Best Decaying Robert Moses Landmark - 2010
Stepping onto Orchard Beach feels like you're in Havana, except the infrastructure hasn't been maintained nearly as well. Just a small portion of the huge colonnade is still used for vending, and only your imagination can make you think of how beautiful it must have been when it first opened in the 1930s. The open, crumbling esplanade is a testament to Robert Moses's aquatecture: He added the man-made beach adjacent to nearby forest land, and though the trees and water are probably just as beautiful as they once were, the architecture is falling into disarray. A couple nights a week in the summer, Latin dancing takes place along the pathway, giving a glimpse of the site's former glory. Go in the afternoon, and walk over a nearby bridge to City Island for dinner at one of the plentiful lobster houses. But don't try to wade in the surf at Ocean Beach after "the water is closed." Unlike bigger city beaches, Orchard is small enough that parks police can catch you, and they will ticket you.