KINETIC CARNIVAL - The Coney Island Blog

A space of musings, past and current as well as the future of amusements in the legendary Coney Island and Beyond!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Taconic Steps Into Thor’s Shadow


With a revamped website, (found via Sandcastles post in the CIUSA board) Taconic Investment Properties elaborates on their investment portfolio with their planned ventures for Coney Island which consist of almost 6 million square feet of residential, retail, and parking space.

In the last couple of weeks there has been a lull in the impending Condo Coney scenario starting with the opposition’s rally which hopefully has not begun to fizzle and Thor Equities trying to make nice by commenting on scaling back the residential components a bit, to reestablishing Lola Staar and the Grill House’s leases without the gag-order. But lurking in the shadows of what may have seemed like a small step in the right direction was something else. It was well known that Thor was not the only big player in Coney….there was another. Now Taconic has made clearer their objectives for Coney Island with a large scale development plan, having the potential to grow from the already 5 acres to 11 acres.

In their investment strategy for Coney Island North and South Ventures they state:
In light of the recent significant public initiative towards the redevelopment and rezoning of Coney Island, the overall housing/demographic trends throughout Brooklyn and the immediately adjacent neighborhoods and most importantly, the proximity of the development sites to the Atlantic Ocean and mass transportation, the property is extremely well poised to be one of the most important development sites in all of the five boroughs
Even though most of their property lies in the outskirts and adjacent to the amusement C7 zones which are now mostly owned by Thor Equities, a residential and retail development this large in Coney Island, on one end may be a good thing, on the other; may strengthen the power Thor will have over the City to continue their condo quest and eradicate all what’s left of the amusement area.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/30/2007 11:26:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lola Staar Reborn HOOPLA !

Hot Pink Boutique Returning to Coney Island [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Coney Island #2: The Lola Staar Controversy [Gowanus Lounge]
Coney #2: Thor Now Trying the Velvet Hammer? [Gowanus Lounge]
"Coney Island Miracle"? Lola Staar is Back [Gowanus Lounge]
Last ride for queens of kitsch [The Observer]
Gag Reflex: At Least One Coney Gag Rule Isn't Legal [Gowanus Lounge]
Astroland adieu? Arcade Fire [TONY]





The Last Year For Astroland [Travelocity/The Window Seat]
Bond's Coney Island [Blogdorf Goodman]


Image:
Desktop Day: Coney Kip [Brit In Brooklyn]
GL Sunday Brooklyn TV [Gowanus Lounge]
CI Time Lapse Theatre Winter 2007 [Rmarino1955/YouTube]
Coney Island Pin Ups [Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island Wonder Wheel [Two Can Anne]
Ready to Smell Coney Island [wcbstv.com]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/27/2007 04:15:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Song For Coney

A Coney Island Elegy
by Shelktone

... Because Coney Island washed away and somewhere my baby’s in the bay returning back to whence it cameI guess it’s going to be that kind of day...

full lyrics here


if your browser doesn't play click here





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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/24/2007 05:39:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Cumbersome Issues At CIDC Meeting

At last night’s CIDC Coney Island Development Corporation meeting, which took place at the aquarium’s Education Hall, many of the points and issues to deal with at hand seemed to be full of tight fixes and peculiar situations with many cumbersome hurdles to overcome.

First up was a Doe Fund representative who spoke about the history and the positive results of the program. The question was still raised about the number of Coney residents hired to work in Coney Island. Joan West, director of development at the Doe Fund specified that about eight workers in the Doe Fund were from Coney but have been working in other areas, which is part of the program in order to keep workers on the right track - and not be deviated back into the way of life that the program is trying to help them avoid. They could be unfluenced, negatively, by their old aquiantances. West assured the panel that the workers have functioned in other areas and benefited from the program.

Wearing a new hat as chairperson of the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce, Carol Albert, operator of the Cyclone and owner of Astroland’s 'last season', Albert wrote a letter to Lynn Kelly, president of CIDC regarding the Doe Fund, “The Doe Fund’s presence has made a real difference. Hope they return for the 2007 season. Give these guys an opportunity”, Kelly said, reading Albert's words. Afterwards the decision to continue with the Doe Fund for this year was unanimously voted upon. Though, when given a mid-May start. Dick Zigun threw in the need to have them start earlier. “It’s filthy out there”, said Zigun. The panel headed by Kelly will begin inquiries into it.

At the end of a twenty minute slide presentation on recommendations for various fund raisers, the work ahead to create a buzz for Coney island, and marketing plans for various capital campaigns. Dick Zigun included that the reality of fundraising is dependent on whether condos in the immediate amusement area will be constructed or not. “It won’t create the excitement in the area”, said Zigun - pertaining to the fundraising. The presentation also called for an organization with an information website to include every thing available in Coney from A to Z. “Coney needs a Czar” read one of the document lines in the presentation on the screen projector.

One of the campaigns for raising funds included, in particular, a wholloping 6 million dollars to complete the restoration and reassembly of the B& B carousel.

Another topic covered was the call for summer street activities along Stillwell Avenue from Surf Ave to the boardwalk. The idea, which was discussed in the last meeting talks about placing concessions along that strip. As in the last meeting Zigun raised the concerns about the competition it would bring to the businesses in the immediate area. “Food vendors would hurt the vendors up on the boardwalk”, said Zigun. But the general concerns lie in the problem of diminishing the needed and vital parking. That alone threatened the idea until one board member suggested to place the stands on the sidewalk to cover the eyesore-wooden fences placed by Thor. Which Thor recently mentioned having decorative murals to be painted on them. Another member agreed that the current fences are a horror by saying, “People are coming to Coney Island and saying this is the last season.” He also said, "They are already tagged with graffiti". But one major problem in placing kiosks or concessions there is that it would force the foot traffic to walk on the street. In conclusion the same board member who offered placing the stands on the sidewalk suggested using narrow concessions, which would not interfere with the whole sidewalk. “That way, we’ll have our cake and eat it too.” He said. The board decided that they would look into them because the strip definitely needs to be livened up, somehow. “We need to keep Stillwell Avenue exciting”, said Lynn Kelly. (pictured above)

Another idea , previously mentioned (and something Carol Albert is hoping to do) is for some of Astorland’s rides to be moved on to 10th Street next to the Cyclone when Astroland is closed next season. She is concerned that a big empty lot next to the Cylcone would hurt business. She has already seen a drop in ridership. Also, the same parking concerns were brought up as well as the various hurdles with all the agencies and departments such a project would require.

Towards the conclusion of the meeting they discussed the overpass bridge from the West 8th train station to the aquarium, which they all agreed looks like another eye sore, and that something needs to be done about it. Though some efforts have been made like having volunteers simply paint over it, certain city agencies have been backing off from most solution requests presented due to too many security and environmental concerns.

Finally, they mentioned that Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz will be in this year’s mermaid parade and were preparing a van or truck for him to ride in which would be decorated. Lynn Kelly also joked and told the panel, “Get all your costumes ready, like….yesterday.” It’s coming fast!



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/24/2007 03:27:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Coney '07 Events: 1st Annual Congress Of Curious Peoples: ALUMNI WEEKEND!

Image by Kristi W (Flickr.com)


ALUMNI WEEKEND
the old cast of characters are back for the 1ST ANNUAL CONGRESS OF CURIOUS PEOPLES Alumni Weekend,
featuring Todd Robbins, Eak the Geek, Tyler Fyre and The Great Fredini.


Visit the CIUSA website for all the details!

Saturday and Sunday, April 21st & 22nd

Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
1:00 - 8:00 PM
$6 Adults, $4 Kids




Image by
jhayes4 (Flickr.com)


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/21/2007 09:12:00 AM  2 comments links to this post

Lola Staar Returning To Boardwalk?

Image by Lorangrl (Lornagrl)

These are excerpts from the April 19th, 2007 article in the Bay News. However, no links to it on the internet have been found so far.

"Lola Staar returning to boardwalk"

by Joe Maniscalco

Just last month, Lola Starr shopkeeper Dianna Carlin was pulling merchandise off the walls, packing up her inventory and saying good-bye to the Coney Island boardwalk. This week she's planning a party and moving back in.

"It's going to be the best season ever.", an ecstatic Carlin told this newspaper.

In a dramatic turn of events, Thor Equities and its principal Joe Sitt - owners of Carlin's modest shop at West 12th Street (in addition to roughly 14 acres of more land across Coney Island) - have decided that Carlin has a future in the amusement district, at least for one more season.

Carlin said she has been offered and has signed a new lease, free of the previous gag order that sought to muzzle her from the speaking out about future development in Coney Island.

. . . . . . . .

During a, roughly, hour-long telephone conversation with Sitt, Carlin said she was able to articulate all the problems she had with Thor's plans for Coney Island. "We talked a lot about every aspect of his plan that I had an issue with,” said Carlin.

. . . . . . . .

Carlin said that she suggested possibly erecting decorative murals and other options to Sitt during their telephone conversation. "He seemed totally open to that,” she said.

Carlin has already begun to process of moving back into the boardwalk shop she had operated for the last seven years. She hopes to hold the grand re-opening of the Lola Starr Souvenir boutique next weekend featuring new displays, T-shirts designs and a wide variety of craftwork created by Coney Island favorites like Angie Pontani and Captain Bob."

"I'm so inspired, its' like this tremendous opportunity to get by store back." Carlin said. "Hopefully, it will all come through. I have signed the agreement and sent it back."
. . . . . . . .

While the redevelopment of Coney Island remains contentious and troubling for many, Carlin said that her own journey back from temporary eviction has only caused her to reflect on the enduring allure of Coney Island. "This experience has made me think about Coney Island, what it represents and what makes it so magical.", she said.

Steve Witt contributed to this story


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/21/2007 08:56:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 19, 2007

KinetOscope Video: "Welcome To Thorasick Park"

Here is a little fun with some demolition footage caught while passing by the bulldozing of the now Thor owned property that previously housed the Go-Kartz and Batting Cages. The attacking bulldozer has a rather striking resemblance to creatures that probably roamed these parts a long long time ago - even way before the first Coney amusement or 'Conye' rabbit ever existed.

[cue suspense music]
Imagine, one day, the world of Coney Island destroyed by demolition, leaving in its wake a ruined oasis for years to come. If that day comes you'll know you have arrived...."Welcome To Thorasick Park"



Running length: 08:31
Note: YouTube's upload requirements limit the quality of the original video.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/19/2007 06:04:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Predictions Of A Thor-Coney Future!

Image from Swithback's CIUSA bb post

Coney Island U.S.A. bulletin board's frequent in-depth analyzer in all matters of the Coney amusement situation, rants on with his predictions of Coney Island's future in the hands of Joe Sitt and Thor Equities. Switchback, as he goes by on the board, takes a good gander into Thor's up-town crystal ball and expounds on all the broken promises of attractions and fantastical wizardry - that Joe Sitt and company have served up straight from their board-room dreamland. And that's exactly where it all goes back to - dreamland - their dreamland.

With the slew of recent writings on Thor and Company's dealings with their Coney property and their current and evicted tenants, many have become worried about Coney's doomed scenario. A Coney-land of empty lots left behind by empty promises. Swithback (would be interesting to know who he really is) makes points on all the proposed attractions Thor has dished out over the last couple of years, starting with the first one: the Coney Island Mall. An attraction immediately put down and lashed at my most Coney enthusiasts and anti-gentrificationists. Going over all the ideas for attractions that came forth from Thor, one can see how hapless the loose proposals created by them were. Yet it's difficult to decipher what Thor's intentions really are. In retrospect, some indications point to the obviousness of them playing the city and the community to position their investments only to flip them. Other points seem to indicate that Sitt is simply bullying his way through. Believing that he and Thor can do whatever they want. Or perhaps Sitt has a genuine interest in changing Coney but has the slightest real concrete idea of what to do since he and his company have no experience in the amusement business. Then again, according to Dianna (Lola Staar) Carlin, Sitt has threatened to get what he wants or he'll "...destroy Coney!" With all the disputes and opposition to Thor's dubious future plans for the famed amusement area, There is one thing that could be said in his defence; at least someone has come along to make a change by investing in it. Unless, of course, he goes the way of Bullard.

Also, the arrival of Thor to Coney brings up a few questions. Besides Zigun and friends, where was everybody else when Coney needed them? There have been so many dilapidated lots in Coney for a long time. Too many un-Coney stuff sitting there for more than three decades? Where were all the artists, enthusiasts, and all-around Coney lovers, then? Was the post-Steeplechase Coney supposed to be furniture stores, flea markets, and school-bus housing decaying on the outter edges of the amusements? Like Zigun has said before, "Coney Island is broken". But nobody came to fix it. Not the little people. Many disagree with that but far more surely must feel the place needed a change. At least to build up what was vegetating. But the little people lost their chance. So did one of the 'big' players - but Horace Bullard also lacked the vision or the enthusiasm needed for it. He didn't fight hard enough. Some feel he is the one to blame for the current situation.

If the fight between Thor and the city is destined to continue and thus turn the area into a blighted oasis, perhaps the chance could still be there for the little people, along with the city, to pull their talents together and begin reinventing Coney again, like the Ziguns and the Eagans did back then.

The Future of Coney Island prediction thread [CIUSA bb]



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/19/2007 04:39:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney HOOPLA !

What's Up With Coney Island's Shore Theater? [Gowanus Lounge]
Condos don’t cut it in Coney - Many say plan will kill off amusements Island [King's Courier]
Freak Show Hall of Fame & Congress of Curious People [The Coney Island Reporter]
Coney Island, Borne BackCeaselessly Into the Past [The Real Estate]
The Other Coney Island [Coney Detriot]
"Beach Impeach" Coming to Coney Island [Gowanus Lounge]
A Beautiful Day for the Half Marathon [Brooklyn Record]
This Sunday, April 22, Coney Island Love Letter Blues Bash [The Coney Island Reporter]




















More Coney Perfume HOOPLA:

Coney Island? Smells Like Perfume [WCBSTV.com]
Bond 9 Coney Island Official Press Release & Notes [the beauty alchemist]

Images:
A Photo Essay Of Sideshow School: Advanced Seminar [The Coney Island Reporter]
Gowanus Lounge Photo Du Jour: Aquarium [Gowanus Lounge]

Video:
coney island 1999 [YouTube]
"Beach" Spring Noreaster '07 [CBS news report]


Featured Video:
"Coney Island Storytelling Memories 1900s Window to The Past"

A 95 year old gentleman from Coney Island talks about his memories growing up in the cradle of the American amusement park.
[YouTube/
CIUSA bb discussion]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/19/2007 03:58:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney '07 Events: 1st Annual Congress Of Curious Peoples: Coleman, Kaufman, and Talent Scouts!

As the 1st 1ST ANNUAL CONGRESS OF CURIOUS PEOPLES chugs along. This Thursday and Friday promises to be jam packed with adventure and amazement.

From the CIUSA website:

JOE COLEMAN
, the world's strangest artist, will not be blowing himself up. And opening for Joe Coleman is ROGER KAUFMAN reveals a 90% tattooed body missing fingers and toes. IMAGINE a man who is removing all his tattoos... by amputation! HEAR such a man describe the descent into the world of complete helplessness and wanabe-ism. WHAT are the possibilities of an extreme amputee? Geek Love is not just a work of fiction...

Thursday, April 19th
Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
8:00 PM
General Admission $10




STRANGE AND UNUSUAL FEATS OPEN CALL.
Sideshow performers in general are invited to showcase their best strange and unusual material (excluding any stunt that draws blood!). A talent scout from Ripley's Believe It Or Not will attend to seek talent for Ripley publications.

IN ADDITION, performers may attempt to set or break a world record - live on our stage! Record Holders Republic will be on hand to judge all talent! Please Note: YOU MUST REGISTER YOUR WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT with Dr.Adamovich of RecordHolders Republic (
david@recordholdersrepublic.co.uk) — unregistered persons may be denied permission to make their attempt. For a WORLD RECORD include the following: name of proposed record and whether it is an attempt to SET or to BREAK a record. If held by someone — who, where referenced and what the current record is. Not all submissions may be of interest to RHR and we will tell you so before coming. Final decision on world record status may require review by a panel of RHR adjudicators with only a tentative decisionoffered on April 20th.

The first ever "INI SHOW" in which a host of variety artistes whose stage names end in "ini" will perform - ALL IN THE SAME SHOW!!! Headlining the event is the world champion (and a world record holding) knife thrower, The Great Throwdini. He will astound you with performances by The Great Fredini (sword swallower), The Great Cindini (World's Preeminent Female Escapologist), Dirty Martini (award-winning burlesque star), and Shakesherheini (International Belly Dancing Sensation). The show will be co-hosted by world champion and world record holding trick roper and bull whip artist Chris McDaniel and Fran Capo, the world's fastest talking female. Opening the show will be stand-up comedian Matt Francis. He's a little wild, a little crazy, you're gonna love him!

Friday, April 20th
Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
8:00 PM
General Admission $15


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/19/2007 03:37:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Coney '07 Events: 1st Annual Congress Of Curious Peoples: Harley Newman!

HARLEY NEWMAN, The Professional Lunatic - a one man extreme freak show.

Harley Newman is the featured performer Wednesday night at the 1ST ANNUAL CONGRESS OF CURIOUS PEOPLES. He is the stuntmaster, the escape artist, the magician, and holder of the world's record for the minimum number of nails in a bed of nails act (four nine-inch spikes) - and at this show he might even attempt only ONE nail!

Todd Robbins at the CIUSA bulletin board says:
Yes, you read that right...he supports himself on the point of A SINGLE NAIL.

But that is just a small part of the unforgettable show he does. Harley is also one of most articulate performers working today. He will make you laugh and make you think...and make you think you are laughing! Harley has been muttering that he might retire the show soon, so this might be your last chance to see this true master that makes sideshow performance into an Art. Do no miss this show.



Some of Harley's rave reviews:

"Too dangerous to include!"
Mark Young, editor, Guinness Book of Records

"No, no! Oh, my God! No!"
Geraldo Rivera

"Reinventing the art of escapes!"
Todd Robbins, author, Magic of the Sideshow

"The Future of the Sideshow!"
The Learning Channel

"So far beyond what anyone else is currently doing, he's already the premier sideshow performer of the 22nd century!"
James Taylor, editor, Shocked & Amazed: On and Off the Midway

"Too dangerous to include!"
Mark Young, editor, Guinness Book of Records



Wednesday, April 18th
Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
8:00 PM
General Admission $10


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/17/2007 01:47:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Coney '07 Events: 1st Annual Congress Of Curious Peoples: Night Of Variety!

Image by Mr. E. (Flickr.com)

Step right up and come inside! The 1ST ANNUAL CONGRESS OF CURIOUS PEOPLES keeps on chugging. Tuesday night showcases a slew of freaky and zany variety acts.

From the CIUSA website:
An Evening of Freaky Juggling and other Variety Acts! Do not miss this incredible line-up of talent, hosted by Viveca Gardiner:

Sean Blue, juggling and object manipulation · Ambrose Martos, clown · Hilary Chaplain, comedy object manipulation · Marcus Monroe, extreme comedy juggling · Bronwyn Sims, trapeze · Coney Island Chris, sideshow mischief · Melissa Arleth, contact-juggling puppets · Stephanie Monseu, sideshow artistry · Brent McCoy, clown diabolo · Jeremy Bloom, mystic music · Peter Straus, clown · Keith the Leaf, meteors & knives

Tuesday, April 17th
Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
8:00 PM
General Admission $10



Photo posted with permission from Mr. E. Cipher



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/17/2007 06:36:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Coney '07 Events: 1st Annual Congress Of Curious Peoples: CICUS AMOK

Circus Amok is scheduled to perform at Coney as part of the 1st Annual Congress of Curious Peoples and will feature new work for the gender bending circus under the direction of Jennifer Miller.

From the Circus Amok website:
Circus Amok is thriving in its eighth year of reinventing the circus form, borrowing drag fabulousness from Charles Ludlam's Theater of the Ridiculous, large scale transformation sing whole-body masks from Bread and Puppet Theater, and the outdoor bally and verbal rhythm and repertoire from the sideshow, as well as movement vocabulary from post-modern dance. The troupe balances danger with laughter, slipping its critique between the pies in the face and the surreal, scary, and sometimes gender-bent characters of the charivari.

Monday, April 16th
Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
8:00 PM
General Admission $10



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/15/2007 02:52:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, April 13, 2007

Creator Of "Freaks Uncensored" Talks With "The Coney Island Reporter"

Coinciding with Coney Island's 1st annual Congress of Curious Peoples, Coney Island Reporter's Brian Childs talks with Ari Roussimoff, the director of "Freaks Uncensored", and one of the world's foremost historians of the sideshow about the 'freaks'. Roussimoff elaborates on them utilizing their 'difference' as their way of life.

Roussimoff:
Today we live in an age where there is a celebration of the commonality. In Hollywood, gone is the glamour of the 1930's, gone is the glamour that was promoted with the stars. The stars today look like common people. But at the same time, a lot of people don't like that and a lot of people want to be different, because commonality becomes a stigma to their existence. These people are gravitating towards something "different," unique. You have a lot of piercing and tattooing and people trying to learn long time working acts like sword swallowing. It's a break from a society that's been
trying to explore how we are all the same and an assertion of your own
individuality.

Brian Childs is a fiction writer and freelance reporter. Currently, he is pursuing a masters degree in magazine journalism at NYU and the blogger for The Coney Island Reporter.

Interview with Ari Roussimoff, Director of Freaks Uncensored [The Coney Island Reporter]



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/13/2007 02:53:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney '07 Events: 1st Annual Congress Of Curious Peoples

Coney Island U.S.A. brings us the
1st Anual Congress of Curious Peoples

The SuperFreak Week starts April 13th and runs through to the 22nd!

And this weekend is the beginning of the biggest week in Coney Island Sideshow history! It all starts on Friday night with the BIG OPENING NIGHT PARTY. Then we bring you a different Freakish event every day for a FULL WEEK, moving from two days of Human Curiosities to an action packed week of Drag Fabulousness, Freaky Juggling, 22nd century Sideshow, unbelievable art stunts, and Strange and Unusual Feats. It all culminates in our final, two day long alumni extravaganza. Don't miss it!!


SUPERFREAK WeekEND:

Opening Night Party with FREE BEER!!


Help celebrate the lives of five freak show legends as we introduce Coney Island USA's "Freak Show Hall of Fame". Living legends of the sideshow stage will introduce our first class of inductees. This year we welcome PT Barnum, John Merrick- The Elephant Man, General Tom Thumb, Samuel Gumpertz, and Melvin Burkhardt. COME to the festivities a sober supplicant! WITNESS the sacred ritual and chant "gooba gaaba one of us"! RELEASE yourself through drunken discussion about nominees for next year, criteria and categories, where to install the Hall of Fame, whether you have to be dead to be elected, etc. All are welcome!! Vendors of freak paraphernalia are particularly welcome.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13th
Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
8:00 PM
$1


SUPER FREAK WEEKEND featuring London's MAT FRASER; RAVI, the Indian Rubber Boy; KOKO THE KILLER CLOWN and everyone's favorite bearded Woman, JENNIFER MILLER.

Saturday and Sunday, April 14 & 15
Only At Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
W. 12th St. and Surf Ave. Coney Island
1:00 - 8:00 PM
$6 Adults, $4 Kids

For all the curiosity on the 1st Annual Congress of Curious Peoples, visit the fabulous Coney Island U.S.A. website!



ALSO currently running at the Coney Island U.S.A. Museum


I CAN'T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE BABY
Paintings, Installations and Love Letters by Hawley HusseySeagate Resident and Coney Island Artist Hawley Hussey brings you Love Letters from Coney Island.

PAINTINGS and INSTALLATIONS
running March 17 thru June 3, 2007
Only in the Coney Island Museum!
1208 Surf Ave.
Saturdays and Sundays year round
12-5PM

Love Letter Performance with QUEEN TIPSEY, BLUESMAN ROBERT ROSS, Jon Loyd and Mermaid Hawley.
Sunday April 22, 2007
Only in the Coney Island Museum!
1208 Surf Ave.
Artists Reception at 5:30PM
Performance starts at 6pm

Images: courtesy of Coney Island U.S.A.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/13/2007 12:46:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's A Game Of Chicken Says The Village Voice

photo [featured in the Village Voice article] by Rguskind (Flickr.com)

Neal deMause's Village Voice article gives a good summary of all the details surrounding the recent issues around Coney Island and how Thor Equities has been handling his project with the city and the people of Coney Island. With all that's been happening it's good to see it all in one place where it puts it into prospective.

deMause writes:
"Joe Sitt had always been very friendly with me and told me that if I ever needed anything, just to give him a call," [Dianna (Lola Staar)] Carlin recalls. "So I called him every hour to try to get through to him." Finally, she reached Thor lawyer Joseph Matalon, who, according to Carlin, "said that their decision on whether or not they were going to proceed with this eviction against me was contingent upon the results of their negotiations with the city"— no condos, no lease. "He was telling me," she says, "that I was being used as a bargaining pawn: We're serious about building these condos on the boardwalk, and if we can't do that, we're just going to destroy Coney Island."

Coney Island's Last Ride? The Bulldozer! [Village Voice]
Mr. Sitt's Bulldozers Come to Coney Island [Gowanus Lounge]
As Thor and City Play 'Chicken,' Will Coney Island Go Dark? [Curbed]



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/12/2007 06:55:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thor Sets Up Shop In Coney

After clearing up some of the land along Stillwell Ave, off the boardwalk, Thor Equities set up a project office on their property. A trailer field-office is cloaked with the 'Future Of Coney Island' banner design from the splash page of their website.

Just last week they finished fencing off the area they, for the most part, demolished and cleared up, with plain unpainted wooden planks. Far from what they said ThinkWell will design for them and be built after this 2007 season ends. One indication, so far, that this may be true is that the building permits (to allow the fences) posted, indicate an expiration date of September 9th of this year. Hopefully, to put up those ThinkWell creations. And not just a regular building code procedure. If the aesthetic fences do come true, at least it will be the closest thing to year-round by Thor with something to hopefully 'marvel' at during the winter season.

Regardless, most Coney goers this season will be asking lots of questions when they walk through the 'construction site' of Stillwell Avenue and feeling that the 'future of Coney' is in the works. Whether that sounds positive to some and not to others, it raises a relative point: what ain't good for the goose many still be good for the gander.


Thor Hires Entertainment Design Firm


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/11/2007 07:49:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

New Documentary On Coney's Transformation

Within all the hoopla around Coney Island and its current state of change, Director Mike Healey from Hip Chop Films and three other NYU film students brings us this first preliminary trailer to their documentary on the current state of Coney Island.




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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/11/2007 04:00:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Recent Coney HOOPLA !


'FREAK'-OUT OVER CONEY CONDO PLAN [NY Post]
SCULPTOR OF CONEY ISLAND AQUARIUM WALL RELIEF DIES [OTBKB]
and in the sideshow by the seashore / the girls are dressed as mermaids [The Baby Seals Club]
Ticket To Hide [Thighs Wide Shut]
Professor Solomon's Coney Island history book [Boing Boing]
Real Estate Roller Coaster, 1890-Present [Curbed]
Grand Theft Auto IV "Liberty City" [The Coney Island Reporter]
Forest City Ratner Gives to Coney Island Carousel [The NY Observer]
Atlantic Yards is Dead: Sitt Announces Barclays Cone in Coney [Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island Not Amused [Gotham Gazette]
Community Board Meeting Excitment [The Coney Island Reporter]
Grand Theft Auto Goes to Coney Island [Gowanus Lounge]
Thor Equities floats Coney condo plans - Tower could dwarf Bklyn icon [Courier Life]
Coney Island’s condo road to ruin [Courier Life/Bay News]
CONEY IS. CONDO PULLBACK [NY Post]
Astroland's last season & the 2007 Siren Music Festival date [Brooklyn Vegan]
My Coney Island baby… goodbye. [NYkette]
The Coney Island Redevelopment: Don't Forget About The Gay Fornicating Midgets [Gawker]
'Sea of People' & the destruction of Coney Island [Brooklyn Vegan]
Au revoir, Coney Island [leah's blog]
Butterflies Meet Snowflakes On Easter Sunday [NY Sun]
Bond no. 9 Coney Island ~ new fragrance [Now Smell This]














Images:
Lola Staar Moves out... [Lornagrl]
Coney Island High [the Village Voice]
ICONIC CONEY ISLAND FACES REDEVELOPMENT [CNN]
Extra, extra [gothamist]
"Hey, where is everybody? There's supposed to be a demonstration here!" [CIUSA board]














Video:
Coney Island Time Lapse [YouTube]
Hot Dog Eating Champ: Kobayashi MasterCard Commercial [MasterCard]
Fun with the Coney Island Mermaids [Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island 1903-1904 [YouTube]
Welcome to Astroland [YouTube]

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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/11/2007 03:22:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New and Last Season's Opening HOOPLA ! Part Two

Coney Reopens: Pictures & Words [Gowanus Lounge]
coney island sunday [Haha... uhn... What?]
Old Coney's Last Season: Opening Day Details [Gowanus Lounge]
Band Organ Rally in Coney Island [Until Monday: BKLN]
One Last Egg Cream For The Road [Blue Crab Boulavard]
NY's Coney Island opens last season before renewal [CNN]
Coney Island cyclone barrels into its 80th year [Courier Life]


Video:

Happy opening day at Coney Island [YouTube]
Coney Island's Astroland Project Plan (4-1-07) [YouTube]
Coney Island Opening Day [YouTube]
ÇÔÑЄŸ ДŞ†ҐΘĹαŃĎ [YouTube]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/10/2007 06:25:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 09, 2007

Save Coney HOOPLA !

A look back at all the hoopla around the Save Coney Island rally that took place at City Hall, March 30th 2007.

CONEY I. CARNIES BARKING [NY Post]
Save Coney Island Protest Rocks City Hall [Gowanus Lounge]
Save Coney Island [Two Can Anne]
Extra, extra [gothamist]
I come to you with sand in my shoes.... [Found in Brooklyn]
Freakin’ out over Coney [Courier Life]
Mermaids Win Round in Coney Island Condo Smackdown [Curbed]
PARADE TO SAVE CONEY ISLAND [OTBKB]
Coney comes to City Hall [TheRealDeal]
NO CONDOS IN CONEY ISLAND PROTEST LiVE JOURNAL - board]
Fight to preserve Coney Island spirit [AMNewYork]
NO CONDOS IN CONEY DEMO [OTBKB]
Save Coney Island [The Sky Report]
Save Coney [a sad day for birds II]
Freaking out over Coney Island [The Brooklyn Paper]


Images:
GL's Save Coney Island Slideshow [Gowanus Lounge]
Photo Essay of Save Coney Island Protest [The Coney Island Reporter]








Video:

Brookvid: The Save Coney Island Demonstration [Gowanus Lounge]
Protesters: No Condos In Coney [NY1 - includes article]




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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/09/2007 04:02:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 05, 2007

NPR Audio Report On This Past Week In Coney

As part of their "Day to Day" program NPR reports on the state of Coney Island this past week and people's reactions.

NPR reported April 2, 2007
The site of Coney Island's legendary amusement park has been sold to an owner who wants to tear down some of the old structures and build a new resort. Locals are rallying to save the park from developers.

Kathleen Horan reports from member station
WNYC in New York.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/05/2007 12:34:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Coney Opening Day 2007 Season Image Gallery






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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/04/2007 07:53:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

'Save Coney Rally' Caricature in Village Voice

(click to enlarge)

The Save Coney Island rally at City Hall has been frozen forever in a caricature by the Village Voice. (April 4-10, 2007 issue)

entitled: "For Your Amusement"
By M. Wartella



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/04/2007 01:59:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

The Blight Of Coney Delayed?

"The last thing I want is for Coney Island to go dark," said Joseph Sitt, president of Thor Equities to the NY Post. Sitt said he’s "willing to keep Astroland open" - or some form of it - for at least the 2008 summer season if his project is delayed.

And the delay would mainly be from the sparring between Thor and the city in regards to the rezoning Sitt has said is vital to their project. With all the mounting opposition from protesters and exuberant Coney lovers against condos, perhaps
Sitt has begun to soften. But some see it as merely another marketing ploy used by Sitt to gain favor.

As some posters at the
CIUSA bulletin board pointed out, If Sitt wanted to protect Coney Island from going dark why did Thor evict and demolish most of Stillwell Avenue?

CIUSA bb poster, Del_Air writes:

It has already been reported that Thor bought the land of Astroland but not the rides. The family that sold the land to Sitt owns the rides and they have already stated that they want to relocate the rides. As all the rides in Astroland are basically free standing movable fairground type rides, they will in all likelihood sell off these rides to other amusement parks, etc. When Astroland closes after this season and Thor takes over the land, do you think the people who just closed Astroland are going to leave their rides there for Thor to maybe open for the 2008 season?

Another CIUSA poster, SwithBack writes:

Thor does not own Astroland. The own the site. If Thor were to operate something called Astroland then they would have to pay the Alberts for the right to use the name. Most likely they will have to pay the Alberts to continue to operate Astroland over the 2008 season. Otherwise Thor will have to bring in carnival rides and call the place Coney Island Park and look foolish because it was suppose to be better than Astroland

Weather this is a tool by Thor to gain leverage on their side for their rezoning plans or a sincere interest in the sake of Coney goers – it remains to be seen because it just doesn’t make sense. The only sense here is that Mr. Sitt has dished out too many inconsistencies through fickle press releases and madcap renderings. All full of discrepencies and out-of-scale possibilities that simply does not fit into a sound and cohesive plan for Coney Island, whether you're for 'developement' or not. He's proclaimed daylight holographic technologies that are not yet concieved, rumbling coasters through resident's and tourist's quarters, and invisibile hotels to accomodate tourist's weekend stay to be slipping down the water slide and covering the tiny amusement area ten times over, simply, 'because you paid for the room'.


Feeling the Heat: Sitt Softening on Astroland Closing Date? [Gowanus Lounge]
ASTROLAND MAY GET 1 MORE RIDE [NY Post]



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posted by Omar Robau @ 4/04/2007 04:13:00 AM  0 comments links to this post