Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Coney Events: Coney Island Weekends Photo Show

Join the works of eleven photographers who showcase their photographers - participants of Harvey Stein's Coney Island.

Coney Island Weekends
Fahey Bodell
Umbrella Arts
Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 4

6pm to 8pm
Gallery Hours: Thursday to Sunday
1pm to 6pm
by appointment only
at 317 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10003

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Coney Events: Georgia Sothern In Burlesque At The Beach

From the Coney Island USA website:

A historical re-creation of the Minsky Follies and burlesque
legend Georgia Sothern continues in the playland of playlands! Ixion will present another evening of LIVE MUSIC - GROUP CHOREOGRAPHY - MINSKY SKITS AND COMIC BITS - and of course the multi-talented RunAround Sue as GEORGIA SOTHERN!

Georgia Sothern
Burlesqu At The Beach

Ixion Burlesque
Friday, May 30th
at Sideshows by the Seashore
Corner of Surf and West 12th Street

See the
2008 Burlesque Schedule

Get Connected With The CIDC

The CIDC, Coney Island Development Corporation has further busied themselves up with their marketing and community interaction by launching an e-mail newsletter called the cidcconnection. Visit the CIDC to find more info on receiving the cidc connection by joining their mailing list.

CIDC's New Fun Guide Website For All Your Coney Events

The Coney Island Development Corporation had not only launched their new revamped website but have also created their Coney Island Fun Guide that will feature all your Coney events.

The new Coney Island Fun Guide states:

Welcome to Coney Island.
Coney Island is a thriving, year-round entertainment destination full of fun things to do, and it's just a stone's throw away from Manhattan. The Coney Island Fun Guide is the perfect resource to use in planning your Coney Island adventure.

New Coney Welcome Banners For 2008

The Coney Island Development Corporation has installed banners around the amusement area of Coney Island that hightlight area’s key landmarks and institutions.

CIDC's new revamped website writes:

CIDC works to support and enhance existing events and marketing efforts throught Coney Island.

2008 Coney Island USA Spring Gala Images

This Year Joe Sitt Is In The Coney Mood

Though Thor Equities and Joe Sitt are trying to score points in their dealings with the city or just trying to prove that they truly desire to keep the Coney spirit in Coney, is not yet known. Regardless, Joe is surely going around decorating and prettying things up for the season.

As the
Gowanus Lounge observes:

Yesterday, we found that the plywood has been painted yellow and red. There are two reactions that one can have: (A). Plywood is plywood and the windows have been replaced with plywood or (B). At last Mr. Sitt is trying to make it look less like plywood.

Coney Mania #2: Even the Plywood is Now Colorful [Gowanus Lounge]

Are Ponies Being Treated With Cruelty At The New Coney Rides?

The new rides at Coney from Reithoffer’s Playland on the Thor Equities property is already getting flack. As The Gowanus Lounge observed; what is part of a living "ride" could look to some like animal cruelty.

Gowanus Lounge writes:
The five ponies and the ride are ostensibly part of a petting zoo set up on developer Joe Sitt’s property. Whether one considers the attraction and the sight of ponies chained to such a device and forced to endlessly walk in circles depends on one’s perspective.

Luckily, the ponies will only be going in circles here for only two weeks.

Image courtesy of The Gowanus Lounge

Coney Mania #5: Fun Ride or Animal Cruelty? [Gowanus Lounge]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reithoffer’s Short Run Playland In Coney Impressive

Though the rides from Reithoffer’s Playland that are brought to you by Thor Equities are temporary, they surely make an impressive site for the long-dwindling Coney Island. Good points for Thor Equities gained compared from last year's flimsy attempts to marvel us.

You can view images over at The Gowanus Lounge.

CIDC Scoping Meeting Info

Coney Island USA poster MUSCLE13 informs us, as a comment in our last post, of the Public Scoping Meeting's date, place, and time info. The meeting will take place, once again, at Lincoln High School on June 24th. You can go the Department of City Planning's website for further info.

According to some sources like Coney Island USA poster Coney_Islander not yet confirmed, the CIDC's will be "Public Scoping Meeting", which will held at Lincoln High school located at 2800 ocean parkway.

The CIDC Revamps Its Website

From the Coney Island Development Corporation Website:

The CIDC Unveils Redesigned Website
We’ve updated our website with a fresh new design and expanded content. The site will continue to be a resource for the extended Coney Island community to learn about the many active projects, initiatives and opportunities in the neighborhood.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reithoffers Playland At Coney Island

The temporary rides by Reithoffers Playland are up and Coney Island's roving photographer Captain Nemo has posted them on the Coney Island USA message board.

Thor Equities has also put up Beer Island where the mini golf course and the Hippo water slide was up last year. Beer Island seems like a parking lot for drunks. A temporary drunk fest in Coney Island. The images below were also posted on the Coney Island USA message board by Captain Nemo.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More Coney Demonstration Video: Reverend Billy

More on the demonstration to save Coney Island at the season's opening day for the beach. The video was posted by Rob Leddy, the director of the Coney Island Film Festival.

Save Coney Island Demonstration - Reverend Billy

Coney Island 5/22/08. Shot by Rob Leddy on a Canon Digital Elph.

Posted by
cifilmman [YouTube]

Friday, May 23, 2008

Protester Video: Amos Wengler Sings To Save Coney

Amos Wengler Save Coney Island Demonstration 5/22/08

Amos Wengler sings Save Coney Island. Shot by Rob Leddy on a Canon Digital Elph.

Posted by
cifilmman [YouTube]

Coney Beach Season Opens With Protesters

Still wearing light jackets in the end of May, Save Coney protesters huddled around on the boardwalk chanting their usual slogans and rants to save Coney Island's amusements from being swallowed up by plans to bring mostly the same everywhere-else-America to Coney Island. Many are now blaming the city as well as Thor Equities for not giving a hoot about what makes Coney Island...Coney Island.

In the
NY1 video segment one protester, Angie Potani expresses herself:
"Why do people love Coney Island? Not for strip mall, not for condominiums,” said protester Angie Pontani. “They love it for the amusement and the history and when we redevelop we have to focus on preserving that. And the major change in the city’s plan is now to reduce the amusement district."

Lynn Kelly gives her retort:
"I think they believe were taking away the amusement area which is frankly inaccurate,” said Lynn Kelly of the Coney Island Development Corporation. “We are more then doubling the existing size of what’s out there today and we are providing uses in and around it that will compliment an amusement area and bring people here year round, such as restaurants, entertainment, retail bowling alleys, movie theaters."
All in all change is what we need here in Coney Island - but the right change. Perhaps the city should rethink the whole idea and forget about big business in Coney Island. And instead, should create some sort of template to allow the little guy to thrive here.

here to view video.
You can follow the discussion on the
Coney Island USA message board.

Save Coney Beach Opening Colorful Protest

Here are some pics of yesterday's Save Coney Island protest which some feel was not the turn out that was hoped for. Unfortunately with all these rallies and protests it seems that the numbers of those with a desire to save Coney's amusements are not as large as needed to make the right kind of noise.

The pictures were posted on the
Weblicist of Manhattan website.

Brooklyn / Coney Music Vid: THE BROOKLYN WAY

Hip hopin' your way through Brooklyn to Coney Island.


The Brooklyn Way feat. Everlast music video from the album The Brooklyn Way by The Lordz. Title song to the docu-series The Brooklyn Way premiering on FUSE.

Posted by
lucymac1 [YouTube]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Help Save The Dreamland Roller Rink

Lola Staar needs your help to save and bring back her roller rink by making a generous pledge. For the gratitude, prizes will even be awarded, like; VIP passes, unlimited season passes, lifetime membership. But you need to act fast! The Lola Staar Dreamland Roller Rink also has a new website that you can check out.

The opening event this past March, 22nd brought out the glam of today's Coney including one celebrity; Marisa Tomei.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Coney Grand Theft Auto Action

This time it's the indestructible 'Firefly Island' Coney boardwalk gazebo in the Grand Theft IV game from Rockstar Games. Seems like Liberty City is ahead of the game in making sure that their boardwalk and beach-side street furniture are in tip top shape and stands the test of time and vandalism. Though, they still haven't found of way to stop the graffiti.

The video clip and images are once again brought to you by
switchback who posted this video clip and images on the Coney Island USA message board. You can see a few screenshots at the message board.


Attemps to destroy a gazebo at Fierfly Island

Posted by
GTAtodayvid050708 [YouTube]

Reminder: Coney Island USA Spring Gala

Support your local Coney Island cultural arts organization...Coney Island USA

From the Coney Island USA website:

It's Time for the Coney Island USA Spring Gala!Come out and celebrate the 2008 season with us, as we kick off the summer with a big blowout at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. There's an Open Bar, and The Brooklyn Bombshells will teach you some swing dance moves so you can dance to to the stylings of our band: Lady Luck and the Suicide Kings.

Coney Island USA Spring Gala
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

7 PM to 11 PM
Angel Orensanz Foundation
172 Norfolk Street New York, NY

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coney Vid: Coney Island Memories

Nice little home video showing a romp through Coney.

Coney Island Memories
June 1st, 2007 visit to Coney Island following an article in the free local newspaper (AM New York) reporting that it was closing down. Share your memories here. Edit of May 17th, 2008 for a Surrealist Movie Night at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center premiering the "Brave Destiny" documentary.

Posted by
CinemaVII [YouTube]

Coney Firefighters Save Three Trapped On Jetty

Found via mcbrooklyn, firemen from Ladder 161 in Coney Island saved three swimmers who ventured out on a Coney Island jetty near Surf Avenue and West 16th Street.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thor Ride Being Built At Coney

It seems Thor Equities has been busy keeping their promise. So far they have begun assembly on a new ride. A picture taken by Coney Island USA message board poster Screwtape.

Correction: To be more specific, as a comment that was made to this post, indicating that we were too general: It is a given that Thor Equities is not assembling these rides but have
contracted the traveling carnival company, Reithoffer Shows to bring these rides to Coney Island. This is not a spin tactic. Kinetic Carnival whole heartedly supports the movement to keep a large thriving amusement area in Coney Island.

Coney Vid: Documentary On Coney's Closed Amusements

Nicely done Coney doc. Found via The Gowanus Lounge.

Coney island

A short documentary showcasing the emptiness of coney island since its amusements closed in 2007.

Posted by
lcfoxfc [YouTube]

Friday, May 16, 2008

'Summer Of Hope For Coney' Brought To You By Thor Equities

Image courtesy of GerritsenBeach.Net []

Thor Equities is hoping to win your hearts by creating a summer dreamland this summer.

Their press release reads:


Dozens of new amusements, including the largest number of new and exciting rides in decades, coming to Coney through Labor Day

World-renowned Reithoffer Shows, a new ‘Dreamland’ and family friendly sideshows just a few of the new attractions

(BROOKLYN) – The “Summer of Hope” is opening in Coney Island on Memorial Day, Thor Equities announced today, featuring the newest and best rides to come to the Boardwalk in decades; fun and challenging games and family-friendly sideshows.

The festivities kick off with a 10-day limited engagement with the oldest traveling amusement show in the country—the Reithoffer shows—and won’t stop until Labor Day, as Thor debuts a new, summer-long version of Dreamland Park.

“Nowhere in the world has a richer tradition of electrifying rides, mind-bending sideshows and fun-for-the-whole-family games than Coney Island,” said Joseph J. Sitt, President of Thor Equities. “Thor is fully committed to the amusement industry in Coney, and from the Ring of Fire to the world’s smallest woman, we’re sure the Summer of Hope will be a Summer to remember for the hundreds of thousands of thrill-seekers who will crowd into Coney Island from Memorial Day to Labor Day.”

Rides coming in with Reithoffer from May 22 to June 3 include:

The Tidal Wave, Swinging Fire Ball, the largest Bumper Car in Coney, Giant Power Surge, The Storm, Giant Century Wheel, Crusty Crab Wheel, Demolition Derby, Super Fun Slide, Mini Indianapolis, Giant Avalanche, Starship 2000, Drive in Go-Round, Rocking Tug Boat, Crazy Bus, Tilt-a-Whirl and Bumble Bee.

Rides that will operate in “Dreamland” all summer include:

Majestic Himalaya, Ring of Fire, Spin Out, Giant Gondola, Wacky Worm, Zipper, Mind Scrambler, Bumper Cars, Mini Himalaya, Mini Jet 6, and a Carousel. A petting zoo will also be located inside “Dreamland.”

Sideshow attractions the will alternate throughout the summer include:
The World’s Smallest Horse, the World’s Largest Alligator, the 100-lb. rat and the World’s Smallest Woman.

During the Summer of Hope, all rides will be located off Stillwell Avenue Between Surf and The Boardwalk.

Joe Sitt: Bring On the Petting Zoos at Coney Island [New York Observer]
Thor Declares “Summer of Hope,” Brings Rides [Gowanus Lounge]

You can follow the discussion on the Coney Island USA message board

Save Coney Island Demonstration

(Click image to enlarge)

This opening
beach day at Coney Island come out and help save
Coney Island with the Save Coney Island Demonstration. 9:45AM will be the gathering for the rally to start at 10:30.

NO to High Rises in the Amusement District. . NO to Retail, Malls or Entertainment Retail in the Amusement District. NO to shrinkage of the Amusement District from 15 acres to 9 acres! YES to preserving Amusement Zoning in the Amusement District!! YES to keeping Coney Island the People’s Playground- providing accessible Amusements for ALL to enjoy!!

Big Colorful Signs!! (see below for slogan ideas)Attend our FREE Poster making party on May 13th (details below)

We will be providing FREE Save Coney Island tee shirts to those attending the demonstration (while supplies last!!) or Wear the Save Coney Island colors electric blue, red, and yellow!!or Costumes! Glitter! Face Paint! Wear whatever costume that you feel expresses the Spirit of Coney Island!!

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!!: Download this
Save Coney Island
Demonstration Flyer
Make copies! Hang it up in your neighborhood! Pass em out!! Decorate your office with them!! Please help us promote these events!!

There will also be a sign painting party for the event as well as a brand new Save Coney Island website coming up soon.

Reminder: Woody Guthrie's Coney Island Years

The Coney Island History Project Presents:

Woody Guthrie's Coney Island Years

The Coney Island History Project is pleased to announce their 2008 opening exhibition, Woody Guthrie's Coney Island Years. Guthrie and his family lived on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island from 1943 - 1952. The exhibition will feature photographs about the famed activist's life in Coney Island.

The Mermaids at 2pm

The Coney Island History Project's

Open Memorial Day Weekend - May 24 - 26 - 1- 6pm
website for summer schedule

Woody Guthrie's Coney Island Years
May 24th
at the Opening Day of The Coney Island History Project's Exhibition Center
Free Admission
Exhibition Center is located under the Cyclone Roller Coaster
Surf Avenue near 10th Street

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Coney Vid: Sideshow School

Here's a quick look at the Coney Island USA Sideshow School featuring Heather Holiday, teacher and sword swallower.

Sideshow School

Students at the Coney Island Sideshow School learn how to eat fire, shove a nail up their nose, swallow swords and escape from a straightjacket while hanging upside-down.

Posted by
diagonaluk [YouTube]

Coney Asser Levy Park Receives $36 Million In Funding

Image courtesy of Brownstoner

City funds the ampitheater with $36 million dollars to secure 10 acres with improvements. Ground breaking is expeted to start about August 2009. The projected is expected to be completed by the summer of 2009.

The brownstoner writes:
The development will run between Sea Breeze Avenue to the north, Surf Avenue to the south and West 5th Street to the west. The formal review process for the project is supposed to start sometime this year

Coney Vid: "Bally Master" Trailer

Found on New Filmmakers website, an organization that gives independent filmmakers the chance to show their work directly to the public and gives New York audiences the opportunity to see outstanding new films.

This film "Bally Master" by Gary Beeber staring Coney Island's Scott Baker THE TWISTED SHOCKMEISTER.


"GRAND JURY AWARD IN DOCUMENTARY" DC Independent Film Festival, 2008. "BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT" Coney Island Film Festival, 2007. OFFICIAL SELECTION, On Location: Memphis, 2008. OFFICIAL SELECTION, Backseat Film Festival, 2008. OFFICIAL SELECTION, Da Vinci Film Festival, 2008. OFFICIAL SELECTION, NewFilmmakers NYC, 2008. OFFICIAL SELECTION, CHARLOTTE FILM FESTIVAL-2007. Trailer from a film by Gary Beeber entitled "BALLY MASTER." A peek into the BIZARRE world of Scott Baker, magician, actor, and master of the Bally stage at the world famous Coney Island Circus Sideshow.

Posted by
garybeeber [YouTube]

Coney Boardwalk Doesn't Make The Cut For AOL

Of the most scenic and beautiful boardwalks of the country according to America Online's top 10 list.

From John's Pass Boardwalk and Village located in St. Petersburg, Florida, The Santa Monica Pier, Canal Walk in Richmond Virginia, to Atlantic City - they are placed on
AOL Travel best scenic boardwalks. The dilapidation of the boardwalk in Coney Island further removes it from any 'best' lists of places that bestow a boardwalk of any kind.

The Pike at Rainbow Harbor
Location: Long Beach, California

Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Canal Walk
Richmond, Virginia

Coney Island History Project Summer Schedule

The full summer schedule for the Coney Island History Project can be viewed in full detail at the History Project's MySpace.

The History Project’s Exhibition Center is located under the Cyclone Roller Coaster, Surf Avenue near 10th Street Open Weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Free Admission for One and All!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Coney Events: Coney Island Advertising Freakshow

This year Cha Cha's in Coney Island will again the Coney Island Advertising Freakshow. As with all advertising festivals, they are open to the imagination. And the best ideas usually wins some sort of prize. Though last year's event mostly went on without much of a notice. This year there is hope for more.

Wrath of Cannes - The 2nd Annual Advertising Freakshow:

No call for entries, no fees.
Come to the party, bring one great idea on a thumb drive or other removable media. Entries will be judged in real time and the Grand Coney will be awarded all in the same

Wrath of Cannes
The 2nd Annual Coney Island Advertising Freakshow
Thursday, June 19th, 2008

6pm to 10pm
at Cha Cha's Club Atlantis
Boardwalk in Coney Island

Nathan's Hot Dog Less Caloric Than The Big Mac

Nathan's Famous has started to post up their calorie contect alongside their prices. As Captain Nemo has observed and posted on the Coney Island USA message board, he writes:

Nathans is now posting the calories of all their food items. The difference in some of the prices and their calories is very close Ever wonder what the calories are in a plain hot dog? wonder no more.

The hot dog here is comparable to the Subways sandwhich which boast about half the calories to the McDonald's Big Mac and the Burger King Whopper

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Coney Vid: "Coney Island Baby" By Tom Waits

Coney Island Baby (music by Tom Waits)

A self-made music video comprised of archival footage of Coney Island. The music is performed by Tom Waits & written by Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan (from Waits' album "Blood Money").
© Stephen Cousins, 2006

Posted by
debibulated [YouTube]

Coney Events: 2008 Siren Music Festival Lineup

Illustration by Paul Antonson


8th Annual Siren Music Festival
July 19, 2008
from 12:00 noon - 9:00 p.m.
This event is a free, all day, all ages music festival

Save Coney From A Shrunken Amusement Zone

The Save Coney Island coalition of over 4,000 members has formed and is standing strong to fight for Coney Island's amusement district from being swallowed by a huge residential and retail complex. The City's rezoning plans would considerably shrink the amusement area to only nine acres.

The following is their press announcement:

For Immediate Release

New Coney Island Coalition Says:
Oppose New Zoning! Save Coney Island!

Coney Island USA, The Coney Island History Project, Citylore and the Coney Island Hysterical Society are just a few of Coney Island Community groups who have joined forces with Save Coney Island, which has over 4,000 members, to form a coalition to oppose the city’s new zoning compromise. The City's new plan almost completely abolishes the amusement industry for the sake of residential condos, hotels and retail.

The Under the new proposal, Coney Island will be overwhelmed by new residential, hotel and retail uses and amusements will be squeezed out!

Coney Island is currently zoned for 61 acres of amusements; the city’s new proposal reduces the amount of amusements to 9 acres, supplemented by retail.

This reduction of proposed space for amusements will be unable to create critical mass for the amusement area, defeating the goal of creating a world class amusement and tourist destination. This is not the grand amusement park that we were promised!

Goodbye day at the beach…hello day at the shopping mall!

25 to 30 story towers do not belong in an amusement neighborhood!

Retail is no substitute for amusements! Niketown is not a rollercoaster! Toys ‘R Us with a ferris wheel is not an amusement park!

“Amusements are not profitable” is a lie! Ask Disney, Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Astroland, Deno’s or the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions!

Politicians seeking to turn Coney Island into the Mall of America are placing their own parochial interests over those of Coney Island, Brooklyn and New York City! Shades of Walter O’Malley!

There is plenty of other space in Coney Island for hotels and retail! Why destroy the amusement area forever to meet this goal?

Save Coney Island will protest the city's plan with a demonstration during the Opening of the Beach Ceremony on May 22nd in Coney Island. In glittering Coney Island style, we will demonstrate that Coney Island Community does not want malls and high-rises in the Amusement District.

Publicity Contacts:
Dianna Carlin, Save Coney Island - Lola Staar

Charles Denson, Coney Island History Project

David Gratt, Coney Island USA

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Capturing The Spirit Of Coney

It wouldn't be much to argue that Coney Island could be on a list of the most photographed places in the world. Many photographers from Coney lovers to professionals have fallen in love with this place, capturing its every nook and cranny from many prospectives. Something we would could only wish had been done all along Coney's rich history.

One of those enamored with it is not only a talented photographer but a really nice person as well. He spends a lot of time coming down to Coney Island and has even conducted workshops here.

This summer
Kevin Downs, originally from Birmingham, Alabama and based in New York, begins another workshop in Coney Island starting June 7th. The Kevin C. Downs Photography website has many wonderful samples of his work.

Using equipment that encompasses everything from the latest Canon equipment to his vintage Speedgraphic camera, Kevin's photographs capture the older "good-ol'" days: vintage signs, the Lollipop Hotel, greasers at a Rumblers Car Show and candied marshmallows and the Sideshow at Coney Island. His work contains in them, a medley of cultures, peoples and places, from Mexican wrestlers to the shrines of Tokyo.

The Coney Island USA website states:

During this workshop, 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 history beginnings as the people's playground to the present. Students will be shooting the icons of the Cyclone, Wonder Wheel, Astroland and the Mermaid Parade, boardwalk denizens and personalities, the beach, Nathan's, the tourists, etc., from the water to Mermaid Avenue, developing their powers of observation and their techniques.

Coney Island: Different Perspectives
With Kevin C. Downs

Saturday afternoons/evenings
13 Sessions Total
June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 5, 12, 19, 26;
August 2, 9, 16, 23,
September 6

For more information visit the Coney Island USA Gift Shop

Plywood Bandaid On Coney Boardwalk

The Coney boardwalk gets plywood placed over a section in front of the Lola Staar Boutique. Captain Nemo posted the image above on the Coney Island message board. He speculates that the city has probably patched it up. Another posted claims they've actually seen the Parks Department do the work.

Captain Nemo writes:

Someone, possibly the city, places boards over the area that a couple of weeks ago, was sectioned off. The businesses operating on the Boardwalk threatened to fix things on their own, so I am not sure who did this.

Gowanus Lounge wrote:

Injuries promise to keep the FDNY and NYPD teams on the boardwalk all summer