On the Beaches by Gotham Gazette Staff, Jul 28, 2008 TwitterPhoto by YH HuangGotham Gazette goes to the beaches. View the audio slide show here. ALSO: The Bronx's Secret Shore: Unbeknownst to the vast majority of its residents, the Bronx serves as home to a number of private beach clubs. Whistle While You Work: The job is outside, you wear a bathing suit -- and the city usually has openings. Coney Island Roller Coaster: The fight over how to develop the famed beach continues. Urban Riviera? New York's beaches offer surf and sun without a long drive on the Long Island Expressway. But how safe and clean are they? New York's Best and Worst Beaches: They are both on Staten Island but there the similarities end. With eight public beaches in the city, New Yorkers do not have to venture far from home to smell the salt air and sunblock. But does our Urban Riviera really offer a respite for residents fed up with the cement landscape and longing for fresh ocean air and soft sea breezes? And how clean and safe are the beaches -- seven city and one federal? Gotham Gazette's audio slide presents words and images from some of the city's most popular beaches, as beachgoers critique the scene around them, from litter to accessibility to jellyfish. To view the audio slide show, go here. Beach Map: Sounds from the Surf Call it the heat island effect or the draw of fun in the sun, the desire for sand between your toes and salt in your skin hits many of us during the summer. While some New Yorkers spend their days drowning in traffic on the way to the Hamptons, others recognize we have seven city public beaches and many more private facilities right here in the five boroughs. Map courtesy of New Yorkers for Parks, photo by YH Huang TAKE YOUR PICK: There's the vivacious and crowded Coney Island or its more subdued neighbors, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach. Head to Rockaway Beach in Queens and dip your toes in the Atlantic where few remnants of New York City, besides the A train, remain. Feeling adventurous? Take the ferry, then a train and maybe a long walk (see related story) on Staten Island, which boasts three city beaches: Midland and South Beaches as well as Wolfe's Pond Beach. Then there's Orchard Beach, tucked into Pelham Bay Park, the only public beach on Long Island Sound. If none of those satisfy, meander through Jacob Riis Park, a federal beach in the city, or check out the many private beaches that line our urban coastline. Sounds from the Surf South Beach, Staten Island Midland Beach, Staten Island Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn Â Tweet Editor's Choice Everything Dot NYC Council 2.0: Rules Reform Outlines Next Steps in Open Data Overdue & Over Budget, Capital Projects Roll On Comments Comment(s) The comments section is provided as a free service to our readers. Gotham Gazette's editors reserve the right to delete any comments. Some reasons why comments might get deleted: inappropriate or offensive content, off-topic remarks or spam.