Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Flickr Group From History Project: Coney Alive And Kicking

The Coney Island History Project just started a new Flickr Group and it's up and running to show the world that Coney Island is not closed but very open! So if you got awesome pictures of what's going to be alive and kicking for summer 2009, you can submit them now!

From CIHP's Alive And Kicking Flickr Group:

The Coney Island History Project, founded in 2004, is a not-for-profit organization that aims to increase awareness of Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island neighborhood of today. Now that the History Project's flickr photostream is established, we're ready and eager to start a few groups. This group is intended to help publicize to the world the fact that Coney Island is alive and kicking and welcomes visitors in 2009!

We are interested in the best of the best images from recent years of attractions that will *definitely* be here and open for business in 2009. Once the 2009 season gets underway and you have new photos, you can start adding images from this year as well. Photos of residents and visitors enjoying what Coney Island has to offer are also welcome. Everything from the landmark Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and Parachute Jump to the independently owned rides and attractions to the beach and the Boardwalk. If you are uncertain whether a particular ride, food stand or other attraction will be open, we'll try to find out.

Coney Island attractions that will *definitely* be open in 2009:
Please consult the list
here before you post.

Public Hearings For Coney And Brighton Beach Rezonings

The Bay News earlier reported that the Community Board 13 will be February 25th for Brighton Beach and March 3rd for Coney Island . Located at Coney Island Hospital Auditorium for Brighton and at Lincoln High School Auditorium for Coney Island.

There are supposed to be 2 Board Hearings for Coney. The Community Board deadline for their recommendation is March 30th. The March 3rd hearing is a tentative date thus far, but I expect there will be 2 hearings in March. Then it goes through Marty, City Planning, and City Council, with a bunch more public meetings. writes:

At this point Community Board 13 is anticipating holding two separate hearings on the massive plan to change Coney Island’s current C7 zoning. It is hoped that the zoning change will facilitate the development of 4,500 new units of residential housing and the construction of a 27-acre year-round amusement park.

* * * * * *

The city is desperate to get its Coney Island redevelopment plan realized by the end of this summer, but significant opposition from ride advocates and local elected officials remains.

Besides Coney Island are the controversial proposal to rezone 50 blocks in Brighton Beach. The rezoning would allow taller buildings along Brighton Beach Avenue, which has some local residents opposing the plan, claiming the taller buildings would block sunlight and ocean breeze.

Coney ULURP hearings []
Public Hearings scheduled for Coney and Brighton Rezoning [ConeyRocks]
Brighton Beach rezone - CB13 to hold hearings on plan to revamp 50 blocks []

Coney Island Film Festival Call For Entries Now Open

Image courtesy of Coney Island Film Festival
Top Row: Paul Andersen (The Visitor), Randy Scott Slavin (Temporarily in Love) Angelica Torn, Luke Zarzecki (Lucky Days) Marcos Meconi (Carlos Catani) Bottom Row: Chris Fox Gilson, Carolyn Travis (Airplay) Amanda Jencsik (Coney Island Saved Me!) Peter LiPera (Save Coney Island) Photo: Norman Blake, Location: El Dorado Auto Skooters

It's that time get your films submitted to the Coney Island Film Festival for 2009! Your chance to have your film screened in Coney Island and maybe win an award like the filmmakers in the picture of above, who won last year.

Early Bird Deadline is February 27, 2009. Regular Deadline is April, 24, 2009. Late Deadline is July 3, 2009. And Extended Late Deadline is July 10, 2009.

Quotes from the 2008 filmmakers about our festival.
View the festival's
2008 Photo Gallery.

9th Annual Coney Island Film Festival
October 2-4, 2009
at Sideshows By The Seashore and The Coney Island Museum in the historic Brooklyn neighborhood Coney Island, New York!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Flickr Convoy: Coney's Fast-Food-Toutin'-Astroboy

Image courtesy of Rubys Host / KC Flickr Group

So, what's up with this burger boy who has stood perched atop the Gregory & Paul's foodstand along with the Astroland rocket for many years? Though this image has a mirrored effect (He only holds one big juicy burger instead of two), could he still be considered a Coney Island icon? Does he have a name? An origin? Who knows the history of this fast-food-toutin'-Astroboy? Shouldn't we make sure he has a place in the future Coney Island?

Join the Kinetic Carnival Flickr Group to add your Coney Island images and have them featured on this blog.

Left is the original (non-mirrored) burger boy. And don't forget his girlfriend who's perched on the other end of the food stand.

Both 'Astro' boy & girl should have a place in the future Coney.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Saying Good-Bye For Now To Astroland Rocket

Image courtesy of Coney Island History Project (

In a press conference and ceremony paying tribute to the Astroland rocket which Astroland donated to the city yesterday, many of the main characters attended. Of course among them was Carol Hill Albert, Astroland's past owner and operator, who said:

“This one of a kind Rocket simulator was the very first ride to arrive at Astroland Park, when it was founded by my late father in- law Dewey Albert in 1962. My husband Jerome and myself are donating this in his honor and on behalf the Coney Island History Project. It is especially fitting that this Rocket, which was the first to arrive, will be the last item to leave Astroland Park. On the sad occasion of closing Astroland, which has been Coney Island's largest amusement park for 47 years, my husband Jerome and I are heartened to know that the City will be displaying the Rocket in a prominent location as part of the new Coney Island where it can continue to educate and entertain.”

The rocket is to receive a bronze plaque which on it will be inscribed that the donation is in honor of Dewey 0Albert, Astroland's founder. The plaque is said to be placed on the rocket in the next few months. Though nobody will see it because the rocket itself will be stored some place, somewhere, in Staten Island.

Image courtesy of Pablo57 (

Posted by Mr Jonsey PabloJonsey on the Coney Island message board:

Rocket may be leaving us soon for exile, but tonight the rocket sleeps cuddled beside the Cyclone's back. The rocket listens to the cry of the Astro Tower for at least one more night, hears the Q train rumbling by for one more night. The rocket will sleep with the sounds of the aquarium and the ocean soothing her to sleep, mermaids will be guarding the rocket tonight.

The rocket has been rumored to be located temporarily at says Indie Rob Leddy on the CIUSA board:

A friend who is a reliable contact called me this afternoon and claims that it will be stored at the Stapleton Homeport.

Image courtesy of photoboyonsi (

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Eat Nathan's HOOPLA!

Image courtesy (posted with permission) by Cristian Fleming
(Cristian Fleming - editorial cartoonist)

Last week the launch of the seven-month public review process for Coney’s rezoning
set off the buzz that Nathan’s Famous hot dog eatery was threatened of being devoured because it sits on land that will become highly valuable when the rezoning for Coney redevelopment happens. Somewhere, almost hidden, in the draft of the environmental impact statement released by the city last week states:
The report, referring to “impacts” of the rezoning of Coney Island, indicates that Nathan’s Famous “is assumed to be replaced under the proposed actions with a new building containing hotel, amusement, retail and enhancing uses.”

But Andrew Brent, a spokesman for the mayor, said that Nathan's is not leaving for now. He said,
“Nathan's is one of Coney’s treasured assets, and its continued success on its current location is absolutely a part of the administration's plan to grow and revitalize the amusement district."

Other buzz is that the rezoning could have the eatery expand with "possibly a sit-down restaurant, catering facility or even a
hot-dog ride."

Ruby’s Host posts on
CIUSA board
Nathans already had designs for 15 stories, of which part would be condos. They are planning on using the first 3-5 floors for Nathan’s expansion like; in-house seating, a mini museum for Nathan’s history and for the eating contest.

But above all the hoopla,
chairperson for Nathan’s Famous, Eric Gatoff wrote a letter to the Gowanus Lounge blog and had this (in part) to say to GL:
....we believe the information relating to Nathan’s is being misinterpreted and that there is no intention to replace or demolish our flagship location. In fact, the Coney Island Development Corporation’s own drawings of its intended redevelopment continue to show Nathan’s Famous in the same location on which it has stood for 93 years, on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, at the front door to the “People’s Playground.”

But if you gave a sigh a relief – wait – because Coney Island USA director Dick Zigun says: The historic building is,
YES INDEED, very very very threatened by this zoning plan.
The rezoning creates enormous economic pressure on the Handwerker Family to demolish the current building when the lease is up in 20 years. The city is economically encouraging (almost forcing) the family to upgrade to a 15 story building with a new home for the Nathan's Restaurant. The city has shown NO RESPECT for the historic building where fast-food was invented. The city should be zoning for a tall building BEHIND the current two story structure.

Understandable is the importance to keep the building's character and history by landmarking but then again...why? Nathan’s is a simple two story building which can't be seen because it’s covered with billboards. It will not blend in with a sprouting new Coney around it. Sure there is plenty of space in the lots behind it to go up but adding another a few more stories above it with new billboards (for a Nathan's expansion) would fit in nicely (keeping the same logo and design) with its future surroundings. Okay okay...keep the first floor because we want to keep the original intact.

As worry of Nathan’s iconic signature for Coney was threatened, others were busy vanishing from Coney forever like Gregory & Paul’s long standing food stand on the corner of Surf Avenue and W. 10th street across from the Cyclone – as it was auctioned off. Their stand on the boardwalk, however, will most likely be open this summer as some reports indicate.

The Astroland rocket sat quietly in the almost-vacant Astroland lot until Wednesday when it was announced that
Astroland was donating it to the city for Coney’s future.

Well, since Belgium porn was expelled from the future of Coney Island by Davina Cukier who decided to sell the domain left to lapse by Thor Equities, it appears she gave up and the hosting company put up a generic page.

And finally, left for birds was the 6 million dollar potato chip that
nobody wants for the amphitheater at Asser Levy Park made its rendering debut. The public’s opposition to Marty Markowitz plans for the theater grows.

Nathan's HOOPLA:
Coney Island Nathan's in Danger Under Bloomberg Plan [Eatery]
Coney Offensive Begins, But Nathan's Dogged By Questions [Curbed]
Nathan’s Calls BS on Talk of Demolition [Gowanus Lounge]
Nathan's Staying at Coney Island, At Least [Village Voice - runnin's scared]
Coney Is. Plans Bites Nathan's [NY Post]
Hot Dogs To Go Go -Brooklyn May Lose Original Nathan's [Brooklyn Hall of Fame]
Dick Says Nathan’s Could Go to the Dogs [Gowanus Lounge]

City Saving Astroland Rocket (In Space Saving Vacum Bag) [Neil deMause - The Website]
Astroland, Gone But Not Forgotten [the Architects Newspaper Blog]
Coney Island's Rocket ride saved for new NYC park [Antiwar Newswire]
Coney Residents: Asser Levy Alone! [The Brooklyn Paper]

How to Have Fun with Boring Planning Maps [Gowanus Lounge]
Future of Coney Island Farce Continues & Get Curiouser [Gowanus Lounge]
After 6-Ton Donation, Astroland Rocket Sets a Course for Re-entry to Coney Island [NY Times]


Nathan's [Etsy]
In the Pool: Utilitarian [Gowanus Lounge]
Coney Island I'll Stand Alone [the Daily Sunrise]
Coney Skies [Taking Pictures]

Astroland Rocket Donated To City And Takes Off To Staten Island

Image courtesy of Coney Island History Project (

The Astroland Rocket has been donated to the city. The rocket that has been resting inside the gates of the now-mostly-empty Astroland lot is ready to be carted away across the river and over the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island where it will be living in hiding in Staten Island for a long time. Until it's placed somewhere in its new home at the future redeveloped Coney Island. Astroland donated the 71-foot long, 14,000 pound rocket to the city and was excepted by EDC Deputy Mayor, Robert Lieber on behalf of the City Economic Development Corporation.

The New York Economic Development Corporation sent out press alert about holding a conference at the Aquarium's Education Hall at noon. Carol Hill Albert along with Lieber and EDC president, Seth Pinsky, Domenic Recchia, City Planner Amanda Burden and others attended. Some quotes from the conference, in part, read:

"Rescue of Endangered Coney Island Artifact is a Symbol of the City’s Commitment to the Redevelopment of the Storied Amusement Destination...Will Relocate to a Permanent Home in Coney Island’s New Amusement and Entertainment District." It added that rocket "will become a permanent and iconic part of the 27 acre redeveloped amusement district in Coney Island."

With the announcement there was a conference held at the New York Aquarium at noon where the rocket was moved to until it was shipped off to Staten Island sometime in the evening.

Robert C. Lieber, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, quotes in the release:
“Coney Island is the people’s playground, and the Astroland rocket is its symbol of the adventure, discovery and fun that have brought New Yorkers here for years.”
Also in the press release, Seth W. Pinsky, President, NYCEDC, said:

“The Rocket will now join the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and the Parachute Jump as permanent symbols of Coney Island as it once was and the Coney Island that it will become again.”

Other quotes from the release could be read at the Curbed posting here.

Astroland Rocket Update: Staten Island Exile Looms for a While [Curbed]

ImagineConey Exhibit To Showcase Over 350 Ideas For Coney

Municipal Art Society's ImagineConey broad-based exhibit with display their collection of of over 350 world wide ideas and the results of two workshops.

The designs and ideas will be displayed at MAS Urban Center Galleries at 457 Madison Ave. from Wednesday, February 4 through Wednesday, March 11. As part of the exhibit, MAS also will hold three public programs at the Urban Center:

“ImagineConey” Exhibit Opening Reception
Tuesday, February 3, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. FREE, RSVP at

A Serious Business: The Future of Amusements in an Urban Economy
Wednesday, February 11, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. A panel discussion on the future of amusement parks in New York’s recession-era economy. $15, $12 MAS members, RSVP at

Imagining Coney: Bold Ideas, Technicolor Dreams, and Fanciful Concepts
Tuesday, February 17, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. A presentation of the public’s submissions to ImagineConey from around the world. FREE, RSVP at

See the MAS site here for more details.

Another New Coney Blog: 'Coney Island'

Well it looks like Coney sites are breeding like Coney/konijn rabits. Egulvision, a poster on the Coney Island USA message board has started a new blog called: "Coney Island".

The new blog says:

This blog will capture the essence of Coney Island from its early days to present (not necessarily in chronological order) with captions, memories and expressions of what Coney Island means as a seaside attraction in Brooklyn, NY. and the world.

The first post on January 23rd gives a brief rundown of some Coney history including the Thunderbolt, which in the image below, seems like a view through the beach jetty's gives us a glimpse into the past as the Thunderbolt's ghostly appearance resurfaces.

Image courtesy of egulvision (Coney Island)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gregory & Paul's Food Stands In Coney Island Are Auctioned

Image courtesy of Ioan Sameli (

As reported on Gothamist, an auction was held Monday afternoon to liquidate the contents of Gregory & Paul's restaurant, one of the last remaining components that made up Astroland's three-acre space, wrote Gothamist. The food stands which Gregory & Paul had located on both the boardwalk and the corner of W. 10th Street and Surf Avenue were on part of the Astroland lot for about 40 years. See more images at Gothamist.

Gothamist further writes:

And there was 40 years of proof scattered around the back kitchens at the auction: Neon beer signs from brands that no longer existed were sold in lots along with cotton candy machines, battered corned beef boilers, old pizza ovens, soda signs and coffee machines, and an industrial drum potato peeler that looked like a cement mixer. In a compact room attached to the manager's office, a giant combination safe—as big as a walk-in closet—waited for a buyer, and someone to engineer an exit strategy through Gregory & Paul's narrow, galley-like prep area.

Astroland Rocket Is Carted Away From Its Home

Coney Island's new roving photographer, Pablo57 also known as Mr Jonsey PabloJonsey on the Coney Island USA message board, brings us this Flickr Slideshow of photos he took while the Astroland Rocket was being slid onto a flatbed and carted away to an as-of-yet unknown destination.

Coney Boardwalk Under Serious Patchwork Repair

Posted on the Coney Island USA message board by Mr Jonsey PabloJonsey, we see planks of the boardwalk pulled away awaiting new ones. No word yet if the boardwalk will be getting plastic planks put in or not. Though it probably doesn't make sense to stick them in alongside the wooden ones.

Coney Vid: Coney Island 1973

Found posted on, as Elephant Man posts all about the history of the Toranado coaster that stood on Stillwell Avenue off the boardwalk from 1926 until its fiery demise in 1977.

As Elephant Man points out the Tornado footage runs from 5:44 into the video but treat yourself to some vintage early 70's Coney images.

Coney Island, 1973

16mm documentary by Phil Buehler and Steve Siegel when hey were members of the Young Filmmakers Foundation's Film Club.

Posted by
pwbuehler [YouTube]

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Coney Amphitheater Looking Like A Lay's Classic Potato Chip

As pointed out by a poster on the Coney Island message board, the $64 million Coney Island Performing Arts Center amphitheater pushed by Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz and very unpopular with the community looks more like a floating potato chip or a fly's left wing. Opponents feel that it's a waste of money and waste of park use. “The Coney Island Center will be a much-needed community resource, and will bring to Coney Island the kind of state-of-the-art performance facility Brooklyn deserves,” said Markowitz to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

If opposing forces which are now forming fails to make an impact, groundbreaking could start as early as this August.

The outdoor stage has in the past few years already drawn in many top names.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle writes:
Within the past few weeks, opposing views have surfaced from those who question the site, size and cost of the project, setting the stage for a controversial public discussion that may or may not impact on the project’s future.

$64 Million Question: New Seaside Park Amphitheater [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

Coney Events Beyond Coney: Richard Eagan's Coney Exhibit

As a founding director of the Coney Island Hysterical Society and activist in pursuit to save Coney Island from demise, artist Richard Eagan has lived nothing short of an eccentric life.

Image below courtesy of Richard Eagan (via Brooklyn Based)

From shark feeder, to bee keep and part time cross-dresser, Mr Eagan has always had his heart in Coney Island. Working with mostly wooden colorful objects which Mr. Eagan likes to call, "Construction Paintings", which are on display at 440 Gallery, his art work reflects the aesthetics of old Coney Island...the spirit that seems to be vanishing a bit more every day.

Mr. Eagan's artwork, is sort of marketed by his (and here's where the cross dressing comes in) skirt-donning, mannish, 'female' counter part and karaoke diva: Kay Sera, (who if that already wasn't enough she [Eagan] is also the spokes model for 'their' home-farmed wildflower honey). Mr. Eagan says his work is made from collected scraps of pieces and debris from buildings in Coney Island that he found either bulldozed or abandoned.

Image above [Kay Sera / Eagan] courtesy of
eloactis (

You can view Mr. Eagan's (who was also known as "Boss of the Boardwalk" back in the old artistic renaissance of Coney Island's early 80's) at the 440 Gallery in Brooklyn.

"Obscurred Offerings"
by Richard Eagan
January 8 thru February 19, 2009

SUNDAY, Jan 11
3 - 6 pm
at 440 Gallery
440 Sixth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 499-3844

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Filmmaker Wants Your Old Coney Island Home Movies

A new york based filmmaker is working with the Coney Island History Project on a documentary about the now defunct Astroland Amusement Park and they are in need of those old Coney Island home movies from the 1960's, 70's and 80's, especially film shot on 8mm and 16mm film. They're also looking for any outstanding pictures taken during the same period. (update: The Coney Island History Project is assisting the filmmaker in the search of footage for his project.)

However, The Coney Island History Project does state:
The History Project will shoulder the expenses of film transfers and return the original film along with a DVD transfer to anyone who donates their material. Donors will also receive
credit in the film and two complimentary copies of the completed documentary. Contact the History Project at or 718-265-2100.

Filmmaker, JL Aronson, who cordially invited me to see his work in 2007, is a consummate New York filmmaker having crafted documentaries about pigeon fancying in Williamsburg and the underground karaoke scene on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He has also directed a series on the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s downtown New York music scene for Manhattan Neighborhood Network (in association with the New School) and created marketing videos for Central Park Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn, PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, the Siren Music Festival, River to River Festival and other New York institutions. In 2006, his “documentary musical” Danielson: a Family Movie won numerous film festival awards throughout the country before going to theaters in December of that year and DVD in April 2007. Film clips at

Dead Amusement Parks

Image above from a Tokyo amusement park (found on Dark Roasted Blend)

Image above courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA board)

As we witness the slow death of Astroland Amusement Park in Coney Island, it's easy to be reminded of what most of us today have seen abandoned in Coney Island; the Thunderbolt coaster which was demolished by the Guilliani administration to remove the 'eye sore' for visitors at the Keyspan Park ball stadium. At times landowners and operators would leave their no-value lots intact with their rides and left to rot. Another example was the Wild Mouse coaster left to rust by the Tilyou and McCullough families (as described and pictured in the "Coney Island: Lost & Found" book by Charles Denson). But for Astroland, the case is different; land is valuable and not clearing the lot would spell lost money and waste of space for next summer. However, those rides left behind to decay evoke a ghostly and ominous feeling for those who are able to feel it.

As The Great Fredini found and indicated on the
Coney Island USA message board, an interesting website called Dark Roast Blend has collected a series of images from abandoned amusement parks in Asia. And a further look also shows us surreal and spooky images of an abandoned bark in Germany called SpreePark.

Rapid T. Rabbit directs us to a few pictures he found on and he says on the
CIUSA board:

Here are similarly sad pictures of Planterwald, an abandoned amusement park in East Berlin, Germany.

Both images above courtesy of : : deNNis gErbECkx : : (

Interestingly, amusement parks aren't the only structures and places abandoned. Below is an image of a floating restaurant that also stands many years after serving its last meal. The structure is near the Woncheon Lakeland in Seoul.

If you still want more; here are two videos of abandoned amusement parks.

Spooky Abandond Theme Parks

Abandoned theme parks are sad and very spooky!

Posted by
crazyforcoasters [YouTube]

Chippewa Lake Amusement Park

Tour through the park after many years abandoned

Posted by
rcbif101 [YouTube]

There are many more abandoned parks than you can imagine around the world. Here's a list of them.

NY1 Reports On Further Details For Coney Amusement Plans

Jeanine Ramirez of NY1 reports, in this video (posted on the Coney Island USA message board by Rapid T. Rabbit), the final ride to vacate Astroland; Dante’s Inferno and talks with Community Board 13 District Manager, Chuck Reichenthal and City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden.

The now 27-acre amusement district ‘requires’ there be ‘really fun’ uses like restaurants, batting cages and maybe a roller skating rink and different kinds of rides, states City Planning Commissioner, Amanda Burden. Those keeping up with the redevelopment saga of Coney Island could be quite confused with the 27-acre amusement district as opposed to the mere 9-acre amusement area that was announced a few months ago, which is the primary reason Dick Zigun resigned from the Coney Island Development Corporation after the city changed plans without consulting their board. The same confusion could go to the 12 acres of amusements along the boardwalk and weather it’s part of the 27 acres or in addition.

NY1 also reports:

The historic B&B Carousel would be resurrected there, as well as Astroland’s iconic rocket shop. The area would be mapped as parkland so the city can preserve it as an amusement district.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nathan's Famous: "Keep Me Home"

Could the city's plans west of Stillwell Avenue spell ruin for Nathan's Famous?

Nathan's Famous which opened back in 1916 and hosts the world famous Hot Dog Eating Contest sits on the proposed lot that is part of what the city intends to revitalize and redevelop with a mix-use of retail, residential, and amusements.

Rich Caldler of the New York Post writes:
That revelation is hidden deep within the draft of the 47-acre rezoning plan's environmental-impact statement, which the city submitted yesterday.

While the plan looks like it could eradicate the famous eatery others say the city will work with Nathan's to, instead, expand their facilities and enhance it with; larger space, an actual sit-down restaurant, catering, or even a hot-diggidy-dog attraction or ride.

However, yesterday the
Gowanus Lounge reported receiving an emial from the chair of Nathan's Famous calling the story 'bull' about thier flagship eatery at Surf and Stillwell Avenue being history.

Part of the e-mail posted on the Gowanus Lounge reads:

“As to the latest report issued by the City, we believe the information relating to Nathan’s Famous is being misinterpreted and that there is no intention to replace or demolish our flagship location. In fact, the Coney
Island Development Corporation’s own drawings of its intended redevelopment continue to show Nathan’s Famous in the same location on which it has stood for 93 years, on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, at the front door to the “People’s Playground.”

Regardless, as usual with delicate issues in Coney Island, there already is a
petition to save Nathan's.

Coney Island Plans Bites Nathan's [New York Post]
Nathan’s Calls BS on Talk of Demolition [Gowanus Lounge]

Flickr Convoy: Steve's Grill Frozen Shut

Image courtesy of Barry Yanowitz / KC Flickr Group

Steve's Grill on the Coney Island boardwalk is frozen in suspended animation as it and other boardwalk businesses await their fate from their unmerciful landlord.

Join the Kinetic Carnival Flickr Group to add your Coney Island images and have them featured on this blog.

Coney Gift Goodies: L'il Sideshow Playset

For only $15 you can have these amazing sideshow freaks in your very own home. World's tallest man and worlds' smallest man on display in your home.

Direct from the Coney Island USA gift shop:

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and witness some of the strangest sights your eyes have ever seen! Observe the stunning height differences between the World's Tallest Man and the World's Smallest Man. Tallest Man comes in at a walloping six inches and the shortest man at a mere 1 3/4 inches!

A must for any sideshow buff!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Renderings Issued As City Launches Land Use Review Process Today

Above, this drawing reflects what Wonder Wheel Way may look like.

As the seven-month land use review process for the Coney Island rezoning and redevelopment plan kicks off this afternoon at 1pm, a few 'newer' renderings have been released and posted. Found on the Gowanus Lounge this morning, at least one drawing (left) has been released before. Here the renderings are quite general evoking a feeling rather than actual plans of what is expected to be built.

The 27-acre amusement and entertainment core along the boardwalk below

Below is Ocean Way which will be a new street in Coney west.

Below is a rendering of what a new Mermaid Avenue may look like.

Coney Events Beyond Coney: Benefit For Coney Island USA

A benefit to benefit the Coney Island USA arts organization with musical guests, "Save Coney Island" documentary screening, and complimentary wine!
From the Coney Island USA website:

This event includes a screening of Peter Lipera's Save Coney Island: The Movie, winner of the 2008 Coney Island Film Festival documentary short, as well as musical performances by TJ Swan and The Xylopholks. There will be sideshow performances and Dick Zigun (the unofficial Mayor of Coney Island) will be a guest speaker.

Complimentary wine served, courtesy of George Spirits plus a wonderful art auction. Come hear how you can help in the fight to Save Coney Island while enjoying a great evening of fun and mayhem, Coney Island style.

Save Coney Island Benefit
Thursday, January 22, 2009

at the
Vox Pop Cafe
1022 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, NY 11218
$25 admission fee, all proceeds to benefit Coney Island USA

And Now The Real Story Under The Belgium Porn Sheets Of Mystery

The new domain name owner of which was neglected and left to languish by Thor Equities and later to become a link page to a Belgium porn site of sorts has surfaced and is now putting the domain name up for sale.

Davina cukier, says she felt that it's defamation against her after finding out about all the press her hijacked site has received.


I am the owner of the domain name "". My family has just warned me that my name is associated with a porn website! I would like to say that it is completely wrong, I do not own any porn websites, the whois of this adult website don't mention my name, the only domain name I own is, which had been hijacked on my webhosting "servage", as other domains I owned! I noticed someone had created a new ftp account to upload a new index page with links to a porn site.

I used to buy and sell high pageranks domain names. In September, I bought on a forum the domain name "" which was PR4 at that time, and this is why I was interested in buying this domain name.

I have let the domain on servage as I have medical issues and got surgery in October.

I am very shocked about all the completely wrong articles that say I am a porn star, adult webmaster and so, besides nobody of the press has tried to contact me, it's diffamation against me.

Perhaps the Save Coney Island Group or the city should purchase the domain name and make use of it.

Bloomberg Announces Start Of Coney Public Approval Process

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of City Planning has announced that today, Tuesday they will be initiating; the Seven-Month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for Revitalization of Coney Island

City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden said that this is the start of public review for a comprehensive rezoning plan that would re-establish Coney Island as a world renowned year-round beachfront urban amusement and entertainment destination

In another statement released by Bloomberg he stated:
"Last week in the State of the City speech, I discussed the importance of moving ahead with development plans that create the conditions for growth in places of opportunity like Coney Island. The start of the public process is an important step forward. The plan to revitalize to Coney Island will substantially increase the storied amusement area, creating a year-round attraction that will bring tourists and visitors to Brooklyn. And as we enhance that historic asset, we will also pave the way to the north and west for the development of more than 4,500housing units and the creation of thousands of permanent and construction jobs. This plan protects and preserves the unique character of Coney Island while bringing new housing, shops and recreational facilities to a community that needs more of each."

The designated 27-acre indoor and outdoor amusement and entertainment district that they are working towards mapping as parkland is in order for the city to have control, expand on and preserve amusement uses.

The public is able to attend the meeting but only to observe as you are “reviewing”. The meeting will be held today at 1pm meeting

Save Coney Island group put out this statement urging the public to attend the meeting and make themselves fully well heard and loud!

Attend the Zoning Certification Today and Bust out your signs and make a visual statement at the meeting!!

City Planning Commission Review Session:
WHEN: Tuesday, January 20th, 2009, 1:00 PM
WHERE: In Spector Hall 22 Reade Street, New York, NY


Part of City’s Comprehensive Strategy to Save and Expand on Amusements as Year Round Destination and Revitalize Surrounding Neighborhood

January 20, 2009 – City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden today announced the start of public review for a comprehensive rezoning plan that would re-establish Coney Island as a world renowned year-round beachfront urban amusement and entertainment destination. The 19-block rezoning would create an open and accessible 27-acre indoor and outdoor amusement and entertainment district stretching along the famed boardwalk from the Parachute Jump to the New York Aquarium. The district includes a 12-acre boardwalk amusement park area which will be mapped as parkland in order to enable the city to control, expand on and preserve amusement uses in perpetuity. Under the proposed rezoning, an estimated 1.1 million sq. ft of amusement and entertainment related uses including 800 hotels rooms could be developed in the amusement and entertainment district, creating job opportunities that will last beyond the summer season. New entertainment and amusement uses could include innovative indoor and outdoor rides, dark rides, virtual reality, water parks, IMAX theaters, circuses, performance venues, roller rinks and all varieties of restaurants and catering facilities.

Outside the amusement and entertainment area, the rezoning would catalyze redevelopment of vacant and underutilized land for mixed income housing, a broad range of neighborhood retail and services that the Coney Island community has lacked for decades as well as additional year-round job opportunities. The 4,500 new units of new housing, North of Surf Avenue and West of Keyspan Park, would leverage an estimated 900 units of affordable housing. In addition, in these areas, the rezoning would pave the way for roughly 500,000 square feet of neighborhood retail and the creation of a 1.4 acre neighborhood boardwalk park. This plan is the culmination of an interagency four-year planning effort led by the Department of City Planning and the Economic Development Corporation that has engaged residents and stakeholders from Coney Island and beyond during more than 300 meetings since the release of the Coney Island Strategic Plan by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2005.

Commissioner Burden said, “Our number one goal is ensuring that future generations can enjoy Coney Island as the world’s most unique urban amusement destination. Our plan includes a 27-acre year-round open and accessible amusement and entertainment district as well as significant opportunities outside the amusement area for new housing and neighborhood retail. This needs to be a place where families can take mass transit and enjoy a few rides, or just visit the beach without paying an entrance fee.”

“Certification into the public approval process is a crucial first step towards the rebirth of this iconic New York City neighborhood,” said NYCEDC President, Seth W. Pinsky. “Our plan will create a thriving, year-round destination free from the whims of the commercial real estate market, while improving basic infrastructure, providing expanded neighborhood retail and offering new and improved housing opportunities. Coney Island is at an inflection point and it is crucial that all stakeholders come together to ensure that its next century is no less great than its last.”

The current C7 amusement zoning is highly restrictive and has prevented new, investment in complimentary year-round uses that should be part of an amusement district. This once vibrant area is now nearly devoid of economic activity once the summer amusement season is over. To bring new economic opportunities to the area, the City has developed a comprehensive plan for the revitalization of Coney Island that would foster a total of some 6.8 million square feet of new development. The proposed rezoning covers 19 blocks bounded by the New York Aquarium to the east, West 24th Street to the west, Mermaid Avenue to the north and the Riegelmann Boardwalk to the south.

The centerpiece of the plan is the preservation and expansion of Coney’s legendary amusements which will be facilitated in part by an innovative new Special District that responds to the unique character and needs of Coney Island. The Special District will encourage a vibrant mix of year-round, entertainment experiences that would complement the future amusement park and help maintain Coney’s singular character. The Special District will also provide for urban design controls to encourage varied building heights and building forms that will respect the iconic landmarked structures such as the Parachute Jump, the Wonder Wheel and Cyclone as well as the beach and the boardwalk.

CONEY EAST - 27 Acre Amusement and Entertainment District

· The existing C7 zoning would be modified to encourage a wide range of open and enclosed amusement and entertainment uses to support both existing Coney Island amusements and new attractions, including: water parks, arcades, indoor sporting attractions, performance venues, dark rides and virtual gaming, bowling alleys, movie theatres and a variety of restaurants. The allowable density would be increased from a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 2.0 to a range from 2.6 closer to the open amusements to 4.0 and 4.5 along Surf Avenue.
· No housing or time shares would be permitted in this 27-acre area.
· Hotels would be permitted only along Surf Avenue with urban design controls that would limit location, tower footprints and heights. The base height of buildings on Surf Avenue will range from 40 to 85 ft. Slender towers could range from 150 to 270 feet tall reflecting the height of existing landmarks—the Parachute Jump and Wonder Wheel.
· General retail would continue to be prohibited. Limited retail accessory to amusement and entertainment uses such as souvenir shops and beach rentals would be permitted and limited in size.
· A nearly 9.4 acre park would be mapped covering the existing open amusement area, linking the Parachute Jump and Cyclone – already mapped parkland – and creating a 12-acre boardwalk amusement park mapped as parkland and therefore preserved in perpetuity.
· Among the new streets in the plan, a new “Wonder Wheel Way” will provide a direct connection between the Parachute Jump and the Cyclone roller coaster via the Wonder Wheel.
· Amusements would be mandated along the historic Bowery and the new Wonder Wheel Way
· Hotel developments within Coney East on lots over 20,000 square feet would be required to provide amusement uses.
· Signage regulations would be the most liberal of any in the city to encourage creativity and whimsy in keeping with Coney Island’s exuberant character.
· 40 foot height limits, requirements for multiple small store frontages and design controls would maintain the Bowery’s low-scale, arcade character. Similar regulations will apply on the new Wonder Wheel Way.


The proposed zoning would promote reinvestment outside the amusement and entertainment area in the six block area to the west of Keyspan Park, known as Coney West, and a five block area to the north of Surf Avenue, known as Coney North. The plan seeks to transform vacant and underutilized land with a
vibrant mix of uses including new and affordable housing and local retail services. Job opportunities for the local residents who live and work year-round in Coney Island beyond the summer amusement season would strengthen the local community. Key elements include:

· Surf Avenue would be revitalized as a major retail corridor with required ground floor retail and entertainment and amusement uses.
· New zoning would encourage mixed-income residential development with urban design controls to encourage a variety of building forms.
· The residential districts would be governed by height limits to channel higher densities to the 120 foot wide Surf Avenue and transition building scale down toward the beach, boardwalk as well as Mermaid Avenue to the north. In Coney North and Coney West, base heights would range from 40 to 85 feet with towers between 170 feet and 270 feet depending on the location. The maximum building heights and FARs would only be allowed if affordable housing is provided. Coney North and Mermaid Avenue could yield as many as 1,800 new units of mixed-income housing, while Coney West would have the potential for as many as 2,700 new units.
· The first use in South Brooklyn of the City’s highly successful Inclusionary Zoning program would incentivize the provision of up to 900 units of affordable housing through density bonuses in the residential districts. The Inclusionary Zoning Program – a key part of the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to provide 165,000 units over 10 years -- provides a powerful incentive for the development of affordable housing by allowing developers, including non-profit and affordable housing developers, increased density (within the height limitations) in return for the development or preservation of affordable units. City, state and federal housing subsidy programs and tax incentives are available to finance units affordable to lower income households.
· Mermaid Avenue would be reinvigorated with a broader range of uses to serve residents of the surrounding community in new buildings at a scale consistent with the existing context.
· In Coney West, the creation of new streets will break up long blocks and improve connections between the adjacent residential community and the amusement and entertainment area as well as the beach and boardwalk, while providing for a more walkable neighborhood.
· Hotels would be permitted on two eastern-most block-fronts of Surf Avenue in Coney North immediately opposite Coney East to compliment the entertainment and amusement district.

All together, the plan would realize a 44-acre public parkland network along the beachfront, – in addition to the boardwalk amusement park -- including a new 1.4 acre neighborhood boardwalk park at Highland View Avenue that would serve the surrounding neighborhood and new residents. In addition to the 9.4-acre parkland mapping in Coney East, actions will include a parkland demapping and rezoning of two surface parking lots currently used for KeySpan Ballpark. Developers will be required to incorporate structured parking garages to accommodate adequate parking for the ballpark and new development. Actions related to demapping these parking lots as well as the long term lease of the amusement area to an amusement operator would also require review and approval at the State level.

Integral to this City’s overall strategy for Coney Island are major capital investments in open space as well as a community center with affordable housing and streetscape improvements. All told, the rezoning plan,coupled with the city investment in capital improvements, is intended to catalyze private investment of more than $2.5 billion over the next decade. The project will create over 25,000 construction jobs and more than 6,000 permanent jobs in industries including amusements, tourism, retail, entertainment, restaurants, and hospitality. Over 30 years, the redevelopment of Coney Island is projected to generate over $14 billion in economic activity. The City’s comprehensive plan for the area builds on the
strategic plan for Coney Island announced by the Mayor in 2005 which called for the revitalization of Coney Island as a year round amusement destination and economic engine.

Public Review
As part of the City's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the Coney Island rezoning will first be reviewed by Brooklyn Community Board 13, after which it will go to the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council. For specifics of the zoning proposal or more details on the ULURP timeline, please visit the DCP website.

About City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.