El Barrio
Owner City of New York Established May 5, 2015
Purpose Neighborhood

Once known as "The Irish Riviera" thanks to the large number of Irish Americans living there in the country's past, the narrow strip of land that forms the Rockaway Peninsula has become a vibrant beach community once more. A large number of residents hailing from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic have taken up residence the stretch of land spanning from what was once Rockaway Beach on the east to Breezy Point on the west; they call it "El Barrio" as an homage to Spanish Harlem in Upper Manhattan.

The area has a small, beach town vibe, as the area started as a colony of beach bungalows. Prior to the Second Civil War, owners had to pay to own their house as well as belong to a Cooperative that funded private security and neighborhood improvements. Homes were passed from generation to generation. After the war, while some of the owners returned to claim what was theirs, other homes went unclaimed and the lottery system changed the ethnic and cultural makeup of the area.

Predominantly a residential area, most of the businesses here are run out of the bungalow-style homes or, in good weather, a permanent swap meet where everything is vibrant, from the wares to the food to the music to the people.

El Barrio

Additional Info

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