Beach 98th Street
Be Good or Be Gone, 2011
The weekend forecast is looking really good, New Yorkers! Head to Rockaway Beach and check out Duke Riley’s work, Be Good or Be Gone, to get in the mood for some seaside fun. His narrative installation is imbued with local maritime history and takes its name from a sign found in a local taverns; you’ll also see the iconic view of the houses on stilts seen from the A train as it crosses Broad Channel. Situated on a pier, the homes are the only remaining bungalow housing pier of its kind in the City. Riley frames them with two bowline knots (a very strong knot commonly used to tie down the bow of a ship) to represent the strength and closeness within this community. Another set of panels depicts a tugboat pulling a barge laden with recyclable glass. The tugboat was based on a retired NYC tugboat that was docked near the artist’s childhood home, and the depiction of glass in a glass artwork adds a layer of interest.
You can listen to a fascinating interview with the artist about this work here.