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!

Friday, July 31, 2009

TV's Weatherman Is Ringmaster In Coney Island

From the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and their Coney Island Boom-A-Ring comes TV's weatherman as Ringmaster for one night.
AUTHOR + EMMY AWARD-WINNING WEATHERMANBILL EVANS TO SERVE AS GUEST RINGMASTERFOR THE CONEY ISLAND BOOM A RING

Will Also Sign Autographs -- It All Happens Friday July 31


WHO
: Bill Evans, ABC-7 meteorologist, five-time Emmy award-winner and co-author of Category 7 and the brand-new Frozen Fire.

WHAT: Bill will be serving as Guest Ringmaster for the 7:00 p.m. performance of The Coney Island BOOM A RING on Friday, July 31. He will also be meeting audience members and signing autographs one hour before showtime.

WHEN: Friday, July 31 @6:00p.m.

WHERE: At the corner of 21st Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island.WHY: Because Bill Evans knows what's HOT -- and both The Coney Island BOOM A RING and his newest book make for great summer entertainment!



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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/31/2009 10:45:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Coney Island On CNN: Kitsch Vs. Cash

CNN's Wolf Blitzer in the 'Situation Room' ran a short segment on the new Mayor's plan for a Coney Island redevelopment.

The Mayor's plan which promises to revitalize the decayed, yet still thriving, Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York - by creating thousands of new permanent jobs and and improved infrastructure to the area - carries a major flaw in it that would change what Coney Island has been for over a century. A place of uniqueness, oddities, and merriment. The plan calls for four high-rise hotels that would create a cut off to the beach while shrinking out-door amusements.

The Mayor's plan, which passed affirmatively by the NY City Council this past Wednesday, July 29th, still faces many obstacles; with a big developer, the bad economy, and the hotel and amusement corporations which will not find their investment feasible.

Large hotels don't make sense for a small amusement area that could be covered in one afternoon. Neither would an indoor water park that may suffer during the summer seasons.

Unless the city's plan is once again revised, their wishes will never materialize and Mayor Bloomberg will not be able to pin a medal to his legacy with Coney Island.


(NOTE: Appoligies for not catching the first two sentences reported by Wolf Blitzer)




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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/30/2009 07:20:00 PM  2 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coney Island's Future...Prognosis Negative

Today marks another fatal day in Coney Island's timeline. The city, once again, gives Coney another devastating blow to its existence.


As they have done in the past, the city has either aided developers and politicians into severly debilitating Coney's thriving uniqueness and allowing it to die every time a bit more. From killing off sections of it to fill with low-income housing with eye-sore architecture, to having no respect for iconic structures, to changing it only to emulate every-where-else America with corporate retail-style entertainment and mall-like amusements.


Today, the New York City Council will either kill or not kill Coney Island by voting in favor of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan, which originally, seemed like the best plan for protecting Coney Island's amusements and its future, but has later been added with a major flaw. Prosed high-rises south of Surf Avenue which would shrink the open-air amusements in Coney to a mere strip of 9 to 12 acres along the boardwalk is not right for Coney Island.


The plan's flaw, which has been argued and rallied against by Coney activists, has gone ignored by city officials without remorse.

The plan calls for four large hotels that simply don't make sense. The hotels in the plan look like a ploy for something else. As city councilman and Mayoral candidate Tony Avella recently pointed out in an interview with Brian Lehrer, calling this part of the plan a, "house of cards." And it just as well may be that. Who in their right mind will expect large hotels to be needed for a small amusement area. How feasible is it that a hotel corporation is going to build a high-rise hotel here? Before any analysis is done they simply will not commit. The city is not in going to build it themselves are they?


It's true that the new Coney Island should be year-round and not only be consisted of open-air amusements. And it does make sense for Surf Avenue to be a main thoroughfare with buildings on both sides. But those buildings should not be high-rises. They should be no more than four to five stories high. A couple of boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfast suites with plenty of themed flavor sounds like a much better fit. And of course, bustling with everything else Coney has always offered in the past and more.


City officials throw around the words 'indoor amusements' and then only give us bowling alleys, movie theaters, and an indoor water park. There are plenty of rides and attractions that could be uniquely created for Coney Island that would suit the place much better than things you get around town anywhere else.


The city needs to keep in mind Coney Island's criteria. One that has been lost along the way many years ago. Coney Island is not just carnival attractions brought in from elsewhere. When Coney really thrived it was unique. You didn't find these things anywhere else. Coney requires dreamers. The city needs to protect the space and have others with creative thinking caps come in and devise the plan. The city is not equipped for doing this. This is like asking lawyers to get on stage and do Shakespeare. Sure in Coney's glory business men created those parks but they came to Coney with their dreams and imagination in front of their business mentality.


The plan is voted on this afternoon. But let's not worry about it. The city's flaw in their plan will not be executed. There are too many obstacles in front of them and the flaw itself will create the stumbling block in the plan having it buckle under itself, the way it stands. With our economy still in a hole, the city will find themselves yet again modifying their plan. The city still faces a challenge with Thor Equities who owns at least half of what the city needs to accomplish their plan.


The city has also to be clearer on what their interim plan is while their master plan or changes in this master plan take place, in the next few years. They also need to deal with Thor Equities and put a stop to his bad amusement decision making. Inflatables, active empty lots like his flea market, and late season starters, are not right for Coney. He has already admitted to leaving for the right price which proves that he still is the speculator and cut-and-run-with-a-profit, leaving-your-smoke-and-mirrors-behind kind of man.


With a plan that will not work, how is it going to help the residents of Coney Island? The local residents and the labor movements need to also see through this flaw.


And last but not least, the city needs to start doing what is right for the people and not what is right for Bloomberg's third term and legacy. The house of cards needs to be kicked down and rebuilt with what's right for Coney.




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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/29/2009 12:05:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 27, 2009

Save Coney Island Image Slideshow

Here's a great set of pictures from yesterday's 'last' Save Coney Island rally that took place at the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall as well as other past Save Coney Island demonstrations. View the new Flickr group "Save Coney Island and Save the People's Play Ground" in this slideshow.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/27/2009 10:55:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Show Of 'Force' At Coney Island Brooklyn Rally

Images courtesy of Thunderbolt Kin (Coney Island USA message board)

The crowd at Brooklyn Borough Hall gave their best shout, but unfortunately, that crowd seemed smaller in numbers than at City Hall. Is is why the city is ignoring pleas to change their plans? Are activists for open-air amusements simply too small? We don't think so, but it's sad that most Americans are simply too lazy to gather in numbers for a cause.

More Thunderbolt Kin images at the
CIUSA forum.


Here's a short news video by CBS on the rally yesterday.
Last Save Coney Island Rally

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/27/2009 10:15:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

19th Annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest Images

When it comes to seeing these sand creations, images speak louder than words. Here are images of the 19th Annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest by www.RodelOiga.com on Flickr.com.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/27/2009 09:58:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, July 24, 2009

Make Some Noise Coney Folks....For The Biggest 'Save Coney' Rally Ever!

It's the final Save Coney Island rally before the whole city council goes to vote to kill Coney Island as we've always known it. The subcommittee has already voted in favor of Mayor Bloomberg's plan without addressing its major flaw to shrink the open-air amusements to place large high-rise hotels within the same zone.....A MAJOR OXYMORON on the part of the city. They claim thousand of new jobs for the community which include hotel jobs in hotels that will not be filled with tourists to come and stay over for a stroll around a small strip of amusements.

The real intent of the city's plan is merely for big business at the expense of the people. The people who loved Coney Island for its beach sand and water, beach food, and beach fun and amusements. If you want a Miami Bay Side, or another South Street Seaport without the ships then you'll be happy with the Mayor's plan. If you love Coney for it's world-wide charm and want to have that charm revived, this plan, the way it stands is not what you want.

We urge you go act like true New Yorkers and get out there to the Brooklyn Borough Hall this Sunday and make a really big big noise.

Here's the info from the 'Save Coney Island' group:

RALLY TO SAVE CONEY ISLAND (SUNDAY, 7/26)

New York, N.Y. — Grassroots activist group Save Coney Island is holding a
MASS RALLY in the plaza in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall this Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. (7/26) urging the City to either FIX or KILL its badly flawed Coney Island rezoning plan.

The City Council is scheduled to vote this coming Wednesday on a plan that would permanently shrink Coney Island’s famed amusement district, create a wall of four huge high-rises — up to 27 stories tall — in its very heart,and encourage developers to tear down Coney Island’s historic buildings.

This rally is the LAST CHANCE for members of the public to make their voices heard on this awful rezoning plan.

WHAT: Rally to Save Coney Island
WHEN: Sunday July 26, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Columbus Park, by the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/24/2009 02:32:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Ask The Experts: Charles Denson Takes You Into The Coney Island Creek

Those those of you who missed his Coney Island Creek lecture in 2007, "Secrets of the Coney Island Creek", here's your chance to catch up and be updated on changes their lurk withing Coney Island's mysterious Coney Island Creek.

Charlie will be speaking at the Coney Island USA's wonderful 'Ask the Experts!' Series:

CHARLES DENSON: CONEY ISLAND CREEKCharles Denson, Executive Director of the Coney Island History Project willgive a slide presentation and talk about the fragile and endangered beauty of Coney Island Creek.


Please note previously scheduled lecture of Reverend Billy and Savitri D has been cancelled.


Ask the experts!
SUNDAY, July 26, 2009
4PM
$5
Free FOR CONEY ISLAND USA MEMBERS!
at the Coney Island Museum
1208 Surf Ave. (between Stillwell and West 12th st)


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/24/2009 02:20:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Coney Events: Strange Girls Found In Coney Today

Direct from Coney Island USA:
The Peach Tartes are very kinky girls--the kind of girls you want to know... Wave your freak flag high and celebrate Coney Island with us (it's our all-time favorite!) We're gonna get wild now and bring you everything from Little Egypt and Living Dolls to Siamese Twins and Snake Charmers! It's such a freaky scene!


Burlesque at the Beach
The Peach Tartes Let Their Freak Flag Fly!
July 24, 2009

10PM
$15
at the Sideshows By The Seashore
corner of Surf and West 12th street

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/24/2009 02:12:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The City’s Bully Fist Punches Through For Bloomberg’s Third Term And Future Legacy

Not heeding to what we 'freaks' want with our cute open-air ries and the cheap twinkle in our starry eyes…the city has downright made a mockery of us!

Yesterday, the city voted for the Mayor’s plan, which for the most part is right for Coney, but carelessly voted against the amendment to expand their amusement acreage and move their high-rise hotels out of the south side of Surf Avenue. The amendment was introduced by Councilman Tony Avella, taking into account the obvious points in the Mayor’s plan that would diminish the unique character of Coney Island’s amusements by shrinking it and putting it in danger of being eradicated if large buildings were to shroud it with shades of uncertainty. Hence, since hotels will not do justice to a small amusement park, the vulnerability for condo conversion exists, which will ultimately lead to the removal of any new amusement park followed by beach privatization. This of course, will come after the parkland is re-swapped by the forces of the high-rise residents.

Whirl of contradictions:
At the subcommittee voting yesterday, various diatribes drooled from the mouths of certain city officials, stating that they will take a gander and 'address' our concerns as indicated in the amendment before the whole council votes on the plan July 29, 2009. However, as usual, disrespectful contradictory fumes permeated the air in City Hall. Council Member Domenic Recchia’s contradiction is revealed in his statement yesterday quoted on his website:

I would like to have been able to expand the area available for open amusements, and I have been actively discussing this with the administration. Those discussions have been fruitful and are ongoing. I hope that by the time the entire City Council votes on this plan, on July 29th, I will have great news for everyone. But I am confident that this project, as it currently stands, is good for the city, good for Brooklyn and great for Coney Island.

Similarly, I know that there are those who would like to see lower buildings on the south side of Surf Avenue. We just couldn't make this work and will be moving forward with project that you see today.


In his second paragraph comes the obvious contradiction. You cannot actively discuss the expansion of the open-air amusements and expect to have good news here if you are not able to make the space for it in the first place. This shows that Recchia is placating us.

In addition, while the Land Use Committee ignored our pleas, The Save Coney Island coalition had this to say in their press release yesterday:

Save Coney Island is heartened, however, by suggestions made by Council members that the issues we have raised will be addressed by the City before they council renders a final vote on the plan.

Should the City succeed in its negotiations to purchase Thor Equities’ land in Coney Island, it will gain greater control over how that land is eventually used. The City must expand the size of its proposed amusement park, work to keep high-rises out of the core amusement area and protect the historic buildings that line the south side of Surf Avenue.


The Robert Moses Syndrome:
The Mayor’s plan also calls for 4,500 more housing units in Coney Island and a need for the expansion of the Coney Island Hospital to accommodate the masses of new residents. Since this sounds like a new facet of the plan, coming from a recent awareness that Coney Island will be overloaded with residents, it seems the city has not really put that much intricate thought into what will really work or not work for Coney Island.

Coney doesn’t not need more low income housing 'per say,' though it could use more desirable residential mixed-income -bracket units. Though this may sound contradictory in itself, the amount of ‘housing’ referred to in their plan seems more like a ticket for more of Bloomberg’s voting power for his internally, self-administered third term.

The City doesn't give a Tillie's hoot about it:
Simply put, the city doesn’t give a damned about having a small space for open-air amusements. They simply don’t feel that this is important enough for the future of their Coney. They simply don’t respect this idea and they don’t care. They have their own vision of Coney Island. On that comes with a 'representation' of Coney’s flavor, as an 'amenity' of their grand gentrified urban redevelopment plan for a crippling neighborhood at the grave expense of one of the city and the world’s most fabled treasures. A place where wonderment and oddity raised out of the ashes in a time where strict social order was the way of the game. It goes down to this; Some people know how to appreciate something very special...and others cannot. They only know how to think; ‘to-from-and-subject’ with black in on the books. Unfortunately, for Coney Island the power is not with the ones who dream it.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/22/2009 04:15:00 AM  2 comments links to this post

Coney Events: Hotsy Totsy Burlesque

More flashy flying burlesque paraphernalia to take the Sideshow stage at Coney Island.

From Coney Island USA:

HOTSY TOTSY BURLESQUE Twirling Tassels, flying underpants and a swell time! Hotsy Totsy Burlesque fuses theater with burlesque creating an irreverent burlesque soap opera. High camp, thrills, glamour and death defying g-strings! Presented by Joe the Shark and Cherry Pitz and featuring Adam "The First Real Man" and Nelson Lugo, Apathy Angel, Jenny C'Est Quoi, Magdelena Fox, Rosey La Roughe, Vernonica Varlow, Victoria Privates and Donny Vomit. Go-Go by Bobbie.



Burlesqu at the Beach
Hotsy Totsay Burlesque
Thursday, July 23, 2009
9 pm
$10
at Sideshows By The Seashore
corner of Surf and West 12th street

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/22/2009 12:09:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shame On You If You Don't Fix Your Coney Plan

THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO LISTEN TO YOUR PEOPLE. THEY DON'T WANT CONEY ISLAND TO DISAPPEAR UNDER ANOTHER GREEDY ATTEMPT TO DO WHAT'S GOOD FOR BIG BIZ. DO NOT ALLOW THE MAYOR'S CURRENT PLAN TO GO THROUGH WITHOUT EXPANDING THE OPEN-AIR AMUSEMENT AREA AND MOVING THE HIGH RISES OUT OF THEIR!

With the state of this economy and the plan to kill the character and uniqueness of Coney Island will forever be a thorn in the memory of this administration to join the negativity that still lingers with the ghost of Robert Moses.

STOP THIS PLAN AND DEMAND THE MAYOR AND HIS PLANNERS ALONG WITH HIS AGENCY FOR CONEY ISLAND TO GO BACK AND REDESIGN THIS PLAN BY LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE.

Coney Island is a city-wide issue for all the people of New York City, as well as by the people and for the people!

Like Tricia Vita of her wonderful blog, Amusing the Zillion, was able to ponder at while waiting inside City Hall to speak about saving the unique character of Coney Island, the city hasn't been following the old motto in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address; “A Government Of the People, By the People, For the People!" Even a council member stated that he wishes the city was doing more of which has not been.

ATZ writes:
The City Council hearing on the Coney Island rezoning plan was my first time inside City Hall. During the eight hour long proceeding— my two-minute slot didn’t come up until seven hours had gone by— I had plenty of time to contemplate a ceiling medallion that says: “A Government Of the People, By the People, For the People—Lincoln.” Apparently I wasn’t the only visitor impressed by this tribute to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Someone mentioned it in his testimony. Councilman Tony Avella, Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises replied, “I hate to tell you how many times we don’t do that, but hopefully we can do it in this situation.” We hope so too.

And we not only hope so too but along with the rest of those who have a big place in their hearts for the real Coney Island, we demand the city listen to all of us!

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/21/2009 02:40:00 AM  2 comments links to this post

Last Chance To Save Coney Or Allow It To Be Killed

The City Council’s Land Use Committee has rescheduled their vote for this morning at 10:30 am at City Hall. Making this the last chance before the whole council votes on the Bloomberg plan for Coney Island, which carries with it a major flaw that outright disrespects the unique character of Coney Island along with a disrespect for its future.

Yesterday, spokesperson for the Save Coney Island coalition, Juan Rivero said, “The City Council has a historic opportunity to fix this flawed rezoning plan and head off disaster for Coney Island. New Yorkers from all parts of the city love and care about Coney Island. Each and every member of the City Council has a responsibility to preserve this iconic amusement attraction for their constituents and for future generations.”

The vote in favor of the Mayor’s plan will kill Coney Island as we’ve known it. Causing the amusements to become a commemorative sampling for its past that is surrounded by gentrification and every-where-else America. The hotels they claim will benefit the community will not. At least not the community their speaking about. It will only benefit the new community of luxury condo owners who will move into the 30 story towers in search of oceanfront living. Their next step will be to control the small amusement sector or even force its removal and after that comes the beach privatization. Regardless, what scenario takes place it will not happen for a few years until the economy recovers.
Download the New Save Coney Island Brochure here

Let us not let this doomsday scenario for Coney Island take place. Don’t let the spirit of Coney Island be swept ashore like its neighbor; the Rockaway’s amusement area did.

We urge to make your presence known at this morning’s city council vote. It is very easy. All you have to do is follow the simple effective steps brought to you by the Save Coney Island coalition.

Below is yesterdays ‘Save Coney Island’ press release:

Council Meeting on Coney Island Tomorrow (Tues.) PLEASE ATTEND! The City Council Zoning and Land Use Committees are scheduled to vote tomorrow, Tuesday 21st, on revisions to the Coney Island rezoning plan. I know this sounds like deja vu; but today, apparently, was just a dress rehearsal.

WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND AND MAKE OUR PRESENCE FELT!When: 10:30 amWhere: City Hall Chambers.PLEASE, GET THERE EARLY TO GET THROUGH SECURITY.

Bring a sign! The last time, they gave us a hard time about anything bigger than 8.5 x 11. You can download one no bigger than that
here. (sample below) Or, if you have one of the 11 x 17 placards, you can fold it to get past security, and display it discreetly once inside.


The vote by the Land Use Committee is the last chance for the plan to be fixed. If council members choose to vote on the plan without significant amendments dealing with the amusement area, we will know that they ignored your calls and that they are indifferent to the destruction of the "People's Playground". The vote by the entire City Council is scheduled for July 29th.

Phone Calls Keep making phone calls! Call Quinn, Recchia, and your council member. Tell them that Coney Island amusements are a city-wide issue, and that the plan must be fixed. All the info you need to make a call is
here. Call now!

Donations: If you would like to help our efforts but are not available to volunteer, you can make a small donation to our cause through
our site. Contributions go toward printing, site-hosting and sundry expenses. Every little bit helps.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/21/2009 01:46:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 20, 2009

Coney Vid: You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Save Coney!

AMO1 SAVE CONEY Music Video - SaveConeyIsland.net

Description:

Save Coney Island. Keep the city from putting condos where the amusements are! You gotta fight for your right to save Coney!

Posted by
communityevents [YouTube]

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/20/2009 10:03:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Another Circus For Brooklyn

The Cole Brothers Circus which was in Coney Island in 2007 was pushed out of Coney by the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. But the Cole Brothers are back in Brooklyn and landing at Floyd Bennet Field.
From the Cole Brother Circus press release:
The 2009 Edition of Cole Bros. Circus celebrates 125 years of circus history with a special performance reprising legendary circus acts of the past along with showcasing the talents of cirque nouveau artists. The Toprasta Troupe, from Columbia, recreates the treacherous, three-tier, 7-Man Pyramid on the High Wire. Russia’s Svetlana Gololobova exhibits grace that belies her strength in an exquisitely executed gymnastic routine on aerial silks. Circus daredevils cast caution aside as they challenge The Globe of Death and Giant Gyro Wheel, with the zany Cole Bros. Clown Crew arriving in the nick of time to provide comic relief. Elephants and acrobats, camels and jugglers, dogs and ponies, and arguably the world’s funniest mule take turns in the spotlight, and The Human Cannonball gets fired at every show!


Brooklyn - July 27 - Aug. 2
Floyd Bennett Field at Aviator Sports & Recreation
Hangar 5 - off Flatbush Ave.


Shows:
Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays (except Wed., July 29)
Wed., July 29 at 10:30 a.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Tickets:
Starting at FREE for kids 12 & under with tickets available at FreeKids.Tickets.com
$17 for adult admission ($12 if purchased in advance)
$12 for children
$3 for Reserved Seat
$5 for VIP Seat
Tickets on sale at Tickets.com & 1-888-332-5200 and Circus Box Office on Days of Event


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/20/2009 09:59:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Council Meeting On Coney Island Tomorrow Morning

Word comes from the Save Coney Island folks on a Monday morning meeting at 9:30 am at 250 Broadway, 16th floor hearing room. But you need to arrive a bit early to get through security.

From 'Save Coney Island':
It is our understanding that this meeting will be happening, though there is a slight chance that the vote could be postponed at the last minute. (It has been postponed twice already.) But as of now, we expect the meeting to happen, and we need people to show up. The vote by the Land

The vote by the Land Use and Zoning committees is the last chance for the plan to be fixed. If council members choose to support the current plan without significant amendments dealing with the amusement area, we will know that they ignored your calls and that they are indifferent to the destruction of the “People’s Playground.” The vote by the entire City Council is scheduled for July 29th.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/19/2009 07:09:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, July 17, 2009

Flickr Convoy: Nathan's Burning Dusk

Image courtesy of Rubys Host / KC Flickr Group


Towards the end of June a clammy warm Friday night must of felt like a perfect time at dusk for a warm roasted dog in a bun as the sun sets on this post equinox Coney evening.

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 @ 7/17/2009 04:24:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

City Razzles The Coney Community Says Charles Denson

Coney Island master historian and connoisseur, Charles Denson stepped into the New York Times City Room to answer questions on the preservation of Coney Island. In the first set of questions; July 15th 2009, Mr Denson answered questions on Coney's future appearance and the likelihood of its looming gentrification. According to his answers, Mr. Denons believes the city is playing a game of chance with the community.

Charles answered:
Although I was an early supporter of the city’s efforts to revitalize Coney Island, I believe that the final plan has deteriorated into a “razzle.” A “razzle” is carny lingo for a complex carnival game, a flashy display designed to confuse or deceive its players. The Bloomberg administration and Thor Equities, the developer that recently bought up most of the amusement zone, seem to have mastered the razzle, and they’re using the technique to peddle their opposing Coney Island redevelopment plans to the public. Both entities claim that their primary goal is the restoration of the neighborhood to its former glory, but both use conflicting numbers and misleading architectural rendering to obscure what is actually at stake in Coney Island: the possible destruction and gentrification of one of New York’s last diverse neighborhoods.

In the second set, July 16th 2009, Charles responds to concerns with the outer west parts of Coney Island by stating, "This is the trickle-down theory of neighborhood gentrification: maybe some of it will rub off on West End residents, maybe not".

How does the current zoning for Coney Island supposedly impede a renaissance of Coney Island, asks a poster? Mr. Denson replies, "The city’s rezoning rhetoric claims that the current C7 amusement zoning is too restrictive to allow redevelopment of the amusement area.
The main use that C7 forbids is residential development, and this is what has kept Coney Island from disappearing altogether. There would be absolutely nothing left of Coney Island amusements if not for C7 zoning".

Charlie will be
answering the last set of questions today, so go to the City Room and post your questions at the bottom in the comment section. Pose your questions to Charles Denson on the preservation of Coney Island's magnificent history.


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/17/2009 03:48:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We Can Now Say The City Is Bullying Us


With the recent Coney Island Development Corporation's e-mail announcement alerting that the New York Times editorial endorses the City's Coney Island rezoning plan is not an accurate statement. (See full CIDC e-mail below).

The New York times specifically states, "The Council should approve the new zoning while also improving the plan". The NY Times also believes that the Municipal Art Society's recommendation of expanding not shrinking the amusement area is an idea they like.

We like the Municipal Art Society’s idea of doubling the size of the amusement area and removing hotels from the south side of Surf Avenue. This way, when visitors get off the subway, they will meet sunlight and open air, not a high-rise barricade.


The CIDC and the city have, as of yet, not addressed the overwhelming concerns of the public that they have been completely ignoring. Where are their statements or retorts to the pleas by all the amusement advocates from 'Save Coney Island' coalition, Coney Island USA's 'Mayor' Dick Zigun, and posters from the forums and blogosphere? We haven't seen them anywhere. Yesterday, Council Speaker Christine Quinn commented on the Coney Island rezoning issue in regards to the protection of the amusement size during her speech at the Jane Jacobs street naming ceremony saying, "We're very happy that the Coney Island folks are here today. And if anybody thinks Jane Jacobs tradition is dead, they can go to the city council phone lines, where Coney Island folks have been calling on a regular...regular basis. And it certainly is not dead".

Other than Quinn's statement, there is little or no word from the city or the CIDC about the pleas. Since they have not addressed us and instead are sending out false statements and continue to ignore the big flaw in their plan it is safe to say the city is bullying us!

Below is the full e-mail announcement from the CIDC:
___________________________________

IN THE NEWS...
The New York Times endorses City's Coney Island Plan!

"This is the year [Coney Island] could get moving again, if the City Council approves an ambitious redevelopment proposal from the Bloomberg administration. ...We hope the Council steps up and gets the job done."-
New York Times editorial, Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Friends:
As we approach the City Council's upcoming vote on the proposed Coney Island rezoning and redevelopment plan, we just wanted to make sure you had seen
the editorial in today's New York Times urging a "yes" vote for the future of Coney Island. The Times editorial -- which follows a similar strongly supportive editorial in the NY Daily News -- says of the plan:

"It calls for revitalized year-round amusements, badly needed apartments and new retail and commercial development. Coney Island is not just a decrepit carnival -- it's a community starving for civic amenities, affordable housing and jobs, all of which could flourish amid the tacky splendor of a reborn seaside paradise."

We remain extremely proud of all of the work we have done together with the community and local leaders to arrive at this important moment and we join the Times in believing that Coney Island can, and will, flourish once again. Thank you for all of your continued support and assistance.

Sincerely,
Lynn Kelly


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/15/2009 02:39:00 PM  12 comments links to this post

Event Today At Noon! Save Coney Island "Call-in" Rally!

Pick up your fins and run to the park and phone to save Coney! WhetAdd Imageher in colorful Coney garb or not, you are invited to rush on down to Union Square Park in Manhattan this afternoon at 12 Noon for the Save Coney Island "Call-in" Rally.

Calling all Save Coney Islanders! Save Coney Island "Call-in" Rally!!

When: Tomorrow, Wednesday 15th at 12:00 pm.Where: South Side of Union Square, close to the big statue of George Washington on a horse


What: We're going to tell people about the City's Plan for Coney Island, and we're going to get them to make phone calls right then and there.

We'll have Save Coney sandwich boards for everyone who is not a mermaid or who does not have a Miss Cyclone sash. We will have materials explaining the City's Coney Island rezoning plan. We will have scripts to help the people making calls. And we'll have righteousness on our side.

Help us make this a rally to remember. Even if you can stop by for half an hour, please try to make it.
This is the last chance to make calls to fix the City's plan. Help us Save Coney Island!

Call for Volunteers
We still have plenty of brochures, fliers, and postcards describing the City's plan and asking people to make phone calls. We need volunteers to hand them out and drop them off. If you have time in the next few days, please contact:
volunteers@saveconeyisland.net.

New York Times Editorial
The New York Times
editorial calls for doubling the size of the amusement area and removing hotels from the south side of Surf Avenue!


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/15/2009 04:06:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Ask The Experts: Old Tales From The Coney Biz Community

Bob Liff, former reporter discusses his experiences with the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce and all the colorful characters that filled the business community of Coney Island during the mid-late twentieth century.


Coney Island USA's
Ask the Experts Series:
Bob Liff: It Ain't Been the Same Since Prohibition
My Time with the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce
Sunday, July 19, 2009

4PM
admission: $5
Free for CIUSA members
Coney Island Museum 1208 Surf Ave.
between Stillwell and West 12th st.


Here is the remaining schedule for the 'Ask the Experts' Series:

July 26 - Reverend Billy and Savitri D
August 2 - Marci Reaven, A Conversation about Place Matters.
August 9 - Michael Schwartz, Ghosts on Fire: An Afternoon of Sex, Stickball, Mrs Stahl's Knishes, the Cyclone and the Sea, short stories, poems and colorful characters.
August 16 - Panel Discussion, Why Small Museums Matter
August 23 - Uncle MonsterfaceAugust 30 Elizabeth Bradley, Knickerbocker: Behind the Myth of New York
September 13 - D.B. Denholtz, Masterpieces of Sideshow Photography: From Daguerreotype to Snapshot (1852-1987)


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/15/2009 01:55:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Lieu Of Jacobs Pontani Takes Her Army Of James To Street Naming


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Angie Pontani and her army of Janes takes on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn as she honors the street naming along a portion of Hudson Street: Jane Jacobs Way. The late activist for New York would most likely be at the forefront of the Coney Island redevelopment fight.

The good news, as Quinn pointed out in the ceremony is that many calls are coming in put stress on the city to fix their plan. The city's plan would place tall buildings along the south side of Surf Avenue which would diminish the amusement area in Coney Island.

'Save Coney Island' reports:

Earlier in the day, Save Coney Island released a statement from Jane Jacobs’s son, Ned Jacobs, in which he said he was “appalled” by the City’s rezoning plan for Coney Island.

“While I cannot speak on behalf of my mother, the late Jane Jacobs, or predict what she would think about particular proposals today, in my view, this rezoning plan for Coney Island does not appear to reflect the urban values and planning principles she espoused,” wrote Ned Jacobs, a community activist in Vancouver.

He urged Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council “to prevent this dysfunctional, developer-driven proposal for the Coney Island amusement district from being adopted in its current form.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“If the City really wants to honor the memory of Jane Jacobs, it should respect her ideas and fix its plan for Coney Island,” said Save Coney Island spokesman Juan Rivero. “Otherwise, it might as well rename Coney Island’s Surf Avenue ‘Robert Moses Way.’”


____________________________________________

Video Description:
The City honored Jane Jacobs by naming Hudson Street Jane Jacobs way. Jane fought to preserve neighborhoods and communities, Save Coney Island paid a visit to the ceremony to remind the city what Jane Jacobs stood for.

Posted by
chdny29 [YouTube]

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/14/2009 06:13:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Lots Of Janes For Coney

Pictured above: Angie Pontani in Jane Jacobs garb
Image courtesy of Kevin C. Downs

On Monday, yesterday, July 13, 2009, admirers of one New York's most outspoken civic activists, Jane Jacobs had plenty of lookalikes parading the streets in her name proclaiming she would've been on the forefront in today's fight to Save Coney Island.

Yesterday, as New York City honored the late Jane Jacobs by naming a portion of Hudson Street in Manhattan's Greenwich Village in her name, many Coney Island amusement activists celebrated in her honor. Her son Ned Jacobs recently was quoted as saying that he is "appalled" by the City's current plan for the rezoning of Coney Island.

Pictured above: Juan Rivero of 'Save Coney Island' and Michael White of Noticing New York
Image courtesy of Kevin C. Downs

A press release by 'Save Coney Island' states:

“While I cannot speak on behalf of my mother, the late Jane Jacobs, or predict what she would think about particular proposals today, in my view, this rezoning plan for Coney Island does not appear to reflect the urban values and planning principles she espoused,” wrote Ned Jacobs, a community activist in Vancouver.

He urged Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council “to prevent this dysfunctional, developer-driven proposal for the Coney Island amusement district from being adopted in its current form.”

The City’s current rezoning plan would obliterate Coney Island’s historic and distinctive character. The City’s plan rezones most of Coney Island, leaving only a narrow strip of 12 acres for a shrunken amusement park. It inserts four high-rise hotel towers — soaring up to 27 stories — into the very heart of the historic, low-rise, seaside amusement district. The placement of these towers invites developers to tear down some of Coney Island’s most historic buildings, some more than a century old.

“If the City really wants to honor the memory of Jane Jacobs, it should respect her ideas and fix its plan for Coney Island,” said Save Coney Island spokesman Juan Rivero. “Otherwise, it might as well rename Coney Island’s Surf Avenue ‘Robert Moses Way.’”

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/14/2009 10:47:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dried Lemons On The Boardwalk

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA message board)

The squeezy lemon shop that Thor Equities allowed to squeeze out genuine Coney flavor; Lola Staar had apparently been dried up with nothing to squeeze on the boardwalk. Word via our friend Rubys Host, tells us that the lemonade shop is no longer there. Or at least were no signs of them the entire weekend. She also adds, "Rumor has it that the Coney Island Beach Shop has a spot in the Stillwell Station and will open this fall".

On another Stillwell Station storefronts: The Subways sandwich shop which was closed for refurbishing is almost set to open...whoo wee! Let's hope these little franchises stay north of Surf Avenue.

Image on left courtesy of Rubys Host




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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/13/2009 10:29:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Coney Weekend TV - Nathan Dogmania

Note: This weekend's TV lineup has been updated.

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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/12/2009 03:45:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ask Mr. Coney Takes Your Questions

Coney Connoisseur Charles Denson will be entering the City Room to take all your Coney Island questions regarding its preservation and more.



From The Coney Island History Project:
The feature, which runs weekly on the Times webstite, highlights an expert in a field and gives readers the opportunity to ask them about their work.

Beginning on Monday, July 13, you can post your own questions for Charles Denson at City Room.

The answers will published on the City Room blog on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (July 15-17). at the
City Room blog


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/11/2009 10:50:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Friday, July 10, 2009

SPECIAL CONEY PRESENTATION: Coney Mayor's Public Service Announcement

Here's a friendly yet important Public Service Announcement from your Coney Island Mayor, Dick Zigun. Urgently pleading for public help to voice their concerns with the City's plan which includes allowing high rises along the south side of Surf Avenue. This would create a very un-Coney wall that would cause a block to the ocean and a diminished amusement area. In addition a huge shadow will shroud the fun in the sun. The plea is to move the high-rises to the north side, though a shadow will still be a problem at least it won't create a wall. So, please take the time to voice your opinion and help the city not drive in the nails in Coney's coffin.

Zigun’s specific concerns and recommendations include (Via Save Coney Island):

  • The City’s plan would create a wall of four high rises limiting public access to the water and amusements. To fix this, Zigun recommends moving the 27-story towers north of Surf Avenue, a change endorsed by the borough President and Community Board.
  • The City’s plan calls for a reduction from 60 acres to 12 acres devoted to amusements, not enough for the rides that will draw in the tourists. To address this, Zigun proposes expanding the acreage for outdoor rides and amusements.
  • Finally, Zigun notes that the City’s plan creates financial incentives to tear down Coney Island’s few remaining historical landmarks, including Nathan’s Famous. Zigun’s fix: build new, but let us keep a few bits of history by protecting Coney Island’s iconic landmarks.


Don't Kill Coney! Fix the Plan!: A Friendly PSA from Coney Island's 'Mayor'


Posted by
SaveConeyIslandUSA [YouTube]


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/10/2009 10:25:00 AM  1 comments links to this post

URGENT CONEY NEWS: Last Chance To Save Coney Island

It just takes two phone calls from everybody to improve our chances to save Coney Island from the City's plan the way it stands. Don't let the city place high-rises along the south side of Surf Avenue to creative a very un-Coney wall to our fabled amusement place. Coney Island has received devastating blows to its character in the past. But none has totally killed it. Robert Moses and Fred Trump along with the city admins back them helped to cripple it. Don't let the city now finish the job of killing it.


PLEASE PICK UP THE PHONE AND STATE YOUR CASE.



To make it simple, here is the press release from the Save Coney Island folks:

Two Phone Calls to Save Coney Island

The Bloomberg administration's plan to shrink Coney Island's amusement district and to block it off with four high-rise hotel towers is now before the City Council. They have until Monday, July 13th to request changes to the City's plan.

If you want to save Coney Island, PLEASE CALL your City Council member TODAY (the sooner the better!).

To find your City Council member and their phone number, plug in your street address and borough here:

http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtmlCall
their lEGISLATIVE OFFICE number first. Try calling during the workday.

* Tell them you live in their district.

* Tell them that you're calling about the plan for Coney Island currently under review by City Council.

* Tell them Coney Island is an issue of CITYWIDE concern and that the current plan would RUIN Coney Island forever.

* Tell them that the area for open-air amusements needs to be EXPANDED and that the proposed high-rise hotels need to be MOVED out of the amusement area.

* Tell them to urge the Department of City Planning and Councilmember Domenic Recchia to FIX the City's plan.

* Tell them you would like to know what their position is on this issue.

* Tell them to check out www.saveconeyisland.net for more information.

Be polite. Be brief. Be passionate. Leave a message if nobody answers.

If you REALLY want to Save Coney Island, also call Speaker Christine Quinn and deliver the same message.
Christine Quinn's legislative office: (212) 788-7210.

PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS. WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET.



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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/10/2009 09:51:00 AM  0 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Coney Events: The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society

Yes Coney Island has always been Coney Island for many decades, in fact Coney Island has been thriving with resound of its glory all over the world for over a century, tickling the fancy of those from other parts of the planet, including those curious about how the human psyche works. It's been 100 years since Sigmund Freud visited Coney Island.

Decades ago a culturally diverse group of thinking and dreamers from, 'The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society', gathered artists from different backgrounds to explore the unprecedented quirks and uniqueness that was Coney Island through various works of art and intellectual exploration from 1926 to the 1970's.

Today, artist Zoe Beloff has brought back long-lost world of the Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and showcasing it into a new exhibit at the Coney Island USA Museum.

Sure to be a highly interesting event, the press release indicates:
"Dreamland" examines the Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society, whose forward-thinking attitude flourished from1926 through the early 1970s. The Society’s members, most of them working people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, were filled with the desire to participate in one of the great intellectual movements of the 20th century. The exhibition presents a range of their amateur films, which reveal an incredibly brave, unapologetic exploration of their
inner lives.




As part of the Coney Island USA Ask The Experts Series, The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and its circle 1926 - 1972 will be presented as a kick off to this most intersting showcase at the museum.

Opening Reception for this exhibition celebrating the courage and creativity of Coney Island's residents and friends. Beloff will be discussing the exhibition and guiding tours. July 12, 4pm - 7pm. Click here for further info (pdf document)



ASK THE EXPERTS!
Zoe Beloff - Dreamland:
The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society And Its Circle 1926 1972
Sunday, July 12th

4 p.m.
FREE!
at the Coney Island Museum
located at 1208 Surf Ave.
The Dreamland exhibit runs from July 11, 2009 - March 21, 2010


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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/09/2009 01:19:00 PM  0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Micheal Jackson Neverland Ranch Kiddie Ride At Coney Island

Image courtesy of Norman Blake

Temporarily residing in Coney Island's new Dreamland Park by Thor Equities is one of the kiddie rides brought over by a California amusment ride company, Butler Amusements. The Dragon Wagon Kiddie Coaster was purchases from Micheal Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch last year. And eventually brought here this year to Coney Island.

Found on Amuseing the Zillion, Tricia Vita writes:

ATZ learned of the Coney Island ride’s Neverland provenance earlier this month in a conversation with the ride’s owner, Earl “Butch” Butler, CEO of California-based Butler Amusements. The carnival owner purchased four rides from the Jackson ranch last year including the Balloon Samba ride, which is currently at California’s Alameda County Fair. Butler is the new carnival provider for the California State Fair and has a strong fair and festival route in California, Oregon and Washington State.


Read more about Butler's Coney connection on ATZ blog.

Image courtesy of Amusing the Zillion / Tricia Vita

Over the 4th of July weekend Michael Jackson fans in Coney Island who were aware of the kiddie ride from Neverland Ranch placed posters of the pop icon as a memorial to him.

Images of the Neverland Ranch can be seen on Flickr. A slideshow by Tunnelbug is below:





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posted by Omar Robau @ 7/08/2009 10:47:00 AM  0 comments links to this post