Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Coney Film Docs On DVD

Six historic Coney Island short subjects on one tape.
You can get these wonderful short films on DVD (high quality transfers direct from 16mm prints) with deep and richer colors than what you see through YouTube.com .
From Edison films of 1903 to 1954's "Coney Island USA." Some of the very best historic Coney stuff you'll ever see. A must for any Coney lover.
Coney Island Films Collection
Obtained through Coney Island U.S.A.'s Gift Shop
"Coney Island" (1939)
"Shorty at Coney Island" (1939)
"A Day's Outing" (1930)
"Coney Island USA" (1954)
"Edison Films" (1903-04)
Available in both DVD & VHS
a bargain for $25.00

Coney Banner Painter Marie Roberts Interview

Committed vegetarian and artist in residence of Coney Island U.S.A. and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow Marie Roberts. See the two part documentary short here.

Coney Island USA Banner painter Interview

Marie Roberts PART TWO

Coney Island USA Banner painter Interview

Coney's Film Festival's Promo for this year !

Coney Island Film Festival 2006 Promo


Coney Island 1940

Gem of a film: 1952 Coney Island !

This was found on YouTube.com (posted by cifilmman) and it dates back to the early 50's - that's the time of the "Little Fugutive" See rare footage of Coney Island - most of it not seen in Rick Burn's 1991 "Coney Island" documentary on "The Ameircan Experience


Coney Island USA 1952

An impressionistic view of a day in the life of Coney Island from the desertion in the early morning to the hysteria at midnight. It can be purchased at
http://www.coneyisland.com in the giftshop section or if you're visiting Coney Island buy it at the Coney Island Museum or Sideshow.

Posted by
cifilmman [YouTube]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sigmund Freud at Coney's DreamLand

"Freud in Coney Island" the latest book from authour Norman M. Klien takes its cue from that last bit of make-believe. Klein, who teaches at the California Institute of the Arts' School of Critical Studies, interweaves fiction with social criticism, reportage and confessional memoir, but it's fiction he seems to enjoy most — fiction of a loose and absurdist sort, separated from fact by the blurriest of boundaries. Sigmund Freud did visit Coney Island in 1909. That much is true, but we know next to nothing about his day at the beach, so Klein takes the opportunity to fill in the blanks. And who could resist the chance to write a sentence like this: "There is reason to believe that Freud walked into Dreamland, the last and most bourgeois of the three amusement parks in Coney Island"? Or to point out that to enter the park, the famed explorer of unconscious desire would have had to walk through a tunnel carved directly between the thighs of a sculpted 30-foot nude with breasts "larger than haystacks"?

What if Freud visited Coney Island? [Sun Sentinal]

Inside The Stomach of the Dragon: The Victory of the Entertainment Economy [Eyebeam Journal]

Freud in Coney Island And Other Tales (excerpt)
written by Norman M. Klein
published by Otis Books/Seismicity Editions
104 pages, $12.95 paper back

Cross-Country Trek Ends at Coney

75-year-old Korean War veteran treks cross-country from starting point; Venice Beach California and finishes at Coney Island. Leonard Johnson first started sketching four decades ago and now completes his year and a half walk just three weeks shy of his birthday and the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The disaster had refocused his fundraising efforts to help victims in New Orleans, where he has done sketches several times before. He now plans to paint a 500-foot panoramic canvas of his experiences, including the people he met.

For more information visit his Web site

75-Year-Old’s Cross-Country Trek Ends In Coney [Courier Life]

Astella Corp. Hosts Sculpting on the Beach

Coney Island’s 16th Annual Sand Sculpting Contest and Unity Day kept happy beach goers digging away at their chiseled masterpieces for many of the mixed prizes. On the boardwalk plenty of juggles, face painters and ballroom dancers were at hand to entertain those not wanting sand in their shoes.

The event was sponsored by Astella Development Corporation Quality of Life Programs.

Trash and Garbage Enjoy A Bask in the Coney Sun

(photo by NYCviaRachel)

Coney’s beach and boardwalk have been besieged by heaping mounds of rubbish that have been shedding off Brooklyn beachgoers this whole season. Despite the Parks Department struggle to keep up with the chaos some irritated Coners have been expressing their fury to the powers that be.

Luna Housing Contemplates Privatization

The probable privatization of the Luna Park Housing development from a Mitchell-lama-run housing complex had residents and board members debating and voting on a ‘feasibility study’ to privatize or not. The idea to privatize derived from the much needed repair funds.
Raising the value of the complex would pay for the crumbling of the five building’s facades. However, no funds would mean more falling bricks. You never know - the nightmare of all those falling bricks could make way for dreams of rezoning to C7. Well, okay it’s okay to dream but we wouldn’t want all those falling bricks.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The B-52's at Coney's Asser Levy Park in Free Concert!

The world's greatest party band give a free concert at the 28th Annual Seaside Summer Concert Series at Asser Levy/Seaside Park at 7:30 pm August 10th.
They head into the studio early September with producer Steve Osborne (KT Tunstall, Suede, New Order) to begin recording songs for their new album!
The B-52's will be featured in an 18-hour radio marathon on August 17. That can be heard online in RealAudio at http://www.wbwc.com. (unless you're in Cleveland, OH and can tune into WBWC 88.3)

the B-52's
FREE Concert!

7:30 PM
August 10th

Asser Levy/Seaside Park
W.5th St & Surf Avenue (Opposite New York Aquarium)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A new style of WARRIORS back in Coney

This time; young, stylish, jolting, edgy and in your face. If don’t watch your step you could lose an eye! Luckily, gangs are a thing of the past for good ole’ Coney and much of the city which suffered enough through its period of disarray and decadence in the 70’s.
With a revisit, last week, from pretend gangs in Coney for a showing of “Warriors” as part of NetFlix’s Rolling Roadshow we’re hoping youngsters are not getting a taste in their boots for a comeback with a posse of hooligans to romp through Coney right at the cusp of it’s promised renaissance.

Fortunately the only bands of rebels in sight are coming to you in colorful two dimensional fiction.
They are the Pirates….'The Pirates of Coney Island'.

'Pirates' author spoke with CBR News about the series and explained it's unique premise

A riotous, teenage, romp through young love, car jacking and gang violence," said the author. "The Pirates are a gang of runaways that steal cars and generally terrorize Coney Island. Their rivals are the Cherries, a girl gang that is trying to move in on the Pirates territory. In the first issue we arrive in Coney Island with a runaway who’s soon to be called Patch. Patch gets jumped by the Cherries and gets his eye sliced out by Trish, their wicked bad leader. Across town, Sal, a pizza selling bookie, meets a nasty end delivered by a monstrous shadow with a shotgun and a big black Cadillac.

In issue 2 we finally meet the pirates when the cops bust Patch pick-pocketing on the boardwalk and the Pirates sail to his rescue in their bad mother Pirate van! The cops give a good chase but they're no match for Knievel’s 3 gears of reverse -- oh, yeah! Then it’s free food at a hot dog eating contest until the barfing starts. Can comics really be this awesome? Yep."

While some writers of pirate stories have found the Caribbean to be their venue of choice,
Rick Spears' (of the indie hit
Teenagers From Mars) and hot international artist Vasilis Lolos' choice of Coney Island certainly sets this story apart from the rest. "Coney Island is like this magical place off on the edge of the world where wild and amazing things are possible or at least so it seems," says Spears of why he chose the locale. "It’s a weird example of the American dream, filled with fun and hope but also dark, dangerous, neglected and now fallen into disrepair

As you can see from the art, "The Pirates Of Coney Island" has a unique style, both on the penciling and coloring side. The inspiration for the look came from both Spears and Lolos. "With ‘The Pirates’ I always wanted something fun and edgy in the art," explained the writer. "Something that captured the sort of dizzying, cotton candy, funnel cake fueled, color and noise of Coney Island midway. I had been working on the script for a while and as Vasilis and I started working on Valentine, I started to see just how truly awesome his work was and then I knew he was the guy for ‘The Pirates.’ Then once we got started, Vasilis just ran with it, from characters to the cars to Coney Island itself, Vasilis has made it all his own. We even got him to New York for a bit. Vasilis and Becky went to Coney Island to soak in the vibe and take a bunch of reference pics.
“You mentioned the color and if you’ve seen the pages you’ve seen his wild palette. He showed me the first 10 pages and they were all done in purple and pinks. It was crazy, brilliant and perfect Coney Island."

The Pirates of Coney Island
Available October 11th at a comic store near you!

Written and lettered by Rick Spears
Drawn and Colored by Vasilis Lolos
8 Issue monthly series published by
Image Comics
32 Pages, Full color, $2.99

Pirates of Coney Island Covers [the Beat]

Teenagers, Zombies and now.....Pirates! [Comic Fodder]

Rick Spears Turns Away from the Carribean In 'Pirates' [Comic Book Resources]

Pirate Park [Previews: Comic Shop Catalog]

Friday, August 04, 2006

Indigenous Industry Of Carnival Junk Food

Edible Brooklyn dishes out its quarterly summer ’06 issue with a front cover of Gregory & Paul’s by rolling out the history and fanfare of carnival junk foods. From its posh resorts and honky-tonk to the birth of Feltman’s hotdog which gave way to the nickel empire.

The memory of rich whiffs that emanated throughout the 40’s & 50’s….
…warm waffles from Maxie’s; potato knishes at Shatzkin’s; walkaway sundaes; pango pops; cups of fizzy,and just-mixed sarsaparilla.

To present food stands laden with hand-painted signs and neon…
…their fried brown and yellowy foods lined up beneath heating lamps, and while most items don’t look appetizing that hardly seems to matter; people enthusiastically dig in.

Luckily, the blend of today’s new New Yorkers are still represented.
...Puerto Rican mamis hawk homemade empanadas, and Mexican girls spear mangoes with sticks, dousing them with chili powder and lime.

Edible Brooklyn boasts about our borough’s rich food history and celebrates the borough's diverse food and delicious culture

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Related HOOPLA !

(Flickr pic by monika_ny)
Fire in Astroland
[Flickr pic by
Visitors at Astroland had to be evacuated Sunday (July 30th) after sparks flew due to an electric fire in a concrete shed for Con Ed's electrical connectors located adjacent to Gregory and Paul's food stand on Surf Ave. No one was hurt but a good portion of the park had to be run on backup power generators.


August 1, 2006 -- Swimming off Coney Island could leave you covered in sludge if the city goes ahead with plans to open a waste depot in Brooklyn, a state lawmaker contends. August 1, 2006 -- Swimming off Coney Island could leave you covered in sludge if the city goes ahead with plans to open a waste depot in Brooklyn, a state lawmaker contends.

Ocean Dreaming On The New Riviera!

At this new cusp of southern Brooklyn’s much touted renaissance, proclamations of change sprout often though a rumble of motion is yet to be seen.

In this week’s new development deals – this time from a different upcoming star developer: Brad Zackson, who was given his big break by Fred Trump himself. Now worth over $30 million and CEO of The Dynamic Group. The Bellrose, Queens native and his group has in the works a luxury 250-unit condominium called Ocean Dreams. Consisting of three six-story glass buildings, prices for the pads are expected to start at around $700 a foot. Ocean Dreams will include doorman, concierge, health club, swimming pool, parking and van service to the subway. Ground break and construction is set to begin by the Spring of 2007 across the gated entrance of the Seagate community.

Most of the empty lots along Surf Avenue have some sort of future development in the works, and some of the plans are quite elaborate and high-end.”

This is a real luxury building that hasn't been in this part of Brooklyn at all,” Zackson says.

Coney Island High: The Boardwalk Is Hopping With New Developments [NYPost]
Coney Island Update: More Luxe Housing, More Heat [Curbed]

Behind the illumination!

A Conversation with Leni Schwendinger.
The artist discusses lighting the Coney Island landmark and its potentially brighter future.

The lighting schemes have a subtle and mysterious quality. Viewed from up close, the tower emanates light and looks very majestic. But people had the expectation that it would be brighter. As you walk farther away, you can see the red sparkles, but you lose that bathed-in-color effect.

The LEDs manufactured by Phoster Lighting are a very complex design which has a tri-focus specifically pointed to the Verrazano Bridge, which we were asked to do, to some of the highways like the BQE, to various roads out to the other side, and also to the water and beach and the boardwalk. This funny looking wonderfully wacky little light is rotated on its axis very deliberately all around the structure and that’s where you get the sparkle. You move in and out of focus if you look up at it and if you’re walking. And so that’s how the sparkle is derived. Literally each light is pointing in three directions.

What’s next for the Parachute Jump?
Our first concept that everyone really wanted was beyond budget and it’s still a possibility. During the day, you see the big round spheres where the parachutes went up. Right now the LEDS actually ring half of that scallop shape on the canopy. The original idea showed the rings studded with LEDs floating down theatrically on computer-controlled winches. They would come down 12 or 15 feet. That would have made it more recognizable. Imagine these lit up rings going down and you can control them, the speed and everything, floating up and down!

Excerpts from
Urban Journal article by Tricia Vita [MetropolisMag]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Redevelopment Conceptual Designs

Coney Island Redevelopment Brooklyn, New York
Redevelopment of 10-acre site into a mixed-use entertainment complex which will include residential, hotel, retail and a new waterpark. This redevelopment fits into the master plan as developed by the Coney Island Development Corporation.

The current plans (released June 2006 by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects) are already receiving negative reactions from Coney buffs and denizens. They reject what looks like tired design schemes in the likes of Vegas, Atlantic City, Disney, Times Square, and the MGM Project City Center. . explains Lofetr1 on the Wired New York Forum

For my own experience it's more that I respond to something that seems organic -- that has evolved in bits and pieces to become a whole of interesting and varied aspects. Where I can sense the individual creative energy that was put into a particular ride, game, side-show, sign ...The corporate creations such as Disneyland, Six Flags, Universal Studios, etc. are, in their own way, fun. But give me a ride on the Cyclone anyday -- where the open sky looms above and the ocean reaches out towards infinity. The limitlessness of the surroundings frees the mind to experience the other-ness that is essential to a great roller coaster ride. Enclosing, encircling, or book-ending the Coney Island boardwalk area with high-rise development will diminish the experience and should be avoided. Just move the big new ones back a bit ..
- explains Lofter1 from Wired New York Forum