Thursday, June 28, 2007

ThinkWell Design & Concepts For New Coney Island

For those who were not present at the town hall meeting with Thor Equities on their master plan for the new Coney Island, here's a short clip of some of the moving images that were part of Thinkwell's virtual tour presentation for the developer.

To view the still renderings see the slide show posted yesterday here on KC.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Future Of Coney Island COMIC


Posted on the Coney Island USA bulletin board by poster Switchback, this comic depicts what seems to be Joespeh Sitt as a master of deception.

Follow the discusion at the CIUSA board.

Thor Town Meeting Image Slide Show

Pictures of renderings taken from plasma screens at meeting.

Joe Sitt Seeks Community Approval At Town Hall Meeting

Yesterday's town hall meeting with Thor Equities at the United Community Baptist Church was Joe Sitt and Thor Equities' plea for community approval and support by winning them over with a presentation of their master plan which included a virtual tour through their sprawling and dynamic concept of a new Coney Island.

In a very dapper and confident style, and wearing a sleek pin-striped suit and a pleasing Brooklyn accent, Joe Sitt stressed that this is no fairy land garden they're building, but something that will make the world a little better. Make our community of Coney Island better. Joe, as he preferred to be called by his first name, claimed he would not be interested in rebuilding Coney Island if he isn't proud of it and that will only come if he gets the public support he is seeking.

(click image for larger view)

The virtual tour presentation by Chris Durmick of Thinkwell Design & Production for the new Coney amusement district received a good round of applause at its conclusion. A grinning Joe seemed tickled and pleased by the response to Thinkwell's designs. The presentation took us through many renderings and video clips of some of the new rides in action. At one of the forefronts, would be an emporium which will house a museum of Coney Island which will actually be a dark ride through the history of Coney Island. The emporium will be a greeting station and pit stop for all your needs from digital media gear and supplies, tickets to shows, strollers, etc. Down Stillwell Avenue will stand high, the Freakenspiele Tower (or Freak & Spiel) which pays homage to the Dreamland tower. The Freakenspiele will be a ride, launching passengers into the air at rocket speeds. Along Stillwell will be added attractions like stunt shows, street performers, and the indoor water park which seem to be a major staple in their plans.

(click image for larger view)
More drawings were displayed for the Bowery, plus upscale bowling, adult arcades, freak shows taking their acts out on the streets, and a virtual funhouse with a mirror maze and a three-floor high slide. Plenty of the new and old mixed together. One upgraded old ride would be the new Steeplechase ride which will be a morph between the Steeplechase horses and motorcylces. This would be a faster speed Steeplechase which would at one point go through the water park and then hover high over visitors.

The fascinating presentation albeit with one point of concern was followed by questions from the community. The questions ranged from assuring programs for students, and safety to emotional questions, from the gathering, to guaranty employment in the project to go to people within the community. At one point Joe had to urge to the group to calm themselves.

Towards the end one emotional question from someone at the gathering asked why build a hotel right in the middle of the amusement area. And Mr. Sitt answered, "Because we feel that people would not want to walk a distance to their hotels". The questioner asked, "Well why can't you build it three blocks away?" And Joe answered with a shrug of the shoulders, "Well, because we don't own that part." And that is the point of concern. After viewing the presentation and all the great ideas from Thinkwell, it would seem feasible to place a hotel but why in the middle of its thoroughfare? One and even more than one hotel would simply take up too much space. This master plan would've gained great support if Thor did not sell the property they had bought at the Washington Bath's site. That would've been an ideal location for the hotel and would have kept it away from the amusement zone. One of Coney Island's great facets is that you can see the sky all around you. With buildings recessed right behind the Stillwell's amusement structures and rising high would cause heavy shadows all along the Avenue.

At the conclusion the panel quickly darted backstage. And later, Joe, in presidential-style, zipped through the gathering outside and into his car surrounded by his crew and hedged in between a couple of beefy body guards.

Joe Sitt has come to town to seek community approval and has moved a good deal in the right direction but the talk outside, after the meeting was adjourned, seemed to echo the concern and disapproval for the high rise hotels along Stillwell Avenue.

More on the meeting and video of the virtual presentation tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mermaid Parade 2007 HOOPLA !

Image by rsguskind (
Mermaids! [Lex's Folly]
Coney Island Sunset [That Was Then, This Is Tao]
Coney Island MC [Photography by Lara Wechsler]
GL Brooklyn TV: Special Mermaid Edition [The Gowanus Lounge]

Saving Coney Island [Weekend America]

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Reminder: Mermaid Parade Today!

As if it needs reminding...
but here it is.

It all starts at 2pm
on Surf Avenue.

Followed by the Mermaid Parade Ball from 6pm to midnight.

Visit the Coney Island USA web site for all the details!

Banners & Chairs For Thor Water Slide

(click image for larger view)

Yesterday at the Thor Equities lot where they've been setting up the water slide, new colorful "Future Of Coney Island" Thor banners were being installed in time for the Mermaid Parade. And the water slide which was still deflated was surrounded by white chairs for spectators of the water slide's slippery madness to come. Though the attraction may or may not be operating by this weekend, it will surely advertise itself for the crowds spilling over Coney Island this Saturday and inviting them to come back for it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

F Express Train To The Coney Amusements

Image by John Rash Photo (Flicker)

As your conductor on a joyride through the colorful neighborhoods of Brooklyn, one of New York Daily New's blogs focuses, mainly, on the south end of Brooklyn. Edward Glazarev, Daily News reporter takes us on these journeys with his blog: Coney Express. Glazarev, a resident of the Russian Riviera that is Brighton Beach has a passion for Coney Island as well. And as a daily commuter to Manhattan, he strongly supports an initiative to restore an express service of the F Train.

plan of this initiative (or a form of it) which has been around since 2003, inspired the Kensington Blog to write an online petition to have the V line extend into Brooklyn to serve north Brooklyn residents and have the F train become an express, bypassing north Brooklyn stops and continuing down into south Brooklyn to serve those residents.

The F Express would also be a much faster trip down to the amusements in Coney Island as the Coney Express blog points out.

Take the F express [Coney Express]

Astroland Back For '08? Under Certain Conditions, Says Thor

Earlier yesterday the New York Post reported that Astroland will get and extension for another season.

NY Post reported:

Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. (D-Brooklyn) brokered a deal to keep the rides in business in 2008, sources close to the deal said....

....Albert and Thor will be working out the details of the extension in the
days ahead, including compensation to Thor for allowing Astroland to use the site next year.

However, sources closest to the Alberts, like David Gratt from Coney Island USA and Charles Denson from the Coney Island History Project, have stated that Carol Albert has not been contacted by Thor Equities with any talks on the matter.

On the boardwalk, yesterday, as part of News 12 On The Road at Coney Island, Council member Domenic Recchia , said that he did have talks with Thor Equities and they did say they would work about a plan to keep Astroland open for the '08 season. He also stated that Thor Equities later added further dialogue which indicated that they would extend Astroland for another season only if and when the city changes the zoning to their favor.

Recchia, regardless, promised he will work hard and fight to keep Astroland open at the current location for another season and also help them find another location for the future.

Astroland Gets One-Year Reprieve! [The Gowanus Lounge]
Astroland Granted a Stay of Execution [Gothamist]
Rumors of Astroland's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated [Curbed]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Giant Hippo Water Slide Gets Pumped Up For Coney

The Hippo water slide, promised a few weeks ago by Thor Equities, has arrived on one of the empty lots at Stillwell Avenue where the miniature golf course used to be. It is now sitting on the lot awaiting to be inflated. Adjacent to the water slide, a little shack was being constructed today. It will house refreshments and possibly snacks along with a ticket counter. The unofficial word by construction workers was that it will be inflated and pumped up for action this weekend to coincide with the Mermaid Parade.

You can see a video of the Hippo in action at the Hippo Water Slide website!

Coney Island Development Corporation Meeting Notice

The CIDC issued a public notice for their next meeting this monday.

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Coney Island Development Corporation will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 25, 2007, in Education Hall at the New York Aquarium, at Surf Avenue at West 8th Street, Brooklyn, New York.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Condoless Coney HOOPLA !

Image by lornagrl (

Developer quashes Coney Island condos [AM New York]
NYC developer revamps plan for Coney Island, nixing luxury condos [NY Newsday]
Redone Coney Island Plans: The Devil is in the Details [The Gowanus Lounge]
The New Coney Island will now NOT include housing []
Coney Island Plan Is Scaled Back, but Critics Are Skeptical [The New York Times]
EDC criticizes Coney developer's demand for "huge" $100M+ subsidy [No Land Grab]
It's a Coney Island miracle! [Out and Back]
That sneaky little bastard... [Out and Back]
Coney Island Merry-Go-Round [Gotham Gazette - the Wonkster]
Coney Island Plan Is Scaled Back, but Critics Are Skeptical [Mission NYC]
Coney Island Under Siege [PaperMag: Word up!]
New Development Offers Something For Blacks, Jews, Italians [Gawker]
Your Plans For Coney Island Are Still Atrocious [John Clifford Ness]
No 5-Story Residential Tower For Coney Island [OTBKB]
NYC developer revamps Coney Island plan [ABC Money - UK]
No Condos For Coney [Queens Crap]
Coney Refresher: Here's the Amusment Zone [The Gowanus Lounge]
NYC developer revamps plan for Coney Island, nixing luxury condos [Metro]
Condos Nixed From Coney Revamp Plan [New York Post]
Will Mr. Sitt "Drop Housing" in Coney Island? [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island: A Glorious Future? [Brint in Brooklyn]
Dramatic News In Coney Island [The Coney Island Reporter]

Other HOOPLA!:

Jose Marti (Cuban Leader of Independence) And Coney Island [CubaNow]
The Mermaids Are Coming! [Coney Express]
Discovering Lost City Of Atlantis [Coney Express]
Aquarium marks 50th with a big splash [NY Daily News]
Morning Buzz: Coney Dreams, Broken Buses, Soup to Nuts [NY Times - City Room]
Postcard: Coney Island [Time Magazine]
25th Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade [Laughing Squid]
Coney Island Landmark Faces Pavilion-like Final Summer [The MB Sun - Myrtle Beach]
Vowing to Love, Cherish and Root for Brooklyn Cyclones [The New York Times]
Old School Coney Island's Days Are Numbered [Stoaked]
Coney Island Developements [My Open Wallet]
Brooklyn Back in the Day: Coney Island [The Gowanus Lounge]
Au Hasard, Coney Island [alicublog]
An End Of An Era In Coney Island? [Competitive Eating]
Under the Boardwalk We’ll Be Having Some Fun! [Beauty News NYC]
The Last Ride [AchieveMax]
Coney Island #1: The View of the Strategic Planners [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island #2: The Quiet Developer's Viewpoint [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island #3: Taconic Working to Buy Land from Parks Department [The Gowanus Lounge]

au revoir, coney island [Sher - MySpace blog]
Which Looks Like More Fun? [A Deeper Shade Of Soul]
coney island station (f train) [Trancho Photography]
American Theme Parks: #2 Coney Island [Mostly Photography]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Website For Lager Freaks & Beer Geeks

The New Coney tattoo brew has launched a new website to arouse your liquid curiosities. While you're at it; amaze your oral sensibilities and indulge your inner beer freak.

Step right up and witness the delectable alchemy of 8 malts, 6 hops, & Czech Pilsner Yeast. Discover the thrill of old world brewing conjoined with beguiling new world flavor.

Find out where to drink it and where to buy it.

The new Coney Island Lager.

Get your Freak Gear on!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Chance To Voice Your Opinions Directly To Thor Equities

Thor Equities will be giving a presentation on its vision for the future of Coney Island at a town hall meeting which will be open to the public. The meeting will take place at the United Community Baptist Church.

Thor Equities wants to take this opportunity to demonstrate to the public how proud and concerened they are for the future of Coney Island and give you a chance to get an in-person look and a listen to Thor's master plans.

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
United community Baptist Church
2701 Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island, NY

New Rendering of Stillwell Avenue

(click image to enlarge)

Here is an additional rendering received by Mr. Tom Corsillo of the Marino Organization. of what appears to be Stillwell Avenue with Luna Park entrance pinwheels and half moons and guests being greeted by an elephant statue reminiscent of the old Elephant Hotel.

New Thor Drawings "Condos Out - Hotels & Time Shares In"

(click image to enlarge)

Joseph Sitt said he had “rolled over” in response to the huge opposition of the plans and designs that were released by his company Thor Equities in the past, according to today’s
New York Times article.

This past Thursday it was inconspicuously mentioned, in a recent
Time Magazine article, that Sitt was considering rethinking their plans without the residential component. Prompting a quote from Charles Denson, executive director of the Coney Island History Project. "Joe Sitt can still be a hero. He could go down in history as someone who saved Coney Island.", said Denson.

Yesterday the
Marino Organization sent out a select handful of e-mails announcing that Thor was doing away with their residential components. Which was lifting news.

But, today, coming somewhat back down to reality - in their article The New York Times prints a new rendering by
ThinkWell Design & Production which looks very much like the drawings ThinkWell conceived the last time. For one thing - fortunately, this time the buildings aren’t ghostly figures of high rises. And though they are supposed to be hotels and time-shares this time around – they unfortunately look like Donald Trump style boxes with windows. This is definitely not in keeping with the CIDS’s strategic plans, which Lynn Kelly, said a couple of weeks ago at the Municipal Arts Society panel discussion, would have to be within the Coney Island character.

Charles V. Bagli of the The New Times reports:

The new proposal is less dense, he [Sitt] said, but has more of "the new, the edgy, and the outlandish" rides and attractions that America's first resort was once known for.

"This is our way of showing the New York community that we're responsive to what they want," said Sitt, the founder and chief executive of Thor Equities.

The new plan keeps the concept of a new glass-enclosed water park, but instead of apartments call for three hotels, including more than 400 time-share units, along with restaurants, shops, movie theaters and high-tech arcades. The latest renderings depict a pulsating entertainment complex with an Elephant Colossus statue and architecture that evokes the old Luna Park and Dreamland amusement parks.

The plan has been already criticized, calling the time-shares looking an awful lot like apartments and that the complex looks more like a mall than Coney Island.

Robert Lieber, president of the city's Economic Development Corporation, who criticized the plan said it had essentially the same density but dressed up with these hotels and time shares. He also said, "the building heights still exceed the 271-foot Parachute Jump. And he's [Sitt] looking for a huge subsidy from the city, of more than $100 million.

Mr. Sitt's retort to the city is that he believes the changes being proposed are too restrictive and would undercut his ability to redevelop the area.

(click image to enlarge)

But now new questions surface. Why time-shares? Isn’t that similar to condos. They’re still residential. And if you are still shrinking the amusement zone in the footprint to allow for these buildings then why have the hotels in the first place? Let alone three? By the drawings one can guess that guests can cover the amusements in one day. And another day if they want to stay at the beach on another day. At least one hotel may be feasible if any. Which should include a convention center on one of the floors and perhaps a rotating hotel on the top floor. Unless the explain this need, three hotels seem a quite ridiculous.

Let’s hope the good news of ‘no more residential component in Coney Island’s amusement district’ doesn’t turn to be a “wolf dressed up as a sheep” as quoted by Lieber to this new plan.

Taconic Investment Partners will speak for themselves but let’s also hope that Taconic’s building’s don’t look like what’s presenting in this new sketch – which look’s the same as the hotels; Trump-style cookie cutouts. Coney deserves imagination. This is Coney Island not the East Village. And last but definitely not least, the NY Times article stated that not everyone trusts Mr. Sitt to deliver and are concerned with this being a new tactic to influence the change in zoning to their favor only to flip the property. Let's hope Joey Coney is genuine about his love for Coney Island and is still treading the waters to see where it's possible to make a profit while still respecting Coney's historic and future amusements.

Coney I. Plan Is Scaled Back, but Critics Are Skeptical [The New York Times]

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Get Your Coney Island Lager On Tap

The Coney Island USA licensing program has announced a list of places to grab a hold of the new Coney Island Lager brewed by the Schamltz Brewing Company. The lager is now available on tap at various locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan (listed below). For the Coney lovers who want to take a bottle home, they can do so by buying their 22 oz. bottles of Coney Island Lager at the Freak Bar at Sideshows by the Seashore.

Coney Island USA also announced that there will a special beer gathering at the Blind Tiger Ale House this week. The lager and other Scmaltz products will be on tap.

Schmaltz Beer Gathering
Wednesday, June 20

at the Blind Tiger
located on 281 Bleeker Street at Jones

If you can't attend the beer gathering you can get your Coney Island Lager at the following outlets:

In Coney Island
Freak Bar (in 22 oz bottles)
Cha Cha's Peggy O'Neill's

Elsewhere in Brooklyn
Soda Bar (629 Vanderbilt)
Southpaw (5th Ave in the Slope)
Brooklyn Ale House (103 Berry)
Rebar (147 Front Street)
Magnetic Field (93 Atlantic Avenue)

In Manhattan
Kettle of Fish (59 Christopher Street)
Stanton Public (17 Stanton Street)
Crocodile Lounge (325 East 14th Street)
Marshall Stack (66 Rivington)
Camaradas el Barrio (2241 First Ave)

Follow discussion on: CIUSA board

Proceeds go to the Coney Island USA

So, guzzle it up!

NEWS ALERT! Major Announcent From Thor Equities

Kinetic Carnival has received an exciting e-mail announcement from The Marino Organization with great news from Thor Equities that may make Joseph Sitt and Thor Equities as the hero of Coney Island's rebirth.

The announcement from Thor Equities spokesman e-mail read:
After listening to the comments, questions and concerns of members of the Coney Island community, as well as people all over the country and throughout the world, Thor Equities has completely eliminated the residential component of its proposed plan. Thor will instead focus on amusement and entertainment uses worthy of Coney Island's spectacular legacy. Thor now has a plan that is compatible with the City's strategic plan and looks forward to working with the community and the City to return Coney Island to its former glory.

-Tom Corsillo Spokesman, Thor Equities
This is super exciting news for Coney Island. Now we are all anxious to see what new preliminary plans and designs Thor Equities will release.

It's been said by many that there are ways to make profit on amusements. And that residential components in Coney Island is not a solution to Coney's seasonality issues. Coney was never about building amusement retail for the residents down the street. Coney (like a CIUSA poster pointed out) has always been about going to Coney Island. There have been many wonderful ideas talked about on the Coney Island USA bulletin board.

Therefore, it's time to set up a new kind of forum where the community would specifically be able to express their creative ideas in order to further connect to Thor Equites, the city, and the design team(s) and help generate ideas. Even though Thor Equities will continue to hire the experts in the amusement industry - there has also been a good degree of opposition to previous drawings and plans. A positive critical mass could establish a creative collective that would greatly add to the survival of the Coney Island spirit and character.

We thank Joe Sitt and Thor Equities to face the courage and dare to dream to make a reality, the tough business that is amusements.

Follow discussion on: CIUSA board

Nathan's Famous Among AOL's Top Vacation Food Spots

On America Online's favorite eight top vacation spots for great food is Nathan's Famous in Coney Island. The "Summertime and the Eatin’s Easy" article by Samantha Chapnick for America Online's AOL Travel gives a couple of interesting trivia tidbits about Nathan's.

Chapnick writes:
Nathan’s, Coney Island
If the “1 Million Sold” sign existed in 1948, it would’ve been found over the golden sands, not the golden arches. Well before Roy Kroc was eating solid food, Nathan’s was selling fast food hot dogs and Coke to Coney Island visitors. Now that people just need to visit their local mall or airport to taste those crinkle-fries, we’ll use lure you to this original locale using trivia.

• On July 4, 1916 four immigrants decided to settle an argument about who was the most patriotic by seeing who could eat the most hot dogs and thus the annual Hot Dog eating contest was born. PS the Irish Immigrant won.

• Nathan started his stand by borrowing $300 from Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante, friends who had worked with him at Feltman’s and urged him to strike out on his own.

• Archie Leach remained close to his good friend with Nathan even after he changed his name to Cary Grant and won a zillion awards.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Coney Events: NY Aquarium Strikes Gold!

The New York Aquarium celebrates its 50th birthday with a slew of festivities from hula hoops and sock hops to celebrity impersonators. Including 50's music by DJ Mike C and stilt walkers and much much more!

See the New York Aquarium's web site for all the details.

View slide show:
50 Years at a glace

June 16 - 17
The New York Aquarium Strikes Gold

Celebrate 50 Years in Coney Island
All activities take place from 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
In the Plaza, except where noted.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Could Coney Island Be Among Countries Most Endangered Places?

As a result of the development explosion happening in Brooklyn and the rest of the country, The National Trust For Historic Preservation has placed Brooklyn’s industrial waterfronts as well as other historic areas across the country, on its list of The 11 Most Endangered Historic Places - 2007 - due to developers demolishing them for profit over the area’s new hip status

Though Coney Island is not part of their endangered list, the same results could happen here if the city doesn’t stay on course with their promise to uphold the strategic plan.

The endangered places specifically mentioned by the group for Brooklyn are its waterways, which are part of its industrial heritage. And include maritime operations, factories, warehouses and sugar refineries. And a good part of it is not simply historic but still a part of today’s industrial work force. Almost a quarter of a million New Yorkers currently hold industrial jobs and many small manufacturing enterprises have housed their companies’ facilities in these historic industrial buildings. And this rapid increase in residential development has threatened most of Brooklyn’s working-class waterfront.

Many have already been wiped off the map. In Williamsburg it has displaced many of the working class as well as the artist community that have sought refuge there. Also in Red Hook; a Civil War-era ship repair dock was recently in operation before being demolished to make way for an IKEA parking lot.

The National Trust Historic Preservation sites states:
Brooklyn’s real estate market is booming. The City’s Department of Buildings issued 1,740 new building permits in Brooklyn in 2005, amounting to four new building permits per day. In that same period, the department issued 1,924 permits for demolition, or five demolition permits per day. And the city is rezoning to make way for residential development without adequately planning for the preservation of Brooklyn’s industrial heritage.

The group says, in order to keep the City’s waterborne regional transportation network in operation and its maritime industry competitive, it is extremely critical to preserve Brooklyn’s historic docks. And the city needs to do a much better job in implementing stronger preservation laws and comprehensive planning to obtain suitable development.

The New York Newsday also reported:
Parts of New York City's fabled waterfront are disappearing faster than the Brooklyn accent of "dese, dem, and dose."
Coney Island is not part of this specific heritage but is part of an equally important heritage of New York. And the Historic Preservation Endangered list should come as a warning for the city to make sure it does not falter under pressures by developers in Coney Island for the sake of hasty and inapt changes in the area.

Discussion on CIUSA board

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Coney Events: Photography Seminar & Workshop

The workshop will be a study of contrasts of Coney Island and of Brooklyn. Students will be documenting the changing conditions of light and weather, interacting with the environment and architecture of Coney Island. The natural elements and all of the remaining details tell the story of its historic beginnings as the people’s playground to the present. We will be working in both daylight and nighttime photography, catching the entire experience that is Coney Island.

Coney Island Day & Night with Kevin Downs
Saturday Afternoons through August
June 9, 16, 23, 30; July 7, 14, 21, 28; August 4, 11, 18, 25; September 1
13 Sessions Total

Coney HOOPLA !

Image by paperocks a.k.a evalinda (

Former Child’s Restaurant Building To Open This Summer [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Some Good News From Coney Island: Childs to be Brought Back to Life Soon [The Gowanuse Lounge]
Mr. Sitt Begins His Coney Island Blue Period [The Gowanuse Lounge]
Is Astroland Really Toast: Perhaps. Perhaps Not. [The Gowanuse Lounge]
Coney Island Lives! Astroland, Maybe Not [The Village Voice - Runnin' Scared]
PM Update: Astroland Rumors & Projects on the Block [The Gowanus Lounge]
Summer 2007 update - Easton Coney Weise [Coney Island Shortcakes]
A Different Take on Coney the Same Writer [The Gowanus Lounge]
Battening down the hatches in Coney - CERT squad prepares for hurricane season [Courier Life]
WASPs buzz happily around Coney Island’s best [Courier Life]
Astroland Rides No Longer on Sale? Someone Tell the Vendor [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island’s Summer of Reckoning
[Gotham Gazette]
Coney Island amusement park kicks off final summer [USA Today]
The Habitat of the Human Freak [The Coney Island Reporter]
Sitt Speaks and AP Listens [The Gowanus Lounge]
Sitt Doing Site Prep Work in Coney Island [The Gowanus Lounge]
The Coney Island Experience

Happy News: Now You Can Get Tanked on Coney Island Lager! [The Gowanus Lounge]

Not all's lost: Coney Island gets its own beer [NewYorkology]

American Theme Parks: #1 Coney Island [Mostly Photography]

There's a Winner Every Time III [YouTube - greenherring2]

Monday, June 11, 2007

Coney Events: Childs Building Hosts Mermaid Ball 2007

This year, as part of Taconic Investment Partners revamping of Coney's west end - the Childs Restaurant building has been cleaned out and for the first time in 6o years will be open for a public event. The Childs Building will host this year's Mermaid Parade Ball. The extravaganza will feature drink specials all night, including VIP accommodations. The evening will have performances by Jill Cunniff (of Lucsious Jackson), The Shapes, Mighty Fine, The Atomic Grind Show - including the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, and a various acts from the NYC Burlesque.

Visit the Ball Site for all the information.

The Mermaid Parade Ball
Saturday, June 23rd
Childs Building
Boardwalk and 21st Street
6pm to Midnight
$10 advance
$15 at the door
$50 VIP ticket (includes appetizers, free drinks, party favors, exclusive access to the VIP lounge and membership to Coney Island USA)

Sitt Feeling Good As Coney’s Mojo Man

With zeal and boastfulness on his many musings along the boardwalk, to visits with his friends and desires for Coney Island, Thor Equities’ Joe Sitt feels like the real thing. “You know? We’re the real thing? Anything else is a knockoff of this.” Joe Sitt told Larry McShane of the Associated Press.

Last week Mr. Sitt was seen paying a visit to the Coney Island History Project Exhibit, the day after its opening ceremony. He whipped out a Coney Island history booklet and proclaimed; “That’s going to be me! The next Thompson - the next Dundy!”

This week he told the AP; he sees a new idea for Coney with each stroll. He said it fills his head with new ideas.

As the Associated Press reported:
On a weekday morning, Sitt, in a dark blue pinstriped suit, lighter blue shirt and striped tie, appears incongruous with the local environment, strolling up Stillwell Avenue toward the beach. But it soon becomes clear that he’s equally at home on the boardwalk as in the boardroom.

"Yeah, OK, it’s a little bit grimy, etcetera,” says Sitt, his voice rising with an enthusiasm belying his surroundings. “But it’s got so much potential, calling out for someone to do something. I want to bring it back."

Sitt conjures something even more breathtaking, more bombastic, more Brooklyn: A year-round resort unlike anything previously seen in his native borough.

Back on the boardwalk, Sitt discusses Coney Island’s worldwide cachet. His office has recently fielded calls from Italy, England, Singapore and Israel about the project. Sitt pauses as he spots four people meandering along the boardwalk, one snapping pictures of everything in sight.

“C’mon”, he says confidently,. “They’ve got to be from out of the country”.

They are, Stuttgart, Germany, to be precise. “In the movies, we saw it,” one woman replies when Sitt asks how they knew about Coney Island. They chat amiably before Sitt says goodbye in their native tongue. “Auf wiedersehen.”
Mr. Sitt having been able to decipher foreigners may be one thing but if it was due to their picture taking – it makes it seem that Joey Coney as he’s been called, is not completely aware that tourists and even local New Yorkers have always had a passion for Coney’s alluring aesthetics and still are constantly taking pictures of everything in sight.

A few other curiosities in the interview are; Sitt’s idea on the need to replace the rows of ‘decrepit’ metal garbage cans lining the boardwalk. Either this interview was done a few weeks ago or Mr. Sitt finds the recently decorated garbage cans another honky-tonk eyesore. Another question raised is; who is ‘everybody else’ which he claims is trying to create a Coney Island? The only place recently teaming with a diversity of wishes and ideas for a New Coney is on the Coney Island USA bulletin board. And finally,– the article states that construction equipment is already on site – and a water park, retail outlets, residential property, and a hotel possibly shaped like a roller coaster are under construction.

What may be a minor misprint or a major misinterpretation is just another example of the major media spewing out recycled information bytes, and further blurring the big picture behind the big picture.

In the end If Thor Equities and Joe Sitt’s genuine enthusiasm for amusements is as big and bombastic with the kind of year round resort never-before seen in Brooklyn - then they better make way for a huge amusement district. An amusement area to be worthy of year-round resort status with luxury accommodations needs to be the whole amusement town from the Cyclone to Childs Restaurant. The existing parcels of C7 zoned areas west of Keyspan stadium and areas around Stillwell Avenue which are being slated for residential and retail components would kill any kind amusements destination of resort caliber.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Casting The Mermaids: Revolutionize Your Inner Go-Go!

Image by Karalyn13 (

Calling all GUYS and DOLLS! Strike a pose and revolutionize yourself. Save Coney Island is looking for dancers of all types and all levels. In fact even if you can't dance at all you'll still feel like a shining star. So come out and be a Save Coney Island Revolutionary Mermaid Go Go Dancer in the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island on June 23rd!!!

After joining the ensemble all you'll need is to attend two super fun rehearsals with performer and dance teacher Angie Potani.

Everyone is welcomed! For more information visit:
Save Coney Island Website

Save Coney Island site says:
The dance routine will be one aspect of our extraordinary presence in the parade! Even if you do not take part in this routine, you are welcome to march with us, perform your very own dance routine, or do whatever you'd like!! Give us a shout if you'd like to join us in dreaming up our float, constructing the sparkling spectacle or partying with us on our float during the best Mermaid Parade EVER!!