By Terry Trucco
I can’t say I’ve ever been tempted to sleep outdoors in New York City. Remember the scene in Rear Window where the couple snoozing on the fire escape gets doused in a downpour?
But it turns out once upon a time people camped out in the city by choice. Kent Johnson, owner of Milktrout, a design and building consulting firm, points to the flourishing “tent cities” that sprang up along Rockaway Beach in the early 20th century, offering sea-and-sand lovers who couldn’t afford to rent a house or stay in a hotel an opportunity to wake up near the boardwalk and roller coaster.
Johnson thinks city-style camping is ripe for revival, burnished with a patina of 21st-century glamping. Last week he released his Kickstarter plan for Camp Rockaway, a tent hotel community in the only part of the city where it’s legal to surf. If all goes as Johnson hopes, come Memorial Day 2015 beach-starved New Yorkers – and anyone else inclined to book a tent – can sleep not-so-rough near the shores of Jamaica Bay. (more…)