Imagine this: You’re out with your family in one of the parks in New York state where you can actually see the stars when it gets dark. You look up in the sky, see a constellation, and you point upwards to show your kids. Along comes a park ranger demanding to see your Stargazing Permit, and issues you a citation because you didn’t know you needed such a permit.
That’s right, the state of New York is now demanding us peasants give them money so we can look up at the sky.
This is totally a real thing, as it shows up on the state’s permitting for “Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation” schedule:
Fee of $35.00, $60-Out of State –Vehicle Registration and Driver’s License Required
Permit allows after sunset parking for stargazing only,valid January 1 -December 31at:
Hither Hills -Except July & August
Jones Beach -West End 2 and Field 6
Montauk Point –Upper Parking Lot
Robert Moses -Field 2
Gov. Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow -Field1 & Field 3
Wildwood –Main Parking Lot
Sold at:Babylon Headquarters-Permit Office (beginning January 2nd), Jones Beach, Montauk Downs, Robert Moses, Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow and Wildwood
StargazingPermits are only sold January 1 –March 31 and the Tuesday after Labor Day -December 31.
They also make you buy a permit if you want to dive into the water. It’s the “regional diving permit” and it costs $80 for in-state residents and $125 for out-of-state. Want to run your metal detector over the dirt? Fork over $40, you peon, or end up in jail!