee shop. The main office of the Cooperative is also located here. Elsewhere in the community are a travel agency, a surf shop, a beauty salon, a beach bar, and two restaurants. The Dug Out, a walk-up bar-style candy shop, also provides ice cream, pizza and occasionally hot dogs. It only operates during the summer and is a popular hangout among the teenaged community.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Breezy Point include:

  • Charles J. Hynes. Kings County District Attorney.[8]
  • Brian McNamee, former strength and conditioning coach for the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.[9]
  • Frank McCourt, author; Angela's Ashes. Mr. McCourt mentions in his memoir Tis that his mother Angela McCourt spent time with him at a house in Breezy Point.


  1. Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  2. Sciolino, Elaine. "A COOPERATIVE ON THE BEACH LOVES PRIVACY", The New York Times, September 10, 1984. Accessed November 21, 2007.
  3. Breezy Point Brooklyn Bird Club, Accessed November 24, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 QT-P13. Ancestry: 2000 for 11697 5-Digit ZCTA, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 2, 2007.
  5. Herszenhorn, David M. "THE CENSUS -- A Region of Enclaves: Breezy Point, Queens; Bounded by Gates, Over a Toll Bridge", The New York Times, June 18, 2001. Accessed November 1, 2007. "The neighborhood, started in the early 1900's as a summer bungalow community and called the Irish Riviera..."
  6. "Rockaway..."place of waters bright"" [1]
  7. Hamill, Denis. "Brave firehouse heroes get my vote", New York Daily News, April 26, 2007. Accessed September 8, 2008.
  8. McFadden, Robert D. "Black Marchers in Protest At Hynes's Summer Home", The New York Times, September 8, 1991. Accessed August 27, 2008. "Hynes, Hynes, have you heard? This is not Johannesburg! the marchers shouted outside the prosecutor's two-story retreat on Jamaica Bay in Breezy Point, a cooperative community whose residents are mostly white."
  9. Kovaleski, Serge F. "A Baseball Lover, Key to Tarnishing a Yankee Era", The New York Times, December 15, 2007. Accessed February 19, 2008. "Mr. McNamee was raised in the Breezy Point section of Queens, on the westward end of the Rockaway Peninsula, an area with many police officers, like his father."

External links

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