In better days, instead of walking the sandy two-mile boulevard from Gil Hodges Bridge to the point, residents might ride the Blue Goose, a cheerful blue shuttle paid for collectively by the residents, who formed their own cooperative. Or they might go to the Sugar Bowl, a favorite waterfront bar, which is now collapsed, its roof lying on the floor. Every Fourth of July there is a beachfront fireworks display, and every winter the residents have a bonfire, dragging their dried-out Christmas trees to the beach to burn them. “It’s an excuse to have a few toddies in a very nice and moderate way,” said Joann Witt, whose family came to Breezy Point in the 1920s. “No one is driving, and if you stumble on the wrong porch, people point you to the right lane.”
In better days, it’s a place where there are dinner dances on the beach, children run barefoot without anyone worrying what they might step on, when someone gets sick there is a fundraising drive, and there hardly ever is a crisis. An exception was Sept. 11, 2001 — at the end of Breezy Point there is a memorial to the 37 locals who died, many of them firefighters.