Image from Lawrence
Image courtesy of Agiorgio on Wikipedia. Used by permission under CC BY-SA 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.
Image from Lawrence
Image courtesy of Agiorgio on Wikipedia. Used by permission under CC BY-SA 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.

Living In: Lawrence

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The village of Lawrence is located in Nassau County on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. Directly bordering New York City's borough of Queens, Lawrence is a popular place of residence for people working and commuting into Manhattan. Like most of Long Island, Lawrence has a history of being a vacation spot for many wealthy people to escape the city crowds. It 1910, it was deemed one of the Five Towns, along with Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Inwood and The Hewletts, including the villages of Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor and Hewlett Neck. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean directly to the south, these Five Towns were a particularly popular retreat destination. The area of Lawrence known as Old Lawrence or Back Lawrence is isolated socially, not geographically, because its character is more like that along the North Shore of Long Island, rather than the more urbanized areas along the South Shore on which the town of Lawrence is located. Old Lawrence consists of many large homes, mansions, beachside villas and former plantations, some that date all the way back to the time of the American Revolution. Old Lawrence served as a main vacation spot for the wealthy specifically during the second half of the 19th century. Towards the end of that century, a series of hurricanes and destructive nor'easters dramatically hindered the coastline and destroyed a very popular beachfront hotel. After this, the town of Lawrence could no longer claim that it offered direct access to the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. With these changes, the greater town of Lawrence became more like a modern suburb, with a large town area; schools and public facilities open for use by residents. In the past, Lawrence was home to a large upper class of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant families. However, since the 1950s it has become a center of reform and conservative Jewish life. In fact, the largest reform synagogue on Long Island, Temple Israel, is located in Lawrence. In more recent times, modern Orthodox Jews have populated much of the area due to its nearby commute to Far Rockaway, which has many yeshivas for Jewish children and a variety of kosher restaurants and community groups. Students attend the Lawrence Public Schools, which serves all grades from pre-kindergarten through twelfth. There is also a large selection of private Jewish schools that many families opt to send their children to instead. Workers who commute into New York City take the Long Island Rail Road on the Far Rockaway Branch into New York City. Riders also have the option of connecting to the New York Subway, via the A train, at Far Rockaway; however, this can take up to two hours to travel to midtown Manhattan.

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