Friday, 4 July 2008

Coney Island, a walk into memories...(part 1)

Please click on the photos for a better look

The pool and bath house

Side shows

(yes, that is a platter of Nathan's famous deep fried frogs legs)

The boardwalk looking south west

What can I really say, Coney Island is, as always, itself. There have been waves of up and down time, I have heard "Coney Island is going down" and "Coney Island is coming back" all my life. Today we saw few hawkers, half-hearted though, they were still there.

It certainly was not the boom times of the late 60's when the crowds left no space to walk through and the NYC Police patrolled on horseback so they could maintain a watch over the masses of people. The beach of my memory was jam packed; one blanket nearly touching the next, laughter, the shouts of the man selling Ice cream and orangeade from brown paper shopping bags of dry ice, the crash of the waves, the lifeguard's whistle, the sun blazed and crossing the sand felt like walking on coals.

Sand has been built up so high that it is level with the boardwalk. The old wooden boards are screwed down now, no more nailheads popping up. Seeing that the sand is as high as the top of the comfort station roofs gave it a slightly surreal "Planet of the Apes" feeling.

The day was bittersweet and comforting. Coney Island has a spirit that will not fade. Over its history, Luna Park, Steeplechase, the closest cheap escape from the hot city on summer days, the 70's, the 80's the 90's, urban redevelopment, urban abandonment, waves of immigrants, despite it or because of it all, it will always remain Coney Island.

Shorefront condo living and corporate theme parks will never really dampen down the spirit.

This is looking down 29th Street from the boardwalk (Mr Coopey, there is an asian mini mart there now). My building, like the others are gone. Funny enough, where there were brick apartment buildings, now there is empty lots or parking, where there were abandoned lots are now apartment buildings.

There are more memories to be shared, blog post fodder for another day.


  1. Coney is such a special place. I know that development won't crush it's spirit but the problem is they want the Mom's & Pops out and want to turn it into what the rest of america has, chain stores. What is so special about that? It's sad.

    on another note...

    Thanks for finding Found in Brooklyn!

  2. Everything in Coney is stamped with personality. It always was about not being a part of conventions and routine.


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