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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coney Vid: A Little Coney Dance At The Wonder Wheel

If you like a little old time music and dance, here are three fun Coney goers celebrating their friend, Frankie's 95th birthday in front of the Wonder Wheel in this cute little fun video.

Coney Island Frankie95


Posted by
missapril1956 [YouTube]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/31/2009 01:30:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Has Lots To Offer This Coming Season

Image courtesy of Mirko Pohle (Flickr.com)

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park may no be Coney Island's biggest as this image taken from the wonderful Wonder Wheel shows, but Coney Island will have lots to offer for the coming summer season. And if Thor Equities does a better job this year of filling the huge lots they by now have deliberately emptied we hope it's because they have the public in mind.

There have been a few inaccurate list on the web recently, but thanks to
electricia, she has compiled an accurate list of events. The rundown of all the Coney Island events have been posted on the Coney Island USA message board.

Image at right from Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/31/2009 01:00:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 30, 2009

What In Cone-Nation Is Thor Equities Building?

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA message board)

Sittland West to be exact...or to be more exact; the empty lot on Stillwell Avenue and the boardwalk is where some are speculating on ground construction that is taking place there by Thor Equities who owns the lot. Some are on the Coney Island USA message board that part o the construction are slabs to hold up temporary installments like tents and kiosks.



Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA message board)


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/30/2009 10:41:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thor To Open Dreamland Amusement Park In Coney

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA message board)

What's different for this coming season in Coney Island that has Coney enthusiasts watching out for are not only one Thor Equities empty lot but two. Now there's Sittland West: the Thor Equities lot that last year housed the short and not-so-enthusiastic "Summer of Hope" but now there's also Sittland East: the former Astroland Amusement Park lot.

According to a sign caught by Coney's roving reporter's eye Capt_Nemo, at Sittland East; Dreamland Amusement Park's arrival is announced and promises rides, food, and fun. The Dreamland (A name for everything new, it seems, here in Coney) will feature the odd and the bizarre with freakshows and other circus sideshows. Which indicates that previous rumors of
John Strong, a sideshow performer, may be truly coming to Coney Island for the summer.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/30/2009 10:17:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 27, 2009

Coney Boardwalk Businesses May Open For Season

Image courtesy of Victoria Belanger (Flickr.com)

With worry about triple hikes in rent for Coney Island boardwalk businesses like Ruby's Bar & Grill and Cha Cha's, proprietors may be breathing a sigh of relief. The rumors from triple the rents have been scaled down to double, and now it seems Ruby's is closing in on a deal though nothing has been signed as of yet.

The other worry these places have is the boardwalk planks that have been removed from their business entrances which haven't yet been replaced. The city has said it is expected to be back in working walking order by Easter.


Ruby’s, Cha Cha’s, and Others Will Return to Coney This Year [Grub Street]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/27/2009 10:38:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Public Hearing For Coney Comprehensive Plan

Brooklyn Borough President will hold a public hearing for Coney Island's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure at the Court Room at the second floor at Brooklyn Borough Hall located at 209 Joralemon Street. The public hearing will commence at 5:00 pm on Monday, March 30th 2009.

(Pdf file can be viewed here.)

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/26/2009 10:23:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Island History Project Exhibition Center To Open For Season

The Coney Island History Project's Exhibition Center under the Cyclone Roller Coaster will open for the Cylone's opening day from Noon to 3pm and will officially, reopen for their regular opening day on Memorial Day Weekend.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/26/2009 10:11:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Cyclone Roller Coaster Opening Day: First 100 Ride Free!

Sunday, April 5th at Noon is the opening of the Cyclone Roller Coaster. And if you're the among the first 100 riders you get to ride on free.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/26/2009 10:06:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Paintings Inspired By Coney Island Mermaids

Robert Sievert, an artist who's had a lifelong passion for painting the human figure has had his imagination captured and inspired by last year's Mermaid Ball. His will exhibit his painting this week at the Blue Mountain Gallery in Chelsea.

In Sievert’s words:

“What a privilege and inspiration. To be frank I was overwhelmed by these events which I can only describe as a ‘feast of flesh.’ Decorum was not a feature. The acres of skin on display were not those of a fashion shoot and peak physical condition was certainly not a prerequisite. Idiosyncrasy was the keynote. The superabundant visual exuberance and excess on display had a profound effect. My participation in these events totally inspired me to create this body of work: THE MERMAID BALL.”


The exhibition is divided into three sections: paintings, panels and prints. The paintings are direct observations of models posing as guests seen at the Mermaid Ball.

The press release for this exhibit has been posted at the Coney Island USA message board.


ROBERT SIEVERT: THE MERMAID BALL: NEW FIGURES
March 24–April 18,2009
RECEPTION: March 28, 3–6pm
at the
Blue Montain Gallery


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/25/2009 10:23:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

For The Jobless In Coney: Here's Your Chance...NY Aquarium Is Hiring

Coney Island job opportunities are now available at the New York Aquarium. So, if you are a NY resident here's your chance to make a difference if you're unemployed at this very moment in this terrible economic crisis. If you're one of those who want more jobs for Coney residents and find your self currently unemployed here's your chance to work and not have to bare the commute that most other NY residents do. Just take a short bus ride to the Aquarium to work. And yet for those who really love to commute...take a look..they also need Country Project Director for Afghanistan and a Marine Director right over there in Papua New Guinea.

The Coney Island Development Corporation has put out this job announcement:

The Aquarium is working with NYC Business Solutions to fill these positions. Do NOT go directly to the Aquarium, as you will be referred to the Workforce1 Career Center.

The Aquarium is looking for courteous, reliable and enthusiastic individuals with very flexible schedules. Available positions include:

Guest Services:
Admissions Associate -- Conduct sales at paid attractions, parking booths or admissions entrances.

Greeter -- Interact with park guests and provide assistance in a courteous and helpful manner. Provide Aquarium information and directions, assist with special events and assignments, and attend to special needs situations. Candidates must be able to work on their feet, stand and walk for long periods of time.

Merchandise Services:
Sales Associate -- Selling store products and increasing sales through cross-selling and demonstration of product knowledge.

Restaurant Services:
Sales Associate -- Ensuring quality standards of all products by adhering to local, state and federal handling, preparation, and portioning procedures. Selling WCS food items and increasing sales through cross selling.


For information on other positions from Senior Logistics Coordinator to Sous Chef and how to apply visit the job posting page at the aquarium's website here.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/25/2009 09:45:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'Imax' Coney

All images courtesy of SkyShutter

SkyShutter aerial photography of Coney panoramas give us an big perception of Coney's unique character. A nice complement to their aerial sweeping video of Coney Island.





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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/24/2009 02:21:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Vid: MUST SEE Sweeping Aerial Views Of Coney Island

Take a ride as you view Coney Island below before the big changes take place in the next coming years. These sweeping aerial shots were taken not from a low-flying helicopter but from a radio controlled helicam by SkyShutter.

Coney Island

Description:
The Famous Coney Island will be torn down soon for new developments. Here it is from the air before it gets torn down.

Posted by
jascamera2002 [YouTube]

You can view a larger and higher quality play of this video on Vimeo.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/24/2009 02:13:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Miniature Sized Coney Island

A roller coaster and theme park enthusiast loves to build replicas of actual roller coaster and other amusement structures. And if you love amusements you can't pass up Coney Island. John A. Hunt joined ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) in 1982 and has since visited most parks across north America. He showcases his work on his website: RollerCoasterModels.com.


Throughout the years, I have learned a lot about the amusement park industry and have constructed many scale models of roller coasters and other amusement park attractions.This website features many models that were built over the past several years -- most of them are wood coaster replicas and some are original designs.

Found on the Coney Island message board, posted by kris martin, the models show all the intricacies of their actual counterparts with great detail.








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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/24/2009 12:58:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reminder: 2009 Band Organ Rally April 5th!



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/23/2009 11:54:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Island Film Festival Deadline This April 24th

Announcement from the Coney Island Film Festival:


indiefilmpage.com and Coney Island USA present the 9th annual Coney Island Film Festival October 2- 4, 2009 at Sideshows by the Seashore and The Coney Island Museum in the historic Brooklyn neighborhood Coney Island, New York!

Regular Deadline - April, 24, 2009 (postmarked) $25 entry fee.

Entry categories: Feature, Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Experimental, Silent Film, Animation, Music Video.

The Coney Island Film Festival is open to filmmakers working in ALL GENRES, SUBJECTS AND FORMATS.


Visit the site
here form information.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/23/2009 11:48:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Flickr Convoy: Old Coney Polar Bear Club House

Image courtesy of Rubys Host / KC Flickr Group

Here's a look at a pre-1975 club house for the Coney Island Polar Bears. It was later blocked by sand that was pushed under the boardwalk.

Join the
Kinetic Carnival Flickr Group to add your Coney Island images and have them featured on this blog.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/23/2009 11:29:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Coney Vid: A Trip To Coney Island Last Summer

Hopefully, this coming season at Coney Island will be one full of activity and lots of people.

Coney Island

Description:
I never went there... this is for a class. I know none of these people.

Posted by
T3rrapin8 [YouTube]



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/21/2009 09:11:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 20, 2009

Memorial Gathering For Robert Guskind April 4th

From the Gowanus Lounge:

A memorial gathering to honor the memory of Robert Guskind will be held from 2 pm to 5 pm Saturday, April 4 at the Brooklyn Lyceum, 4th Avenue between Union and President Streets in Park Slope.

Please
RSVP if you can. (There is an opportunity to sign up to speak.)

There will be an opportunity to donate to charities in Bob’s name.

Thanks to Eric Richmond of the Brooklyn Lyceum for generously donating the space.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/20/2009 09:25:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Joe Sitt's Greed Blew It With The Ringling Circus

The possibility of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus coming to Coney Island on one of the Taconic Investment lots was previously another possibility of having the circus pitch their tents on the former Astroland site, but negotiations with Thor Equities fell apart due to what they allegedly are calling 'greed', according to the New York Post.

The New York Post reported:

City officials said they're trying to iron out an agreement to bring the "Greatest Show on Earth" to a site off the area's fabled boardwalk after negotiations between Ringling Brothers and Joe Sitt, the amusement districts biggest landowner, felt apart two weeks ago mostly, they alleged, because Sitt was too greedy.

The three-ring circus wanted to play at Astroland, the fabled amusement park that closed for good in September. But officials contend Sitt who is battling the city over the mayor's Coney Island rezoning plan tried to nickel and dime Ringling Brothers by insisting his company, Thor Equities, be allowed to offer concessions during event days that compete with the circus own concessions.

Sitt, they said, also wanted a section of New York Aquarium's parking lot to provide circus parking, rather than offer parking on the 10.5 acres of boardwalk land he owns.


Whether this is accurate or not time is going and it still looks like Joe Sitt and Thor Equities are still not sure about what they want to do with their empty lots. Negotiations have also not been met for some of the boardwalk businesses which speculation has it that Thor has hiked up the rents three-fold.

For those that feel the circus is a good draw for Coney's summer season, talks are taking between the circus, the city, and
Taconic Investments for putting the tent on Taconic's W.22nd Street lot. However, no deals have been met as of yet.


RINGLING BROS. MAY PITCH TENT ON CONEY ISLAND [NY Post]

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/20/2009 02:39:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Ringling Brothers Circus Could Coming To Coney Island

What sounded like a rumor reported on the Brooklyn Paper, ended up sounding more like a possibility reported on the New York Post - about talks to bring the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus to Coney Island for the full summer season.

The New York Post reported:
Steve Payne, a vice president for Feld Entertainment, which produces the circus, called Coney Island "an American icon" that is an attractive area for Ringling Brothers to consider expansion, but added "it's premature" to further comment.

The circus is said to be in negotiations with the city and Taconic Investments to pitch the circus tent somewhere on the W. 22nd street lot owned by Taconic. But the plans are still just talk.

The Brooklyn Paper writes:

"It would be premature to comment on plans for any new markets that are not finalized," said Steve Payne, a vice president of Freld Entertainment, which produces the venerable three-ring circus.



RINGLING BROS. MAY PITCH TENT ON CONEY ISLAND [NY Post]
Ringling Brothers Coming To Coney Island [The Brooklyn Paper]

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/20/2009 01:08:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flickr Convoy: Reserved For Steve's Grill House Customers

Image courtesy of Victoria Belanger / KC Flickr Group

Coffee break for Steve's Grill House customers only....in other words no non-customers or homeless folks aloud.


Join the Kinetic Carnival Flickr Group to add your Coney Island images and have them featured on this blog.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2009 02:17:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

A Coney Island Website With Event And Info

It seems the Coneyinfo.com website has been around for over a year, but until know we came across it. Coneyinfo.com has a blog as well as events, map, guide, and advice - all about Coney Island. Check it out to keep up to date on all Coney happenings.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/19/2009 02:09:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coney Vid: 1905 Vintage Never Seen Before Coney Footage

Watch some great never-before-seen Coney footage from the turn of the century as school girls take an adventurous trip out to Coney Island.

A Trip to Coney Island 1905

Description:
Miss Knapp's young ladies from the Select School are taking a trip to Coney Island. Here they come out of their Posh Brooklyn Brownstone dorm. Miss Knapp looks like she runs a tight ship. They hired a charabang to get them there. Who ever would have thought that people getting into a vehicle could be entertaining? Look at the size of that thing. Look at the size of those dresses! Its like the ever classic 'Clown Car' in reverse. READ MORE OF THIS WONDERFUL SYNOPSIS
HERE.

Posted by
TigerRocket [YouTube]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/18/2009 03:44:00 AM  4 comments links to this post

Coney Events: Fight For Your Right To Coney

Lola Staar and the Save Coney Island group presents "Fight For Your Right to Coney" a rock & roll extravaganza, March 31st at the Bell House!

From the press release:

Save The People's Playground featuring the music of sexy pirate rockers JOLLYSHIP THE WHIZ-BANG, sassy KISSY KAMIKAZE, the deliciously haunting TYBURN SAINTS and a fabulous array carnivalesque performers from the sultry sea of Coney Island!! DJ OLE KORETSKY will be spinning sensational dance party grooves!!

Proceeds will go to Save Coney Island, a grassroots community organization committed to the preservation of the spirit of Coney Island through the revitalization of the Coney Island amusement district.


Here's the important info:
Unfortunately, the City's plan, as it currently stands, would be a disaster for Coney Island. It would permanently diminish the amusement district, introducing high-rises of up to 30 stories in its very heart, threatening historic structures and leaving only a narrow nine-acre strip for amusements. Land that is not zoned for amusements will be lost to amusements forever.


Fight For Your Right To Coney
A rock & roll fund raising extravaganza
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

7:30 pm
at The magnificent Bell House
located at 149 7th Street btw 2nd & 3rd Avenues in Brooklyn
718-643-6510
general admission $12 / door $15
VIP admission (includes a free tee Save Coney Island tee shirt and gift bag): $30
Tickets Available at
www.TheBellHouseNY.com


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/18/2009 03:11:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Island Surf & Turf Grill Revs Up For Summer Season

To inform what some may feel looks like the Coney Island Surf & Turf Grill on Surf Avenue and Stillwell is closed half the time - Ruby's Host puts out the word on the Coney Island USA message board:

People have been asking, since they see the gates down frequently, if they are closing. Surf & Turf Grill is open and getting ready for another summer of fun. Surf & Turf Grill is open year round but, winter is limited hours and menu. They are starting their weekend parties this weekend. Friday night is Limo Party Night with DJ playing Top 40's. Saturday Doors open at 10 pm for the Surf & Turf Club Party - free round of shots at midnight - Hip Hop & Rap. They are working on their summer band schedule.

Check their site on MySpace for more updated info or call Chris at Surf & Turf Grill or Surf Cafe at 718-513-6491

Watch their promo video below


For those who love picture taking..add some Surf & Turf images at their Flickr group.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/18/2009 02:25:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Fire At Coney Pizza 'Landmark' Over The Weekend

( Image courtesy of NY Daily News)

The famous 85-year old family owned pizzeria in Coney Island, Totonno's suffered a non-fatal fire last Saturday. Luckily no one was hurt in the blaze which burned through the roof and a re-opening looks to be in its near future.

The New York Daily News reported:
A famed Coney Island pizzeria won't be tossing around the dough for a while after its coal-burning oven caught fire Saturday.

The blaze at Totonno's - which some foodies say serves the best pies in the city - broke out at 9:30 a.m. and spread to the roof, causing extensive damage, officials and witnesses said.

"I don't know what it will take, but it will reopen," he vowed. "It's part of the DNA of Coney Island.", said Chuck Reichenthal, district manager of Community Board 13.


Hopefully, the famous pizza establishment will open in time for the summer to join all other businesses that are worried about this season's attendance due to the closure of Astroland Amusement Park, which was one of Coney's biggest draws. But then again Tottono's thrived on not only tourists but many locals across Brooklyn and NYC.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/18/2009 02:14:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Former Astroland Website Turns Into The Cyclone Website


(Old Astroland site below)

The former Astroland website transforms into the new Cyclone Roller Coaster website. As many people already know, The Alberts, former owners of the late Astroland Amusement Park still have a contract with the city to operate and safely run the Cyclone Roller Coaster. They have changed their former Astroland website into the Cyclone Rollercoaster website.

Astroland's owner, manager and staff thank you for your decades of support! Generation after generation have enjoyed countless hours of fun at Astroland, on the Cyclone and in all of Coney Island. though Astroland will not be opening in 2009!!

As you know the Cyclone is the most famous attraction in all of Coney island and on one of the most famous roller coasters in the world. Make it the cornerstone o fa trip to Coney island that includes the Beach, Boardwalk, Aquarium, games, great food and drink!

THERE IS STILL PLENTY TO SEE AND DO!


There isn't too much up right now but you can click on their souvenir shop and view their Cyclone gallery.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/18/2009 01:56:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Gears Up For Summer

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA message board)

Astroland may be empty thanks to Thor Equities, but this summer there is still plenty to do at Coney Island. As Coney's roving-eye Capt_Nemo caught, a few rides over at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, some rides have come out of hibernation and getting slowly polished and ready for the coming season. As Capt_Nemo reported on the Coney Island USA message board; Gregory & Paul's on the boardwalk and Steve's Grill were already open.

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA message board)

Above are men at work on the Cyclone Roller Coaster which will still be operated by former owner of the late Astroland Amusement Park, Carol Albert and company. We cross our fingers that the season won't suffer a huge drop in attendance.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/18/2009 01:47:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thor Equities Is Slacking For The Summer

With the 2009 summer season around the corner, it looks like the Thor empty lots will be part flea joint and part nothing. There are no talks coming from them as they promised "Amusements galore" for Coney in '09.

As the city's plan moves forward after Community Board 13 voted 'yes' on it but with many stipulations, many worry that in the interim, Coney could suffer a huge drop in attendance for the summer. Many options will still be available in Coney, but Thor, who owns about 10.5 acres seems to be stalling.

Crain's New York writes:

Thor Equities, which owns a total of 10.5 acres on Coney Island, including the Astroland site, is fighting the city's redevelopment plan. The company insists that it will fill the void left by Astroland by bringing in some sort of amusements, but details are sketchy. Meanwhile, local politicians and businessmen alike are becoming anxious.

* * * * * * *

Community leaders maintain that even without Astroland, the area will have plenty to offer this summer.


There is hope that Coney will still somewhat thrive, but with having to constantly remind people last year, attendance was still low. This year, with Astroland gone, Coney Island could be facing their lowest attendance in decades.


Coney Is. plan a go, but void remains [Crain's New York]



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/16/2009 10:53:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Coney Vid: Very Short 'Shoot The Chutes' Clip

Too short to mean anything film clip, but this old 1896 vintage not-seen-before clip of the Chutes from Sea Lion Park is sure to be of some interest to Coney lovers and enthusiasts.

Chutes in Sea Lion Park, Coney Island 1896

Description:
Filmed June 18-23, 1896. Edison Manufacturing Co. A lively scene on the famous water chutes at Coney Island. This is the original Shoot the Chutes designed and built by Captain Paul Boynton. He was inspired by Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893 to build an outdoor amusement park. Boynton opened Sea Lion Park, the worlds first enclosed outdoor amusement park two years later. Boynton's venture inspired George C. Tilyou, who built Steeplechase Park next door. Boynton would eventually sell his park to Fred Thompson and Elmer Dundy who would rebuild it into Luna Park, one of the most successful amusement playgrounds that Coney Island would ever have.

Posted by
TigerRocket [YouTube]

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/16/2009 10:38:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 13, 2009

Concilmember Domenic Recchia Proclaims His Love From The Mayor

At Community Board 13's Wednesday meeting, Concilmember Domenic Recchia got up to rant and yell about how the CB13 is not a waste of time and the votes and recommendations will be heard by the Mayor and taken seriously because he is loved by the Mayor. The Village Voice has posted the audio of Recchia's rant.





Audio: Dominic Recchia Yells At Coney Island Hearing [The Village Voice]



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/13/2009 03:59:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ominous Beauty Reeks From Coney's Underbelly

All Image courtesy of Nathan Kensinger

In this case not, mentioning all the bought politicians and greed taking over Coney's future but simply what lies underneath the boardwalk; in these beautiful photographs by Nathan Kensinger .


Kensinger writes:
In Brooklyn, even the hidden world under the Coney Island Boardwalk isn't safe from development. Recent repair work near Shoot the Freak has revealed and destroyed the Freak's domain. Luckily, there are still forgotten areas further down the boardwalk, stretches of quiet land that are home to tunnel lairs, foxholes, abandoned building entrances, discarded sharks, guard-doves, love nests and campsites. It is, as Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote in A Coney Island of the Mind -"a kissproof world of plastic toilet seats tampax and taxis/[...]and all the other fatal shorn-up fragments/of the immigrants dream come too true/and mislaid/among the sunbathers."


Kensinger has dedicated his pictures to the late Robert Guskind of the Gowanus Lounge:
On a personal note - these photos are dedicated to Robert Guskind, who's encouragement and support, beginning with a single photo in 2006, helped inspire me to document Brooklyn's entire industrial waterfront. He was a generous friend who advised me in creating this website, and then wrote a story about nearly every photo essay on it for Curbed and The Gowanus Lounge, bringing thousands of people to my photographs.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/12/2009 10:52:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of CB13 Board Meets

Image courtesy of Neil deMause


The good and the bad comes out of the meetings for voting by the Community Board 13. The better news coming from board's vote is that they recommended any 30 story hotels be moved north of the Surf Avenue, away from the amusement zone. But the worrisome motion that calls for the quadrupling of retail space could endanger the chances of attracting the small operators.

Here's what the Village Voice's
Neil deMause reported:

The CB13 land use committee, in its meeting on Monday, had recommended a "yes" vote, but accompanied by a bizarre hodgepodge of no less than 20 stipulations: Eliminate the "Wonder Wheel Way" that the city wants to build from the Cyclone to the Parachute Jump, retain the Keyspan Park parking lot instead of building on it, redevelop the Abe Stark ice rink, do traffic studies, create a Special Amusement Zone to protect ride operators from being forced out by development, refrain from using eminent domain, fix local infrastructure, build nothing that would "eclipse the height" of the Parachute Jump, create affordable housing, rebuild the Boardwalk, upgrade the Aquarium, provide better subway service, allow stores up to 10,000 square feet, provide funds for the Coney Island Hospital ER, create off-street parking, allow Gargiulo's to expand, fund job training programs, limit hotels to the north side of Surf Avenue, build a new school, and turn the derelict Shore Theater into a community arts center.


In a press relese sent out today The Save Coney Island group writes (The full press release can be read here):

As the rezoning plan moves through the Uniform Land Use Review Process, Save Coney Island urges the City to fix its plan. The City needs to expand amount of land reserved for amusement uses beyond the shrunken 9-acre strip allotted under its current plan and keep high rises and generic commercial establishments outside the core amusement area.


The importance for genuinely protecting Coney Island as mainly an amusement destination has still to get through and collapse the power of greed that seems to be taking place here. It our last chance before what sets in for the future of Coney Island could never be reversed.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/12/2009 10:25:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Vid: Coney Island

coney island

Description:
An adventure in coney island.


Posted by sskripkina [YouTube]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/12/2009 02:08:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Community Board 13 'Revisions' To City Plan

Members of Community Board 13 met yesterday to vote on revisions to the city plan to rezone Coney Island. Though, CB13's role is only advisory, it's a first and important step in the public review process for Bloomberg's plans. The full vote is expected to take place tomorrow (Wednesday, March 11th at 8pm) at the Coney Island Hospital.

It is disturbing to the character of Coney Island that some of their revisions include increasing the retail space in the plan from 2,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet in the amusement zone. With big retail failing in this country under our economic crisis, it makes no sense why this would be stipulated here. It shows a lack of conceptual thinking and carelessness to the character of Coney Island. Other stipulations being shoved into this 'plan' is mix-income housing. Eminent domain is also to be considered eliminated.

The Brooklyn Paper wrote:

For the Mayor to accomplish its plan, the city must acquire - by purchasing or condemning - 10 1/2 acres from Sitt, who has promised to own his own gleaming, tourist destination of rides, hotels an shopping. sources say the two sides are far from reaching a deal, as they have been for much of the past year and more.



The plan will also be voted on by Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz.

One way to really help save Coney Island is to storm this meeting tomorrow and demand them to use their intelligence and rethink their voting. Sense has to be knocked into them. Their way of thinking has got be changed.



CB13 panel back - and bucks - the mayor on Coney rezoney [The Brooklyn Paper]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/11/2009 01:04:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Former Coney Island Sidehow Performer Returns To His Roots

Popular freakshow performer who left Coney almost two years ago, Edward Arrocha a.k.a Eak the Geek is returning his New York's east village old stomping grounds after a stint in law school. Whether he plans on returning to the sideshow has not been mentioned. Also, as to whether he will get tattooed again, he's not sure. Edward recalls his tattooing on the City Snapshot blog:

“I go through phases every few years–getting more with new life experiences,” he says. With tattoos in almost every location feasible, what part of the body hurt the most? Eak can attest that his most painful tattoo is on the inner thigh".

Recently, the Coney Island Sideshow said goodbye to another one of their features stars; Insectavora. Eak the Geek was one of those memorable New York Coney characters that stood out. It will be wonderful if he returns for an occasional gig at the Sideshow sometime in the near future.



Faceshot: Eak the Geek [City Snapshot]

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/11/2009 12:19:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

A Winter Walk Under The Coney Island Pier

Image courtesy of Deborah Matlack

Icicles form under a chilly Coney Island Pier begin to melt as we begin our slow segue into Spring.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/11/2009 12:02:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Monday, March 09, 2009

Help NY's Living Museums Heal From Severe Cuts

The Wildlife Conservation Society is asking for your donations (here) in support of helping save wildlife and wild places like the living museums in New York. The Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium face severe budget cuts and need your help! The cuts that these important institutions face are critical and could hurt the health of these living museums which in turn play a vital role in the state’s environmental agenda, which also generates millions of dollars into our economy.

To learn more and sign the petition to save these institutions visit
here.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/09/2009 04:54:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

The Great Coney Island Game Of Chicken Continues

The great Coney Island game of chicken between the city and Thor Equities continues as both sides still locked in a position of who buys or sells first. With Thor not looking like they're going anywhere soon, the city may need to break out of its shell and not be afraid to wave their eminent domain card over Thor.

The New York Post has highlighted the lines in the environmental impact statement which clearly describe the use of eminent domain along boardwalk properties currently owned by private developer(s), if necessary. According to city officials, they have never intended to use eminent domain in their plans to revitalize the famed seaside destination' Coney Island.

NY Post writes:

Seth Pinsky, president of the city's Economic Development Corp., said that despite what the document says the administration still doesn't "think [eminent domain] will be necessary," adding he believes deals will eventually be reached to buy the private land needed.


With Joe Sitt asking for double what the city has offered ($110 million), and Thor still seeking to purchase more land which includes land from Kansas Fried Chicken's Horace Bullard (who owns the Thunderbolt water-front/Surf Ave. lot), it doesn't look like there is going to be any land acquisition by the city anytime soon. Which means either; what the city said about not using eminent domain is something they're going to have to turn back on, or they'll be a long winded chicken race to continue.

Despite that eminent domain is supposedly a long dragged out court process, the NY Post stated that many opposed to Thor Equities would rather have the city use eminent domain against them.


NY Post wrote:

Because of this, many New Yorkers have actually called on the city in public meetings to take Sitt's land through eminent domain - a rare example in the Big Apple of support for the controversial tactic.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/09/2009 04:43:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

New 4-D Attraction Coming To Coney Island

The New York Aquarium is proud to announce their new attraction, "Planet Earth: Shallow Seas™ 4-D Experience", at the aquarium.

Opening on March 21, this epic 4-D adventure gives guests the opportunity to hear the power of the ocean's waves as they crash along the shoreline. “Adventurers” will feel the salty spray as they surf the coast with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in search of food, while gliding alongside a cast of balletic sea lions as they dive through vast swirling bait balls of anchovy. Meanwhile, aquarium-goers can track a mother humpback whale and her calf as they navigate from their tropical nursery to the Arctic Circle. And, participants will be able to experience the greatest gathering of seabirds and whales ever captured in Digital HD.

The New York Aquarium’s 4D Immersion Theater combines the visual drama of a 3D film with a variety of sensory effects, which are built into theater seats and the theater environment. The theater experience virtually brings on-screen images to life with added effects such as water mist, a neck air blast, snow, bubbles, leg ticklers, scents, enhanced floor lighting, and seat vibrations. Admission is $6 per person ($4 for members).

Sense the pressure, feel the perils and smell the triumph celebrating the Earth as never before in Planet Earth: Shallow Seas™ 4-D Experience.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/09/2009 03:50:00 PM  2 comments links to this post

Remembering Bob Guskind: Taking A Memory Stroll With Gowanus Lounge Editor

Still very numb and quite in shock over our friend Bob Guskind's untimely passing, we take a look at this short video and revisit Guskind in Carol Gardens.

The Gowanus Lounge: Development in Carroll Gardens

video by
Brooklyn Independent Television

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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/09/2009 01:38:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Greatest Show On Earth Coming To Coney?

With much ado about nothing, a ruckus was created over on one of the Coney Island USA message board threads when buzz came on that a wacky sideshow performer was coming to Coney Island with a huge show. Performer, John Strong III, has been rumored on a Yahoo group that he will be bringing the Greatest Show on Earth right here to Coney Island.

At first sounding like a real low class braggart and blowhard, spewing out venomous attacks towards Dick Zigun and other posters, it turns out to probably be a hoax poster. Whether, those posts were from John Strong III or not, a confederacy of newbie posters all of a sudden gravitated towards the board from a Sideshow Yahoo group to add to the brew.


Now, new word from CarnyTown.com website, has reported that Representatives of Thor Equities is dealing with Mr. Srong to bring in a a 150 foot show bannerline front, freak animal, A David Copperfield opening, and arcades from Micheal Jackson's Neverland Ranch, was rumored to have been picked up at the airport in a limo and come to Coney Island to tour Thor's empty lots in Coney Island for the possibility of his show extravaganza. The show when assembled will be the Super-Wal-mart of the Sideshow World.

CarnyTown writes:

Further into the park and Midway Mr. Strong noted 5 grind shows!!! -Count-em Baby! All in key corner locations. The list includes - Giant Rat, Snake, Little Horse and Spidora and the Headless Woman. The corporate sponsor is begging for the 2-heading baby show - but is hesitating to pay Mr. Strong the extra money to set it up. Furthermore, Mr Strong is calling out to the Circus community to help him staff the spectacular Circus that the Dreamland is contracting him to do. Next the famous Cycole Roller Coaster. Fire performers are not needed as they have already demanded his Famous Batman Stunt Show - including his WORLD RECORD HUMAN FIREBALL BLOW.All of this will be done in the Shadow the spectacular rides formerly of the M. Jackson's Neverland Park. Many of these rides were customed design for M. Jackson and have never been seen by the public. Directly across the midway in another large building John will be running a old fashioned arcade with a center piece of a major Jam Auction.The mascot for the New Dreamland is none other than Jocko - Mr. Strong's famous organ grinder's monkey- who is trained to collect $20 bills and passout POP bands to throngs of fans their to see the New Dreamland Amusement Park.


Whether this is accurate or not, we'll have to wait until more information surfaces.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 3/07/2009 09:30:00 AM  0 comments links to this post