Bowery Boys podcast recently did an wonderful history of New York City's first resort beach, the Rockaways. They start with the Indians (a tribe which gave the Rockways their unusual name), cover its height as New York's most luxurious beach resort (see above), and also cover its downfall when Robert Moses cleared a whole swath of it for public housing.
Lately the Rockaways are resurgent as a new generation rediscovers NYC's loveliest natural shoreline within the five borough. I'm a Fort Tilden regular (where the Army secretly stashed some nuclear weapons in case of a Soviet attack), as are many of this hipsters from the BK. I have jokingly started referring to it as Hipster Beach. Anyway, the podcast is a great story told with humor and loads of factoids by the knowledgeable Bowery Boys, aka Gregory Young and Tom Meyers. Check it out on your iPhone while you lie on the beach!