Thursday, July 26, 2007

Make A Film On Coney Island

From the Archipelago web site:

Sign-up between now and July 29th to take part in our 72-Hour shootout on Coney-Island. We will set you up with a team of other graduate students who want to make films, and you’ll have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit and submit your film to us. Sound crazy? Yeah, but so is Coney Island.

Bring with you as much or as little as you know about the site, but take the time to do get a little acquainted (see our reading link below). We’ll set you up with your groups a week before the event, then on Thursday August 2nd, we’ll meet at 9pm in Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall to present the site, and the criteria for the shootout. Spend that night to formulate your plan of attack, write, think, prepare; then on Friday you’ll pick up your equipment from the School of Architecture’s A/V Department and have until Sunday 10pm to finish your movie.

Yes, finish.

Bring your final DVDs (or movie files if you run out of time) to Wood Auditorium on Sunday, and see your work on the big screen.

Sign up on this site, do your research, take a trip out there if you like (but we suggest not pre-planning too much, we’ll be throwing some monkey wrenches your way). If you want to do some reading, Rem Koolhaas in Delirious New York writes from both a critical and historic perspective on Coney Island. We’ve set up some of the pages for you to read in this pdf document in case you don’t have the book: Delirious New York: Coney Island.
See you there!

Coney Events: Monday Movie Madness

Monday Movie Madness presented by Thor Equities, is showing six blockbuster movies starting August 6th. Seating opens at 8pm and film starts at dusk. Bring your own snacks and seating. First come, first allowed-in basis!

Monday Movie Madness
August 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, September 3rd, and 10th

Located on Stillwell Avenue between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk
Admission: FREE!

New Thor 'Future Of Coney Site' Splash Page

Thor Equities revamps their Future Of Coney Island website to better showcase their three attractions in Coney Island. The already splashless Hippo water slide, the upcoming Cole Brothers Circus, and finally some info on the Monday Movie Madness.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Exclusive Photo Tour Takes You Inside The Childs Restaurant

This is probably the first set of pictures taken and released of the interior of the Childs Restaurant building on the Coney Island boardwalk in over 50 years.

View slideshow or visit ConeyHOP's photostream on

Built in 1923, this Spanish Colonial Revival style building which was home to the Childs restaurant and was merely one of over 90 other Childs Restaurants, (the other one in Coney currently houses Coney Island USA's museum and sideshow, which was actually moved from its exact original location). This Childs restaurant on the boardwalk thrived for more than thirty years, until it closed in the mid 50's to become a candy factory. It received Landmark status in 2003 but remained dark and shut for over 50 years until this year when it was utilized for the 2007 Mermaid Parade Ball.

Currently the building has been leased by Taconic Investment Partners and is undergoing a clean up and renovations in preparation for various private and public uses beginning this year including a catered event this August.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Guzzle Your Coney Lager At This Year's Siren Festival

The following is a list of places where you can get your Coney Island Lager by the bottle or on tap.

The Freak Bar
1208 Surf Avenue, Coney Island
Home of Coney Island USA

Peggy O'Neill's
1904 Surf Avenue (Keyspan Park), Coney Island

Cha Cha's
Coney Island Boardwalk

Surf & Turf Grill
1315 Surf Avenue, Coney Island

Big Al's
3007 Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Website Dedicated To Dark Rides Creates New Destination: Astroland's Dante's Inferno

Bill Luca and George LaCross, creators of Laff In The Dark, a website dedicated to all those spooky dark rides and funhouses of amusements parks across the world does a great job creating a new entry with information on the Dante's Inferno ride located in Coney Island's Astroland.

Laff In The Dark says:
Here at Laff in the Dark, we've not only documented many rides, builders and artist from the past and present, we've also guided a huge number of our visitors to rides that exist today, thereby helping the ensure that those rides continue to operate and stay healthy and scary!
Dante's Inferno was placed in Astroland in 1971 by importer Morgan "Mickey" Hughes. The ride is named after the epic poem "Dante's Alighieri's". The rides scenes were created by animated display artisan Lou Nasti.

You can follow the discussion at the
CIUSA board where poster Hipster_Head writes:

I would love to see someone with money to lease one of those useless furniture stores north of Surf Ave and create a new dark ride like Dante's Inferno. It doesn't have to be high tech but something very creative to get people to want to ride it. Something new without having to cost millions of dollars. Something made partly of volunteer labor and contributions. Anything! And since it's outside of Astroland they could keep it open during the winter. It will make a statement and underline the fact that Coney is about amusements.

Siren Festival 2007 Schedule

( click image for larger view)

Saturday July 21st, 2007

Noon - 9pm
Performing onTwo Outdoor Stages

Amusement Park Miniature Model Video

This is a cute little video with a miniature model of an amusement park with some rides similar to those in Astroland. Which brings to mind: someone should create a miniature model of Astroland for preservation before it's dismantled - whether it will be moved to another location in Coney Island or dispersed to amusement parks around the world.

This video was taken at a model show in Lockport, NY. Amusement Graffix International makes mini-Amusement park models.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Coney Blog Laments Coney's Death

The new Last Year At Coney Island blog, which started on this year's Mermaid Parade, utilizes photos and essays to lament what it feels is the passing of Coney Island. Its blogger, Neil J Murphy, who runs a number of blogs, is a professional photographer who was once a printer. As his blog states: Between 1996 and 2004, his twenty year career in printing and prepress shops was brought to an end, and his eighteen years in the darkroom as a photographer were brought to a new beginning by the digital age...

Though many of Coney Island's major events and fixtures, except for Astroland, are here to stay. Coney as we know it will be drastically changed. Either it will undergo a major face lift or go through a period of gloomy blight awaiting for its promised rejuvenation. Neil J. Murphy takes a closer look into this impending transformation for Coney. As he implies, the Coney we all know will be gone forever. And even though the Mermaid Parade will still march on next year, it will probably be surrounded by construction - giving it a lesser jubilant tone.

Murphy takes us on an interesting and personal account with his blog leaving any Coney lover and enthusiast with a great feeling.

Murphy writes:

Does she look nervous? She should. She's looking over one of the many plywood fences that have been propped up around her neighborhood in recent weeks. For the time being she can be found along the boardwalk near Stillwell Avenue and 15 Street, but those fences are surrounding a lot that the city redevelopment plan has its eyes on, and the building she's on may not be around very long. She has a right to be wary....

She keeps her vigil for now. Although chances are she'll soon be watching a preview of the fate to eventually befall her before long.
photo by Neil J. Murphy

Coney Bizz May Be Up But Crowds Seem To Have Fizzled

Image by Lornagrl (

The New York Post has conducted a general estimate study by surveying twelve boardwalk businesses. With most reporting between a 20 to 30 increase, many feel the buzz about this being Coney’s last year has made an impact on then number of Coney goers.

The New York Post reported:

"I think it's been part beautiful weather and part people having the wrong impression that Coney Island is closing down after this summer," said Dick Zigun of Coney Island Museum and Circus Sideshow, which he said is up 33 percent.

"We were so worried no one would come this year, but it's just the opposite, because people are coming from all over the world to cherish what could be the last year of Coney Island as we know it," said Lola Staar's Dianna Carlin.

Only Shoot the Freak is down, by 40 percent

Weather the misperception of Coney shutting down for construction after this season is the reason or not, it surely doesn’t look it from an observation of the Coney crowds this year. With daily visits to Coney one can see the crowds being much thinner this season compared to last year. Aside from the major events like the Mermaid Parade, the Hot Dog Eating Contest, and a few Friday nights, other weekends look more like last year's weekdays. The massive crowds have not come down this year to pack the place despite the changes that may take place.

One thing does seem more likely to see the end. And that is Astroland. Even though Astroland has actually made a campaign to let visitors know this is the last season for Astroland, it surely isn’t the last year for Coney Island. Its other main staples are here to stay. The Mermaid Parade, the Cylcone, the Parachute Jump, the Wonder Wheel, the Sideshows, and the museum will always be permanent fixtures. David Gratt of the Coney Island USA has said that this year’s Mermaid Parade was one of the best turn outs seen in years. “This is definitely not Coney’s last year and we shouldn’t be making people believe that, said Gratt.

Coney will stay. Perhaps not the Coney we know. It will change but still survive. As Carol Albert has said, “Coney Island has a kind of spirit about it – that it will reinvent itself no matter what. Of that I’m confident.”

Coney Byeland - Sales Up For 'Last Rides' [The New York Post]

Follow the
CIUSA board discussion on this topic

Thor And Trump Help Fill Markowitz's Campaign Coffers

Reports by the city's Campaign Finance Board indicate that developer Thor Equities and Donald Trump have donated contributions to Marty Markowitz future campaign which has so far raised more than 400,000. Though Markowitz is listed as running 'undeclared', he is probably eying the Mayoral race.

Potential candidates for the wide-open 2009 races for mayor, controller and public advocate are aggressively raising money, reported the
New York Daily News.

A discussion has started at the
Coney Island USA bulletin board (The valuable source for Coney buzz), where frequent poster Switchback writes:
Looks like Sitt is so desperate that he is now contributing to political campaigns in hopes that he can get someone to change their mind
In another post, Switcback wrote:

Just because a politician accepts donations does not mean they are in anyone's pocket. Most of the time they do not even bother to check who they are taking donations from. Markowitz already publicly stated that he was against Thor's plans, so if he does a complete 360 after getting a large donation from Thor then that would only result in a massive investigation and possible jail time.

The money he is raising is most likely for a run at being the next Mayor. It would make more sense for Thor to donate to a candidate who would back their rezoning plan rather then someone who has publicly declared they will do anything to save the amusement zone. At this point though no such candidate exists, so all Thor can do is send donations to every politician hoping that the one who wins will feel an obligation towards them. That is a desperate act. If they really wanted to bribe Markowitz then it would have been done under the table as other developers have done in the past. This would be just too damn obvious. The way to do it would be to set up dummy off shore companies that would donate money, not to donate directly where it would be on public record. Meanwhile, this is a big misstep on Thor's part. If Markowitz was considering allowing rezoning on Thor's property, now he has to worry about it looking like he accepted a bribe and would have changed his mind. Not too slick Sitt.

Couldn’t have said it better!

City pols makin' a dash for cash [New York Daily News]

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Coney HOOPLA !

Coney "Kitsch vs. Cash" in the Washington Post [The Gowanus Lounge]
Grounded tanker re-floated waters off Coney Island [The New York Daily News]
Circus Coming to Coney Says They Still Use Elephants [The Gowanus Lounge]
Keeping Peace on Coney Island’s Salty Planks [The NY Times]
Brooklyn Bridge Art Party Turns To Naked Coney Carousing [The Village Voice - Runnin' Scared]
Coney's horror stretch of Boardwalk [The New York Daily News]
Will All of Wonder Wheel Park Fall to Thor? [The Gowanus Lounge]
Call 911 Man Cries Before Own Suicide [The NY Post]
Coney Byland - Sales Up For 'Last' rides [The NY Post]
Dick Zigun Objects to Village Voice Coney Article [The Gowanus Lounge]
Wonder Wheel Land Sold To Developer Thor Equities [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Trolleys (Again) for Coney Island? [The Gowanus Lounge]
memaid parade [Visual Masterbation]
My Shot of 'Shoot the Freak' [Last Year At Coney Island]
Along For The Ride [The Coney Island Reporter]
The Rumor Was Right: Thor Buying Part of Wonder Wheel Park [The Gowanus Lounge]
Under the Boardwalk [Good Girl Lit's Amazon Blog]
Coney Island [HungerPains]
Coney Island [gaspode's brain detritus]
Gentrification of Coney Island [The Creativity Exhange]
Coney Developer Drops Condo Plan [The NY Sun]
Tanker Grounded off Coney Island, NY []
Part of Wonder Wheel Park to Join Thor's Coney Portfolio [Curbed]
The Coney Island Monorail! [Bridge and Tunnel Club]
There Goes the (Coney Island) Neighborhood [mcbrooklyn]
Good-bye, My Coney Island Baby [NY Magazine - Daily Intelligencer]
Spoon Get Panned By Coney Island Carny [Gawker - Everyone's A Critic]
Coney Island Fears = Big Sales! [Gothamist]
Cloverfield Shoots Flashback Sequence at Coney Island [/film]
Bait Balls Of Fire [The NY Post]
Coney: From wasteland to dreamland [Courier Life]
Joe Sitt goes after kiddie park - Developer to add more real estate to Coney Island holdings [Courier Life]
Return of the streetcar? - Company hears the clang, clang, clang of the trolley [Courier Life]
Reign of kobayashi comes to an end in Coney Island [Courier Life]

Photo of the Week: Carny, Coney Island [Amy Stein Photography]
Last Days Of Coney Island? [Getty Images]
Coney Island Funhouse Photobloggint [Multi Medium]

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thor Closing In On Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

Joe Sitt and Thor Equities could be closing on almost 80,000 square feet of two sections that are part of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park for about $11 Million.

Stephen Witt of the Kings Courier has reported:
“Thor has decided to add to his collection of real estate,” said Vourderis (co-owner and operator of the Wonder Wheel with his brother). “My brother and I both have the option to purchase [the kiddie park property] because we are on long-term lease with [Jack] Ward (of Ward Realty Corporation which currently owns both properties) dating back to 1970,” he added.

Vourderis said part of the legal terms of the lease is they had to be notified if Ward was selling the property and given 30 days to match the offer.

They recently received the notification of the pending sale. Neither Ward nor Sitt could be reached for comment about the sale at press time.

“We’re in kind of a difficult situation. At $2 a pop we’d have to sell a lot of [Wonder Wheel] tickets to match the offer,” said Vourderis. Vourderis said the brothers do have some leverage, though, as the lease also states that even if the property is sold, the long-term lease states the kiddie park can’t be moved until the Wheel turns 100 in 2020.
Somehow this new situation comes as no surprise!

Joe Sitt goes after kiddie park - Developer to add more real estate to Coney Island holdings [Kings Courier]

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Portrait of Coney Island

The Washington Post brings us this high quality portrait of Coney Island with panoramic views of Coney Island as well as a video which gives us a glimpse into some of what may be gone from Coney Island. Though this not the end for many of Coney Island's staples like the Cylcone, Sideshows by the Seashore, and The Mermaid Parade - this is surely the end for its other staples like Astroland and that Honky Tonk charm Coney Island has always bestowed.

With redevelopment on the way for this aging resort, Honky Tonk may give way for gentrification as Washington Post writer, Anthony Faiola reports in his article, "A Sea Change at Coney Island":
Supporters of the snazzy redevelopment say the run-down place needs a new look -- "a Coney Island for the 21st century," better suited to New York's evolution into a city that is safer, cleaner and richer than at any point in its modern history. But other New Yorkers are aghast, seeing it as the symbolic last nail in the coffin of the rough-edged fun that once made New York New York.

This city's once-serendipitous streets, they say, have gradually devolved into a bland collection of chain stores, over-conceptualized restaurants and upscale retail spaces that, while larger and higher-priced, increasingly have little else to separate them from similar fare elsewhere in America. They point to redeveloped Times Square, now kid-safe and complete with the world's largest Toys "R" Us, but bereft of urban vibe. They look at SoHo, once an edgy artists district with affordable lofts now fully transformed into multimillion-dollar spaces for
Wall Street executives and the stores that love them, including Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Chanel

The cheap thrills at Coney Island stood apart from the ubiquity.

(Below are sections of the panoramic images by the Washington Post)

A Sea Change at Coney Island?
Plan to Redevelop Aging Resort Pits Kitsch vs. Cash
[The Washington Post]

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Circus Headed For Coney Island For One Week: July 30th - August 5th 2007

This July 30th to August 5th The Cole Brothers Circus will set up tent and perform at Coney Island. The information came to Kinetic Carnival by an e-mail received from Renee Storey, Vice President-Administration of Cole Bros. Circus.

Joe Sitt and Thor Equities had promised the circus in Coney as well as the water slide and movie showings. One out of three so far has come true. While the Hippo water slide did not make much of a splash, the circus, though only entertaining for one week, looks like a better contender in creating a short-lived, added excitement to Coney Island.

The following is an excerpt from Renee Storey's e-mail:
Cole Bros. Circus proudly presents performers from around the world, including acrobats, aerialists, animals, and clowns from Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. The action-packed, two hour show includes ThunderDrome: MotoGlobe of Death, Suspended Sway Pole Gymnastics, Flying Trapeze, Juggling on Horseback, Aerial Ballet incorporating Revolving Ladders, Cords, Trapeze and Double Chiffon routines, Dressage and Liberty Horses, Clown Gags, Trampoline, Bungee Diving, Pastel Poodles, Hoop Acrobatics, Trampoline, The Human Cannonball, and Elephants.

With its long history of providing summer recreation and entertainment for families, Coney Island seems the perfect venue for Cole Bros. Circus. Our extended, circus family looks forward to joining the Coney Island community for a week, eager to delight area residents and visitors as well as to enjoy this wonderful, historic locale.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Look Back Through Music Videos Shot At Coney Island

Here's a look back at 1982 Coney Island in this Air Supply music video. It's a very bitter-sweet feeling to see Astroland right in the middle of its life-span.

"Even the Nights Are Better" by Air Supply released in 1982.
From the album "Now and Forever".

(C)Arista Records

You can watch other music videos shot at Coney Island in the past through a few links posted at the CIUSA board.

Original thread posted by R
apid T. Rabbit

Upcoming Events For The Childs Restaurant

According to direct sources from Coney Island's Surf & Turf Grill, the new restaurant will be catering food at the Childs building this mid-August to coincide with The NYC Beach Volleyball Tournament event.

Also in the coming weeks MTV will be temporarily utilizing the establishment for a reality based TV cooking show. The building may also temporarily be used as an artist studio.

Recently Taconic Investment Partners, who has a long term lease on the property, stated they will be opening a few temporary food and retail establishments in the building for this season. But until more emerges it seems that besides the catered event, the Childs building will not be used much as a public facility this year except for some talk of opening the space as a nightclub during the winter.

More details on this later as they become clear.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Dry Business For The Coney Water Slide

With a visit every day to the Hippo Water Slide along Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island it seems there aren't many folks interesting in taking a $3 dollar slide down the slippery inflatable wet/dry slide. The slide is actually dry until someone is about go down it - at which point a staff member turns the hose on and wets the slide. The beach chairs are $25 to rent which seems a bit pricey for sunbathing when that could be done at the beach for free. And too lofty of a price to be a spectator at the empty slide. The plywood shack next to it does some business selling cold drinks but the other items on their menu of choices are quite expensive. Lip balm is the same price as going down the slide. For a small 8 oz. tanning spray, the cough-up is $10.

Besides the high prices it's just plain awkward to have this water slide off the beach or a pool area. This kind of attraction is not intended as a stand-alone attraction. Now, if you inflate this huge Hippo on the real beach you'd get the business you're looking for. Anyone can easily predict that Thor Equities will close down the 'attraction' and remove it before the summer is up.

Many feel the that the water slide coming up dry is what Thor wants in order to claim that water amusements are not an interest to Coney goers and end up not building anything and merely flipping the property.

Let's see if Thor will bring the Cole Brothers Circus and have them pitch their tent before the summer is over.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New Hot Dog Eating Contest Winner Joey Chestnut

Joe Chestnut, an American, beat Takeru Kobayashi, the Japanese five-year consecutive winner of Nathan's Hot-Dog Eating Contest held yesterday July 4th 2007 at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island Brooklyn. The new record is 66 hot dogs and buns. Kobayashi trailed behind Chestnut with just short of 3 dogs and franks at the moment the 12 minutes were up.

Chestnut had broken Kobayashi's last record of 53 1/2 this past June by stuffing down 59 1/2 dogs and franks. Many feel this was Kobayashi's best performance. And perhaps it would have not turned out the way it did if Kobayashi did not suffer from a recent chiropractic treatment due to a sore jaw. He had also mentioned at one point that he was not going to compete this year.

Joey Chestnut is a 24 year old competitive eater from San Jose California.

One Year of Kinetic Carnival

This little blog dedicated to Coney Island turned one year yesterday on July 4th, 2007. Many thanks to all those who gave such a tremendous amount of gracious acknowledgement and positive feedback. And a very special thanks goes to The Gowanus Lounge for its wonderful support from the start and throughout the year.

Kinetic Carnival will continue its dedication to this most fabled place of merriment and oddities and hope that the spirit of Coney continues to thrive.

No matter what this way comes - let's make sure we KEEP IT CONEY!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Coney HOOPLA !

The new Coney Island Surf & Turf Restaurant

The Call of the Wild Ride [The Coney Island Reporter]
The More He Devours, the More Fans Eat It Up [The New York Times]
The Coney Island of Canarsie [The New York Times]
Sitt Appeals to Locals at Town Hall Meeting [The Coney Island Reporter]
The Mermaid Parade Makes the Paper in Malasyia [The Coney Island Reporter]
"Those who can't go to Cannes go to Coney" [The Coney Island Reporter]
Thor's Big Fence, Now Blue and Finding Use [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island Friday Night Fireworks Season Blasts Off [The Gowanus Lounge]
PM Update: City Sued Repeatedly Over Injuries From Coney's Trip and Fall Boardwalk [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island À La Carte:Developer Rolls Out New Plans for Coney; Residents Want to Know About Jobs [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
To get Coney job done, Sitt looks to Ratner’s playbook [No Land Grab]
Because Coney Island–Goers Can’t Live on Corn Dogs Alone [New York Magazine]
A Play Set 100 Years from Now in Coney Island [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney on the Cover of Preservation [The Gowanus Lounge]
Take the F express [Coney Express]
Off the Boardwalk [Coney Express]
Hot-Dog Champ Is Coming to Coney Island, Manager Insists [City Room - The New York Times]
Coney Island To Hire $120K Public Relations Strategist [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Coney Island Rocks [Asbury Park Press]
Those who can go to Cannes. Those who can't go to Coney [Wrath of Cannes]
As the Bun Turns: Tsunami to Compete [Gothamist]
Coney Island: What Goes Up . . . [The Washington Post]
Walk Talk [Lime - Healthy Living with a Twist]
Sitt revises plans for Coney; Many remain skeptical [Courier Life]
Snort! [Out and Back]
No Deal (Yet) to Keep Astroland Around for 2008 [Gothamist]
Cyclone Turns 80! [Gothamist]
A Coney Island primer [Out and Back]
New beer is Coney proud [The Brooklyn Paper]
Let Joe Sitt build [The Brooklyn Paper]
Big Coney Island Water Slide Ready to Get Inflated [The Gowanus Lounge]
Hold On: No Reprieve Yet For Astroland!!! [The Gowanus Lounge]
What is Going On in Coney Island??? [The Gowanus Lounge]
Coney cool to scaled-down plan [The Brooklyn Paper]
Attack of the ’Clones [NY Newsday]
Astroland Will Thrill Until .09 [New York Post]

Coney Island's "End of the Line" [The Gowanus Lounge]
The Cyclone's 80th Birthday Next Week [The Gowanus Lounge]
Astroland Gets One-Year Reprieve! [The Gowanus Lounge]
Thor Drops Condos from Coney Plan [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Merman...cough...Merman!!! [more/underlines]
Mermaids Invading Brooklyn [New York City Blog]
Developer fights for Coney Island plan [Crain's New York Business]
Subway Reads: To Do: Coney Island [A Brooklyn Life]
End of the Line [Metropolis Magazine]
The First Big Coney Island Weekend of the Year [The Gowanus Lounge]

The Mermaid Parade 2007 (Slideshow) [YouTube - zookiemommy]
Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2007 Photos [Laughing Squid]
Mermaid Parade [by Angela]
New Mermaid Parade Pics [MySpace - Coney Island Lager]
80 years of precipitous drops: Ride the Cyclone free [Courier Life]
Viva Coney Island [Brooklyn Based]
Astroland Granted a Stay of Execution [Gothamist]

The Selling of Coney Island [The New York Times]
Coney Island's Cyclone Turns 80 [NPR]

Coney Island in Song [WNYC Public Radio]

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Use of Taxes Could Help Maintain Coney's Public Amenities

The city is considering placing the tax revenue generated from the condos, retail, and amusements that are coming to Coney, worth billions of dollars in private development, right back into the neighborhood instead of being allocated out to the city’s general budget. This brought up by Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz’s top planning official, Jon Benguiat. Through a program called PILOT’s which consist of developers making ‘Payments In Lieu of Taxes’.

Though the idea has its opponents, supporters feel this is a good way to ensure the preservation of the neighborhood’s public amenities even at times when the city runs into times of economic struggle.

Sarah Ryley of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported:
Similar arguments are made in favor of PILOTs for Coney Island, where several projects are planned but lack funding, including: The New York Aquarium’s new exterior, repair and maintenance for the boardwalk, beach improvements, Steeplechase Plaza, streetscape improvements and the restoration of the B&B Carousel. The CIDC is asking for private donations for those projects.

“[Markowitz’ office] wanted to do some creative thinking about where the new tax income from Coney Island will go, and whether some of it can be plowed back into Coney Island rather than going into the general city funds, and I applaud them for that,” said CIDC board member Dick Zigun.

“We don’t want Coney Island to get overlooked when the city doles out money, especially once we put all this money into improving Coney Island,” he said.

…. “Property that might be worth $1 million in property taxes, after they throw a billion dollars worth of improvements on it, it might be worth $10 million in property taxes, or $50 million in [Coney Island’s] case,” said Ceretti. “Rather than hit them over the head for $50 million right away, they’ll get to that amount over a long period of time as a way to make the
project financially feasible.”
The PILOT’s (Payments In Lieu of Taxes) would be a needed program in Coney. Especially with important Coney facets like the current-deteriorating Boardwalk. According to The Gowanus Lounge which has been reporting the boardwalk’s ‘trip & fall’ fiasco stating:
16 separate instances of litigation in 2005 and 2006 about injuries sustained by people walking on what we like to call Coney Island's trip and fall boardwalk. The city was sued seven times and settled nine cases. One can expect significant lawsuits this year as well, as parts of the boardwalk are still in horrendous shape and some are frighteningly deteriorated, in the sense that someone might fall through boards and drop 6-8 feet.

A Self-Sustaining Coney Island? [The Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Lawsuits & Repairs on Coney's Trip and Fall Boardwalk [The Gowanus Lounge]

Monday, July 02, 2007

Coney Events: Summer Folk Art & Storytelling: Gary Lapow

This 4th of July remember to stop by the Coney Island History Project exhibit space under the Cyclone at Surf Avenue for an afternoon of Art & Storytelling Coney Island style.

from the Coney Island History Project website:

Gary Lapow, poet, storyteller and songwriter presents Coney Island stories and songs. Gary will also show the work of his father, famed photographer Harry Lapow, author of Coney Island Beach People.

This program is sponsored by a grant from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts

Summer Folk Art & Storytelling: Gary Lapow
Wednesday, July 4th

Cyclone exhibition space
at 5pm