Sunday, January 11, 2009

Astroland Rocket HOOPLA!

Image courtesy of charlie cravero (

Already in the start of 2009 the Coney Island Hoopla continues its whirling saga. The most hurtful so far, besides the final death of Astroland a few months ago, is the removal of the Astroland Rocket that stood perched atop the Gregory & Paul's food stand for many years. Since cranes where available on the Astroland lot for the dismantling of their rides, they utilized it to remove the rocket and store it on their lot while the Alberts who own Astroland are in negotiations with another an undisclosed organization to keep the rocket somewhere else in Coney Island as hinted by Charles Denson, director of the Coney Island History Project.

Also, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce met with their Real Estate & Development department (RED) and city officials to report on the
progress of the URLURP, the uniform land use review procedure. CIDC prez, Lynn Kelly, Wonder Wheel Park owner, Dennis Vouderis, and Brooklyn City Planning office rep, Purnima Kapur, along with City Council member Domenic Recchia attended the meeting.

The boardwalk at Coney is finally getting some much needed repair in its most dilapidated areas, but with recycled plastic planks?

And as of yet no negotiations with boardwalk shopkeepers as Thor Equities splattered huge custom made "For Lease" signs over all their boardwalk stores on Christmas Eve. Shopkeepers are still calling their landlord and hoping to get answers to lease extensions despite what could end up as being huge rent hikes. Some are swearing to stay while others won't to be able to afford it. However, Lola Staar has been literally kicked out. Regardless, Dianna Carlin says she is working on getting her store to open up for the summer season in one of the Stillwell Avenue Station stores.

And finally, protesters started the year with a rally to save Coney Island that was so small it would make Muscle13 roll in laughter as he seems to indicate on his Coney Island website: ConeyRocks.

Coming up is the ImagineConey presentation where of all the ideas they have collected from everyone who's submitted to them are displayed. As a reminder, the deadline is January 15th.

We don't want lose Coney Island to every-where-else kind of development but have we come up with our own plan? No! We can't fight the city or the developers without a good plan ourselves. Sure we need dreamers like Lola Staar, but where are they? We need to be much greater in numbers. To be honest these rallys look ridiculous and laughable to the city and the developers. Rant and rave but do it with a plan.

Rocket HOOPLA!
Blasting Off From the Coney Island Boardwalk [City Room - NY Times]
Coney Island: Astroland Rocket Gone []

GL Analysis: City Officials Fiddle While Coney Island Burns [Gowanus Lounge]
Coney island crossroads - ULURP to start up soon []
Blasting Off From the Coney Island Boardwalk [CitySkip]
Coney's Newest Attraction: Nastiness [NY Observer]
Coney Island R.I.P [TimeOut NY - Kids]
Coney Island Planning Moves Forward a Step [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Coney Island: Last Hold Out To Fold To Developer [NowPublic]
Catching Up With Coney Island [Ken Hollings]
Sitt Seeks More Coney Land [The Brooklyn Paper]
Gowanus Lounge: The Disgraceful State of Coney Island [Only the Blog knows Brooklyn]
The End of Astroland - Coney Island [latestcoolthing]
Thor Equities Not Done Ruining Coney Island [Runnin's Scared - Village Voice]

Amazing Slideshow: Astroland Rocket from Inside Astroland [Gowanus Lounge]

Fun Vid: Coney Island Time Lapse [Gowanus Lounge]


Anonymous said...

re: "We need to be much greater in numbers. To be honest these rallys look ridiculous and laughable to the city and the developers. Rant and rave but do it with a plan."

hey, are you suggesting the people who braved the cold to get out the Stop Thor message on New Year's Day are a failure because more people didn't show up? Then why weren't you there? Just as I suspected, away for the holidays! Spending time with family and friends! Happy New Year to all and yes, let's see more participation in 2009

FYI Some us who showed up on Jan 1 aren't even in those photos because we were at that very moment handing out flyers. Jan 1 presented an opportunity to get the message out to the crowd coming for the Polar Bear swim. We distributed more than 1,500 flyers and got 5,000 hits on our flickr site with the posters, which urges people to call 311 and leave a comment for the Mayor and email Councilman Recchia. If you haven't done that yet, do it now

Anonymous said...

To be honest these rallys look very good so as to keep the Island save to the city

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rathna. After what happened over Christmas--- Thor's agents cutting off locks, asking for double/triple the rent, evicting or refusing to discuss 2009 leases with tenants and putting up those huge "Space For Lease" banners---we needed to protest. If no one was there to say Stop Thor, the media would say no one cared.

That's what was said about Sept. 7, the last day of Astroland, when we shelved the idea of a protest rally for less visible but much more effective flying effort. We gave out 15,000 cards and generated thousands of 311 calls and emails to the Mayor that day. Please join Save Coney's mailing list @