When you hear “New York City”, Rockaway is not the first part of the city that comes to your mind. However, when you take the A train all the way down to the end of Queens, you will come to a place where the environment means a lot to the people. The first time I visited the Rockaway, it felt like a place that shouldn’t be part of NYC but recognized as its own enclave. While it is a few stops away from Manhattan it exists in its own timeline and has different rules for the way people engage with each other. People from very different backgrounds call this place their home. Living in very close proximity, people from different religions, nationalities, cultures and ethnicities create an environment where you can feel the culture change just going from one house next to the other. While people are trying to go on with their lives, the way they shape their environment reflects on people’s understanding of themselves and the people around them.
With this project, my objective is to capture how an environment has an important impact on how people live and adapt to it. If you walk from one end of the island to the other, you will see how people try to overcome their differences and coexist in an environment that is a clash between nature and man, which makes the Rockaway special. That is why the Rockaway community chooses to live in this place. It is a neighborhood where people are willing to accept the struggles of its nature while cherishing the surroundings caused by the differences of its people.