A diverse of folks from the public gathered together for a brainstorm event to re-Imagine Coney Island at the Coney Island Gospel Assembly, this past Monday. They huddled up at various round tables to discuss and throw out random ideas on what they feel Coney Island should really become. This first event of two (the second already held as well) was sponsored by the Municipal Arts Society.
You can view the meeting's Flickr set here.
Richard (Rapid T. Rabbit) Concepcion, a friend and a connoisseur on the history of carousels and amusement parks has been an active part of the Coney Island community as both Rapid T. Rabbit and as himself. He attended this meeting and describes his experience on the Coney Island USA message board.
I attended the workshop session last night at the Gospel Assembly Church on Neptune Avenue. Charles Denson was there to photograph the activity but did not directly participate. I also saw Diane Carlin there and Senator Kruger.
I didn't know what to expect when I got there at 6:30pm just as they were getting started (the church was a long walk from the subway, though afterwards I found the bus on Mermaid to take me back) but it was an interesting experience. We all were seated at any of about a half-dozen tables and held separate brainstorming sessions guided by a facilitator from the MAS following a preset outline. Each table first was charged with coming up ten points of what was attractive about Coney Island, and then ten points of what Coney Island needs to maintain and build on those. After a 30 minute time limit, each table made a quick presentation summarizing their consensus while all these ideas were transcribed. The second part of the workshop then had each table assigned to address a particular need or problem for Coney Island, quantifying three points and then solutions for the same. In this part of the session, people were allowed to get up and select which table to sit at that met their particular expertise. Like the first part, that was again followed up with a quick summary presentation by each table, and these were so transcribed onto a laptop computer.
The input of ideas distilled from all in attendance will be combined with the output from the workshops being held at the Brooklyn Public Libary, and will go to the charette, and the final conclusions will be presented next week during the meeting at BAM.
Below is a set of photos from the Imagine Coney Briefing Day which took place at the Brookyn Borough Hall Monday, October 27, 2008.