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, March 31, 2008

Coney Photo Dance Video

Stefan Falke, a New York based German photographer - has posted an interesting 'photo dance video' on his blog: Stefan Falke's Eye. The video was out together by its subject, the Trinidadian dancer and choreographer Makeda Thomas, using photographs taken by Falke at Coney Island last summer. The video also features music by Raw Artistic Soul featuring Wunmi.

The video is quite interesting, particularly in the way in which still photography is used to capture movement. It's also great to see a photographer using Coney Island in his work in such an innovative way, considering how many photographers tend to take the same few stock Coney shots.


A Coney Island Photo Dance with Makeda Thomas [Stefan Falke's Eye]



- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/31/2008 12:27:00 PM  1 comments links to this post

The Daily Eagle on the Aquarium's New Director

Friday's Brooklyn Daily Eagle had an article on Jon Dohlin, the new director of the New York Aquarium. It sounds like Dohlin has some pretty ambitious plans for the aquarium: "My hopes are for the aquarium to become the best guest destination in the Northeast. We have an incredible conservation message."

One particularly heartening thing about Dohlin's comments in the interview is that, despite the focus on increasing visitors to the aquarium, he seems committed to working on how the aquarium can benefit the surrounding communities, not just tourists. Specifically, programs are being put in place to reach out to the Russian, Hispanic, and Orthodox Jewish communities.


Dohlin, Aquarium's Director, Wants To Make It 'Best Guest Destination in Northeast' [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]


- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/31/2008 12:22:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 28, 2008

Doctoroff To Keep His Hand in City Projects (But Not Coney)

Former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff - who was instrumental in creating the city's plan for the rezoning and redevelopment of Coney Island- resigned at the beginning of 2008 to take a job with Mayor Bloomberg's private company, Bloomberg LP. Normally, this would mean that Doctoroff's connections to public development plans were terminated, by law. However, as the Brooklyn Daily Eagle explains, this is not a normal situation:

There are strict rules in the City Charter limiting the contact municipal employees can have with the city after leaving their government jobs, so the administration had sought a waiver from the city Conflicts of Interest Board to allow Doctoroff to remain involved in several of the various development projects he had guided.

This situation will not actually have any direct relevance to the redevelopment of Coney Island. The city was required to acquire a separate waiver for each individual project, and Coney Island was not on the list. Still, the fact that city went to these lengths to keep Doctoroff on board would seem to illustrate their continued commitment to Doctoroff's vision for New York.


Doctoroff Can Stay Involved in NYC Issues, Says Panel [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]


- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/28/2008 01:22:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Island Pops Up In New Fierstein Musical

The gay entertainment site After Elton is currently feautirng an interview with Harvey Fierstein, the gravelly-voiced actor and playright best known for his 'Torch Song Trilogy.' The interview comes in anticipation of Fierstein's stage adaptation of the 1956 film, Catered Affair. Apparently, a song about Coney Island is a crucial part of the show:

There's a turning point in the show: We have a song called "Coney Island," where I say to my sister Aggie, "Remember when we were kids and I took you to Coney Island and made you get on the roller coaster? From the moment we got on, you covered your eyes. At the end of the ride, you looked so sad, because you paid your money, you took the ride, but you missed the view. So, come on. We're halfway through another ride. Open your eyes!"



Interview with Harvey Fierstein [After Elton]

- post by Ben Nadler



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/28/2008 01:14:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Aquarium Director

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)- which operates the NYC Aquarium- has appointed one of their own, Jon Forrest Dohlin, as the aquarium's new director.

Considering that (as the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports) Dohlin is already involved in the creation of the controversial new shark exhibit, his appointment will probably not lead to any drastic departures from the aquarium's current direction.


New York Aquarium Welcomes New Director [The Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
300,000 Gallons of 'Jaws' [New York Times]


Top image courtesy of Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times


- post by
Ben Nadler



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/27/2008 12:49:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Phillip On The Beach

Another gem from The Gowanus Lounge which has had quite a lot of Coney content lately.

This amazing video clip of legendary minimalist composer
Phillip Glass riding the Cyclone is apparently part of the trailer for a new documentary, GLASS: A Portrait of Phillip in Twelve Parts. The film is directed by Scott Hicks, who also did the musically themed biopic, Shine.

Besides being intrinsically delightful, this footage of Glass on the Cyclone is also a fantastic American moment: a melding of high art and popular amusement so seamless, that any distinction between the two is rendered completely arbitrary.
- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/27/2008 12:31:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

B&B Restoration Under Way

At last week's Museum of New York City panel discussion, Lynn Kelly mentioned briefly that the process of restoring the city owned B&B carousel (Coney Island's last old wooden carousel) would be getting under way this week.

NY1 News has now given further details:

Carousel experts and fine art movers are carefully packing the dismantled Bishoff & Brienstein Carousel for a journey to an Ohio restoration shop where it will be refurbished and eventually returned to Brooklyn. […]

The restoration is expected to take up to two years.



Coney Island Carousel Is Dismantled For Makeover [NY1]




- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/26/2008 03:01:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Who's Imitating Whom?

The Right Student, a British political blog, has pointed out that the mock up of the revamped Eiffel Tower "looks a bit like the 'Parachute Jump' from Coney Island."

The Guardian explains that the purpose of the Eiffel addition is to "double the capacity of the public viewing area on the tower's top floor." However, considering that the Parachute Jump is often referred to as the 'Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn,' and that the revamping of the Parachute Jump's lighting has been getting a lot of press lately, it could be that Paris is just trying to keep up with Brooklyn.


The French Are Copying Coney Island [The Right Student]
New Look for Eiffel Tower [The Guardian]

- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/26/2008 02:55:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lola Staar Skating Rink Opening Party Video

This Brookvid video of Lola Staar's Skating Rink Opening Party was found on the always informative blog of blogs: The Great Gowanus Lounge!

The Gowanus Lounge also gives a good GL analysis on what the skating rink at the Child's building does for Coney Island.

The Gowanus Lounge writes:

We have to say that the opening of Lola Staar's roller rink in the historic Childs Building in Coney Island on Saturday night was an event so nice we feel compelled to blog it twice. (Well, given that we posted everything on Easter Sunday, we thought we'd air it all out again on a Monday morning.) The inaugural staking event drew a big crowd to Childs and some celeb participants like Ashanti and Marissa Tomei (who turns out to be quite the roller skater). The enterprise is sponsored by Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger (a fragrance) and Glamour Magazine. (The campaign behind the fragrance is that it "inspires real women to go after their dreams.") In any case, you can check out our vid here and our big slideshow here.



Coney Madness #3: Lola Staar Roller Rink Redux [The Gowanus Lounge]
Brookvid: Lola Staar's Skating Rink Opening Party [The Gowanus Lounge]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/25/2008 01:17:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Analyzing The Fun Out of Freak Shows

The current issue of the The Utne Reader contains an article (picked up from Polite Magazine) which examines today's freak shows within the context of the genre's history. The questions grappled with in 'Letting Their Freak Flags Fly: The Sideshow Isn't Dead, It's Just More Ironic' are clearly outlined by author Sacha Evans:

In an age of political correctness and artful irony, modern freak shows still cannot escape certain niggling questions: Are the shows empowering or demeaning? Do they provide social misfits with a refuge and a decent wage, or do they perpetuate dangerous bigotries about the "other"?

Though Evans primary sources are the Texas based 999 Eyes Carnival of the Damned and sociologist Robert Bogdan, no discussion of contemporary freak shows would be complete without a trip to Coney Island. Evan's finds Sideshows by the Seashore under whelming:

Despite the performers' spectacular lack of regard for their own bodies, there is a subtle sense among the crowd that they've seen it all before. […] As Donny [Vomit] presents [Madame Electra] to the audience, she wipes her brow, pretending to recover from the greatest shock of her life. Filing out into the hazy Coney Island afternoon, the audience pretends to do the same.

Evan's article is well researched and well written. However, no amount of history, theory, and style can substitute for the one ingredient that makes a Coney sideshow- and Coney Island in general- so fantastic: a sense of wonder. While critiques of the problematic history and attraction of freak shows are more than called for, taking the fun out of them with 'hipper than thou, 'seen it all before' snarkyness certainly is not. While side shows are few and far between these days, wet blanket articles with the word 'ironic' in their subtitles are, unfortunately, all too common


Letting Their Freak Flags Fly: The Sideshow Isn't Dead, It's Just More Ironic [Utne Reader]

- post by Ben Nadler



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/25/2008 12:50:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

CIDC Writing Competition

The Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) has announced its first ever student writing competition. Coney Island students in grades 1 through 12 have until April 18th to submit essays of up to 500 word describing their vision for the future of Coney Island. Winners will receive a pack of tickets to Coney attractions such as the Aquarium, Cyclones games, and the Wonder Wheel.

This sounds like a great way to help local youth feel included- rather than passed by- by the city's plans for a new Coney Island.

Details of the competition can be found on
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle's website.



- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/25/2008 12:41:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Gallery To Open With Coney Photo Exhibit

The inaugural exhibit at Bond Street Gallery - a new photography gallery located in Gowanus- is entitled 'Coney Island of the Heart, 'The mission of the show (whose name is apparently a play on the famous Lawrence Ferlinghetti book) is to "celebrate the history of Coney Island as the playground of the working-class melting pot through exuberant and singular images of the Jews, Italians, African-Americans, Russians, Puerto Ricans, and others who have played there."

The show is primarily devoted to the work of Harold Feinstein, but also contains work from several other photographers.

A good deal of the photographs from the show are up on the gallery's website, and they are well worth a look. Feinstein's black and white photographs vary wildly in their temporal origin (having been taken over a sixty year period), yet seem to all fit together shockingly well, due to their common geographical location.


'Coney Island of the Heart'
March 27th through May 8th
Bond Street Gallery
297 Bond Street
Opening: March 27th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m



- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/24/2008 12:44:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Lola Staar's Roller Rink Now Open

Lola Staar's 'Dreamland Roller Rink'- located in the Childs Building on the boardwalk- opened Saturday evening.

An extensive slideshow of the event has been posted on
The Gowanus Lounge. It looks like it was quite an evening.

Though the roller rink is only temporary, it's great to see a new, family friendly amusement open up in Coney.


- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/24/2008 12:35:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The New York Observer on the Development Saga

Thursday's New York Observer featured an article by Eliot Brown which places Wednesday's Museum of New York City panel discussion in the broader context of the ongoing Coney Island redevelopment saga. The article provides a solid recap, and makes a point which is hard to argue with: "As often with development fights, local politics reign supreme."


For Troubled Coney Plan, City May Need to Backpedal [The New York Observer]

Image courtesy of NY Observer



- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/23/2008 08:43:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Heather Holliday Interview In Time Out

Heather Holliday Interview In Time Out has a great interview with the talented 22 year old sword swallower, Heather Holliday.

has a great interview with the talented 22 year old sword swallower, Heather Holliday.

I've had seriously bad heartburn. It's all the stomach acid going in and out with the sword. I didn't know what heartburn was. I mean, I knew the commercials. But I was like, "Heartburn's for fat, greasy truckers."

and of the family pressures facing freak show performers:

My mom really likes it, but she wants it to be a phase. Everybody that thinks it's really cool wouldn't want their own kid doing it.

You can catch Heather live at
The Coney Island Circus Sideshow, which opens this Sunday.


Deep Throat [Time Out New York]

Image courtesy of Time Out NY

- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/23/2008 08:38:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Museum Of New York Panel Discussion Report

About seventy people gathered in the basement of the Museum of New York on 103 St. in Manhattan last night, to listen to a discussion between City Councilman Dominic Recchia, David Gratt of Coney Island USA, and Lynn Kelly of the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC).

The event started out with Kelly giving a lengthy explanation of the city's rezoning plan. This was essentially the same presentation that Kelly has given previously at several CIDC events, though she has now incorporated better graphics, as well as a list acknowledging concerns raised by area residents over the past few months.

The actual panel discussion - which was moderated by the charming Brad Lander of the Pratt Center for Community Development- began with Recchia giving a long and rambling account of how he had vowed to 'take on the city' and fight 'against the odds' to restore Coney Island to glory. He also explained that he singled handedly started the Coney Island Development Corporation - despite the city's attempts to suppress it - after receiving a mysterious package of documents in the mail, and that Joe Sitt is a close friend, who has fought fearlessly to protect Coney Island from other, less well intentioned developers.

Recchia actually had some good argument to be made that the city's plan to bring in one operator for the entire amusement area (which Kelly kept pushing throughout the night) could be problematic. Recchia pointed out that the city's renderings could only become a reality if investors were willing to build rides, and that this was less likely to happen if they were forced to operate on city land, under a city hired operator, rather than being allowed to develop on their own terms on their own land. However, the fact that Recchia was also clearly shilling for one particular land owner detracted from these arguments.

The situation came to a head when Gratt and Recchia furiously contracted each other over the facts of Sitt's negotiations with Coney Island USA, and again when an audience member demanded to know if Reccia received financial contributions from Sitt (Reccia sidestepped the question).

At the times when the issue of Sitt was not being discussed, the panel was actually civil, and quite interesting. Lander used pointed questions about public needs to guide the discussion towards issues such as ways in which development could benefit local residents (such as through new schools, community centers, and low to middle income housing), ways in which New York city could use Coney Island to support and retain its artistic community, and ways in which Coney Islands 'funkiness' and 'weirdness' could be protected and even encouraged through creative zoning.




- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/20/2008 02:20:00 PM  3 comments links to this post

New Coney Website

Scott Schubert- of Coney Island Light House fame- has started a new website, The website includes a blog, photos of Schubert's Coney Island childhood, an interactive 'memory wall', and, most usefully, an archive of Coney related newspaper articles dating back over a hundred years.
- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/20/2008 02:12:00 PM  1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Charles Denson recaps his view of Coney Island

Here's a nice little snippet with Charles Denson, part of the documentary "Our Last American Summer: The Coney Island Story", by producer and director Chris Hackett


Our Last American Summer: The Coney Island Story


Posted by
Democratese [YouTube]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2008 03:12:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Sideshows By The Seashore Opens Easter Sunday

From the Coney Island USA website:

That's right, friends!
It's the second annual last year of Coney Island!
The 2008 Summer Season in Coney Island starts now!
Come celebrate Coney Island's rebirth with the show that made it all possible!

Come see Donny Vomit, Heather Holiday, Insectavora,
Serpentina, Twisted Shockmeister Scott Baker, and our newest
addition, Nick Sin!


Sideshows By The Seashore
OPENS March 23!!

Runs from 1pm until dark ,weather permitting!
Corner of W. 12th and Surf Ave.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2008 01:11:00 PM  1 comments links to this post

Reminder: Panel Discussion Tonight

As part of their 'New York Neighborhoods/Development and Preservation' program series, the Museum of New York will be hosting a panel discussion on the future of Coney Island tonight.

The slated speakers are Lynn Kelly of the Coney Island Development Corporation, Brad Lander of the Pratt Center for Community Development, David Gratt of Coney Island USA, Chuck Reichenthal of Community Board 13, and City Councilman Domenic Recchia.

It sounds like it's going to be quite an event.

The price of admission is $9 for non-members of the Museum; $5 for members, seniors, and students, and reservations are required.


New York Neighborhoods/Development and Preservation:
The Future of Coney Island
Wednesday, March 19th

6:30 pm
The Museum of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
(212) 534-1672, ext. 3395


- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2008 12:59:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Revisiting Opening Day

Between the uneven weather, and the limited hours (and amount) of open rides, many people have expressed disappointed with the opening day of the season at Coney Island. That being said, some people did indeed fully appreciate the annual return of the amusement season at coney Island, such as YouTube user CoasterheadMatt, who has posted some great footage of the rides he took on the Cyclone, Wonder Wheel, Spookarama, and Dante's Inferno on Sunday.


2008 Roller Coaster Opening Day

Description:
My 2008 roller coaster season has finally opened at Coney Island on Sunday March 16th!
Posted by
CoasterheadMatt [YouTube]


- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2008 12:52:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Island On The Mic (And Screen)

Last month, we reported that a young rapper named Torae (aka Da Young Vet) has been making a name for his self, and for Coney Island Hip Hop. Torae's skills are represented here in the video for 'Callin' Me', the catchy and classic single off of his debut album, 'Daily Conversation.'

Coney Island residents will appreciate all the Coney references in the video, such as the 'Coney Island, 11224' address on the CD package, and the fact that the daughter attends P.S. 188 Michael E. Berdy Elementary School.


Torae Callin' Me


Description:
Buzz single off of Torae's "Daily Conversation" prod. by Eric G.
Posted by
dayoungveteran [YouTube]



- post by Ben Nadler



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2008 12:45:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Island Maintains Its Reputation For Basketball

For over a century, Coney Island has been known for its beaches, amusement parks, and hot dogs. In the past few years, however, Coney Island has become known for its basketball players. This is largely due to Lincoln High School, which has spawned NBA players such as Sebastian Telfair and Stephon Marbury.

This past Sunday, Lincoln defended its dominant position in Brooklyn high school basketball, defeating Boys & Girls High School 88-57 at Madison Square Garden.

Highlights of the game included the heavily hyped local teenager,
Lance Stephenson scoring 27 points


With Third Straight PSAL Title, Lincoln Proves It Has No Peer [Daily News]


- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2008 12:40:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Events: Coney Island USA Spring Gala

From the Coney Island USA website:

It's Time for the Coney Island USA Spring Gala!Come out and celebrate the 2008 season with us, as we kick off the summer with a big blowout at the
Angel Orensanz Foundation. See mermaids, burlesque performers, and practitioners of the sideshow arts while helping support Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit that produces the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, Burlesque at the Beach and that operates the Coney Island Museum.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2008 12:39:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 17, 2008

Let The Games Begin!

Image courtesy of Brit In Brooklyn


Palm Sunday- as always- marked the first day of the season at Coney Island, with the opening of Astroland, The Cyclone, and Deno's Wonder Wheel, as well as the annual Band Organ Rally.

The four hour event was merely a taste of the great summer to come.

Kinetic Carnival unfortunately arrived on the scene too late in the day to get any photos, but a few good ones have been posted on the blog,
Brit in Brooklyn.



- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/17/2008 02:59:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Did You Know?

In the weekly Brooklyn Daily Eagle column, 'From The Brooklyn Aerie, David Ansel Weiss provides tidbits of 'trivia & observations.' In his most recent column, Weiss included these interesting details about the historic ethnic landscape of Coney Island: "In the 1940s when you went to Coney Island you usually went to that part of the beach where you fit in ethnically. Thus, if you were Jewish, you probably went between 27th St. and 36th St., and if Italian, near Stillwell Avenue."


From The Brooklyn Aerie [The Brooklyn Daily Eagle]


- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/17/2008 02:53:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Amusement Park To Open on Long Island

Plans are apparently under way to construct a new amusement park in River Head, out in Suffolk County on Long Island. According to the website of the developers, Island Amusement Ventures, LLC., 'Pirates Landing Amusement Park' was initially expected to open this coming spring, but at this point is not expected to open until the spring of 2009. The language of the site implies that this is due to funding issues

Even if it takes longer than that, it's still quite likely that Pirate's Landing will open long before the redeveloped Coney Island amusement area.

Considering that River Head is a good 80 miles outside of Brooklyn, It shouldn't affect the Coney Island amusement area's status as the metro area's premier amusement park. Furthermore, an enclosed suburban amusement park is quite different from the open, boardwalk adjacent amusements of Coney Island. All the same, a new waterfront "regional family oriented recreational amusement & entertainment center" in the greater New York City area is probably something Coney Island should be keeping its eye on as future competition, especially if the city is hoping to draw crowds from father away.

- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/14/2008 03:53:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Coney Events:

Coney Island USA and the Lady Liberty Chapter of the Automated Musical Instrument Collectors' Association kick off the season with our annual Band Organ Rally!


Band Organ Rally
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Noon to 4:30pm
at Sideshows by the Seashore and the Coney Island Museum
1208 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Free!!


Visit the website
here.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/13/2008 03:07:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Dick Zigun Interview

Pat McCabe's A Walk In The Park, which describes itself as 'a video podcast into the worlds of roller coasters and amusement parks'- has conducted an in depth interview with Dick Zigun, the Mayor of Coney Island. In the lengthy interview, Zigun expounds on the history, present, and future of Coney Island. One thing he is quite clear about is that Coney Island USA is sticking around. "The strippers and the freaks are staying. The Mermaid Parade- outrageous as that is- is staying no matter how Starbucks the neighborhood gets."

As usual, Zigun is a delight to listen to. Aside from the informative aspect of the interview, the humor makes it well worth the listen, whether he is referring to Bloomberg and Thors maneuverings as the conflict between the millionaire and the billionaire, or joking about the premature rumors of Coney's demise: "Isn't it just like Coney Island carnies in Brooklyn to get you all excited to come out here last summer cause it was your last chance, and then we lied, we're gonna do it again! […] So come on back, it's the last summer ever, you gotta go in 2008! It's the end! You gotta go!"

Image courtesy of Time Out Magazine


- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/13/2008 03:01:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thor Watch

For once, some news on Joe Sitt of Thor Equities which doesn't reflect negatively on him. According to an article on The Real Deal on the subject of campaign contributions from local real estate developers, Sitt donated $2,300 to Barak Obama. This makes him unique amongst New York developers, as The Real Deal found Hillary Clinton to be their overwhelming favorite.

Barack Obama has yet to state his official position on the future of Coney Island


Presidential politics thins real estate wallets [The Real Deal]

- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/13/2008 02:49:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coney Events: Lola Staar Skating Rink Opening Party March 22nd


Direct from Lola Staar press release:

Dreams are the Future of Coney Island!!!

Coney Island was created by small business owners with enormous, larger-than-life dreams of creating a fantastical experience of reality!

That is what makes Coney Island the unique, wonderland of quirky dreams-come-true that it is!

Coney Island is currently traveling down a bumpy and precarious road of redevelopment!

We are so happy to have the opportunity to contribute this dream-come-true to the landscape of enchantment in Coney Island during this transitional time!




Lola Staar's Dreamland Roller Rink
Opening Party
Saturday, March 22nd

6:00 PM- 12 PM!!
FREE!!!




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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/12/2008 01:57:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

A couple of weeks ago, The Post reported that the city was going to finally replace the collapsing Coney Island boardwalk. Well, three blocks of it, anyway.

Now,
The New York Daily News has reported that the work won't start until after the busy summer season.

The Daily News quotes Dianna Carlin aka Lola Starr (who has been getting a lot press lately) as saying "By that time it will probably have collapsed," and chimes in with their own lead line, "Talk about too little, too late."

It's tempting to agree. At the same time, we're probably better off enduring few more months of busted boardwalk than dealing with a boardwalk that's closed off all summer.


One More Summer of Busted Boardwalk [Daily News]

Image courtesy of Joyce for News (Daily News)

- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/12/2008 01:47:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Brooklyn Museum Gets With The Times


Sunset Over Coney Island, April 2006, Flatbush Gardener (from the Goodbye Coney Island? group on Flickr)


Over the past few months, Patrick Anselm has been writing great series of posts on the history of Coney Island for The Brooklyn Museum's blog, as a supplement to the Museum's ongoing 'Goodbye Coney Island' photography exhibit. The series follows Coney's history and development chronological, starting all the way back in 1829.

as a supplement to the Museum's ongoing 'Goodbye Coney Island' photography exhibit. The series follows Coney's history and development chronological, starting all the way back in 1829.

It is often easy to lose perspective of how the issues we face today fit into a greater historical context. Reading Anselm's most recent post along with his previous posts really helps to restore this context.

Modern Coney [Brooklyn Museum]


- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/11/2008 02:31:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

The Eagle Continues To Do Right By Coney


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle can always be relied on to cover all aspects of all Coney Island.

Over the past few days, The Eagle has reported on the lives of two different notable (and deceased) Coney natives, the actor Albert Salmi and the writer, Joseph Heller. Though Heller is most famous for the classic novel 'Catch-22,' his last book was the autobiographical 'From Coney Island to Here.' The Eagle's Brad Lockwood convincingly draws the connection that, 'Coney Island and [Heller's] books are equally absurd, comical and satirical.'

On a more current note, Sarah Ryley has continued her ongoing exhaustive coverage of the redevelopment of Coney Island by with an article on this past weekend's
'Save Coney Island' benefit in Park Slope. While Ryley often deals with fairly hard hitting political issues, she took the party as an opportunity to report on the fact that Coney Island Development Corporation President Lynn Kelly is 'no square' and was, "barely recognizable wearing a white shoulder-length page cut wig, red lipstick, a blue sequence dress and matching feather boa."


Borough of Writers: Joseph Heller [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
On This Day in History: March 11 The 'New Marlon Brando' [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Coney Glitter, Glam, and Gossip At Roller Rink Bash [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]


- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/11/2008 02:22:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Lola Staar's Roller Rink To Be Housed in Child's

Photo courtesy of the Gowanus Lounge

Sunday's New York Post reported that Lola Starr's rumored roller rink will indeed open this summer, at Child's Restaurant on the boardwalk.

This sounds like a fantastic use of the space. Housing such a vibrant and family friendly amusement in such a classic (and currently unused) boardwalk building is definitely a step in the right direction for Coney.

According to
The Gowanus Lounge, the announcement was made at Saturday night's 'Save Coney Island' party at Southpaw, in Park Slope.

Incidentally, for those of us that missed the event, pictures from 'Save Coney Island' have been posted on the
'Brit in Brooklyn' blog.


THIS DREAM WHEELY TRUE [New York Post]
- post by Ben Nadler



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/11/2008 02:08:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 07, 2008

Film About Coney Island Wins High School Film Prize

First place in Tuesday night's BK 4 Reel competition - in which local high school students submitted 2-3 minute videos depicting 'their Brooklyn' - went to Park Slope teen Derek Garcia, for his film about taking the F train down to Coney in the wintertime.

Tied for second place were Shalik Wilson for his film about life in Bushwick's Borinquen Houses, and Axel Lindy for his film about sneaking out at night to hang out on the Brooklyn Promenade.

All three films will be shown on the BK 4 Reel program and
Brooklyn Community Access Television.


Teen director's tour thru gritty Bushwick wins high school video prize [Daily News]


- post by Ben Nadler



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/07/2008 01:35:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Community Garden Activists' Fears Prove Founded

Last month, Kinetic Carnival reported on the fears raised by the blog Flatbush Gardener and local gardening activists that the city's plan for redeveloping Coney Island will require the destruction of three of Coney Island's community gardens. These fears were verified in Thursday's Brooklyn Daily Eagle by Neill Coleman, a spokesman for Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). According to Coleman, two of the gardens in question- the Unity Towers Tenant Association Garden on Surf Ave. and the Senior Citizens Block Association of Mermaid Avenue Garden on W. 20th St.- "are located on a site we plan to offer for the development of affordable housing."

The fate of the third garden mentioned on Flatbush Gardener, The Surf Side Garden on W. 29th St., remains unclear.

- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/07/2008 01:30:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 06, 2008

New York Aquarium Shark Exhibit Drawings


These images of the New York Aquarium's new shark exhibit were first posted on Curbed.com via the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

(Click images for larger views)




Swimming with Sharks: $67M Coney 'Fantasy Land' [Curbed]
New York Aquarium Plans Lavish Shark Lair [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/06/2008 02:45:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Thus Begins the Beautification of Coney Island

On Monday, the Coney Island Development Corporation sent out a 'Notice of Request for Proposals [for] Coney Island Street Maintenance.' The city is looking to outsource supplemental maintenance work for the peak season (May-October), as it has for the past few years. However, the notice implies a more long term goal for finding a new sanitation contractor, pointing out that, "Maintaining the street aesthetic in Coney Island is an essential element of CIDC's revitalization efforts as well as the goals and objectives set forth in the Strategic Plan."


The actual, 98 page (RFP)
Request for Proposals is available on the CIDC's website.


- post by Ben Nadler

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/05/2008 02:16:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Mr. Coney Island on the Half Moon Hotel

Last week, the Coney Island History Project's Mr. Coney Island once again provided a fascinating glimpse into a corner of Coney Island history. The corner in question this time is that of the boardwalk and W. 29th St., where the stately Half Moon Hotel once stood.

The hotel was meant to be a vanguard of western boardwalk expansion, but this plan was derailed by the Great Depression.

The hotel served as a naval hospital, the Harbor Hotel, and the Hebrew Home for the Aged, before being demolished in 1996.

For many, the Half Moon is best remembered as the site of Murder Inc. hit man turned snitch Abe "Kid Twist" Reles's 1941 death by defenestration, an incident which led him to be posthumously known as ""the canary who sang, but couldn't fly."


Ask Mr. Coney Island: The Half Moon Hotel [Coney Island History Project]

- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/05/2008 01:52:00 AM  2 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All The Coney That's Fit To Print

Marty Markowitz's comments in his State of the Borough Address that the Parachute Jump's lighting needs "more bling" set off quite a controversy, which has yet to be resolved. The Times recently sought to get a 'man on the street' angle on the issue, by reporting from the Coney Island video arcade, Faber's Fascination.

One of the people interviewed in the article- a local mother and Parks Department employee named Audrey McLeod- summed up the Parachute Jump's current charms: "To me, the lights are more romantic than spectacular. They're not bright to catch your eye or anything, but maybe for a couple walking on the Boardwalk."


The Boardwalk and the Bling [The New York Times]

- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/04/2008 01:26:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Temporary Amusements

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle's Sara Ryley- who has been diligently covering the controversies surrounding the redevelopment of Coney Island- reports that Lola Starr's dream of installing a temporary roller rink by the boardwalk "totally going to happen." The official details of the plan will be announced sometime within the next few weeks.

Later in the same column, Ryley reports on some suggestions that Jasper Goldman of the Municipal Art Society made for improving the city's plan in a recent newsletter. One suggestion that really stands out is Mr. Goldman's assertion that "the city should create an interim plan to ensure Coney Island remains a destination during the development phase." In particular, he suggests features such as "food and antique markets, music and performance spaces, and art installations."

Considering that a completion date of 2019 has been thrown around, this suggestion is extremely well taken. We can't simply spend the next decade waiting for Coney Island to be redeveloped; we need to be able to enjoy Coney Island in the meantime.

That being said, a roller rink isn't a bad start.


Real Estate Round-Up Coney Island Roller Rink Actually Going To Happen [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

- post by Ben Nadler


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/04/2008 01:14:00 AM  1 comments links to this post