Friday, February 27, 2009

Insectavora Bids Farewell To Coney With A Last Performance

It was a pleasure having Insectavora as one of Coney Island's main characters and she will be missed. She was one of the most interesting acts of the sideshow and a wonderful character and friend in Coney Island. (It was a pleasure setting up a special table and seat in front of the Surf & Turf Grill for her as she ordered her usual Shrimp Caesar Salad and bottle of beer. She was sweet enough to hand little tasty morsels to her doggie.)

Don't miss her las performance this Saturday at the Highline Ballroom!

Saturday, February 28, 2009
7:30pm (Doors Open at 6pm)
Tickets are $10, all ages show
The Highline Ballroom
431 W. 16th StNew York, NY 10011
between 9th and 10th Ave
(212) 414-5994

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jerrold Nadler Grab For Funds Falls Short Of Markowitz's Intent

( Center boardwalk image courtesy of Joyce for News)

Though protecting New York's southern sea line is hugely important, any request for funds should include protecting the beach's vital component: the boardwalk.

Yesterday, Congressman
Jerrold Nadler, representative of New York's 8th Congressional District which stretches from the the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Coney Island in Brooklyn, announced $11.8 million in funding for high-priority projects and was expected to pass in the House of Representatives.

Of the $11.8 million, $3,924,000 was allotted for the Atlantic Coast of New York City, Rockaway Inlet to Norton Point Project, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Coney Island and Sea Gate. The only indication in the press release (which was posted by Room Eight website and brought to our attention by Rubys Host), for Coney Island seems to be erosion prevention.

However, it was also
announced in 2007 that funds were granted, which included: $2.4 million to protect the Coney Island area of Sea Gate from beach erosion. In addition to that, proposed for the same project, includes $8.5 million, which aims to forestall the gradual shrinking of the beachhead that has brought many homes dangerously close to the water.

Could all this money have gone to beach erosion prevention? None of Nadler's good intentions focuses on the dilapidation of the Coney Island boardwalk. President Marty Markowitz, at least is reaching for a
federal hand out to help with the completion of it repairs.

Coney Openings: Magic Bowling Is For Kids

Image courtesy of Deborah Matlack

The space of the former B&B Carousel which early this month was beginning its transformation into a new venue is now progressing. Found and photographed by Deborah Matlack and reported by Gowanus Lounge, will be a party space for the bigger kids...and no, not the adults.

Gowanus Lounge posts what the owner said:
"Magic Bowling will be a private party place for older kids, and yes there will be bowling among other activities. But it is not a bowling alley and not for grown ups. He said it would be completed in about a month and welcomed us to stop by and have a look then.”

US Airways Magazine Gives Coney A Li'l Shout Out

(Click image to enlarge)

A friend of
electricia, Coney Island USA poster, brought to her attention a little mention on US Airways magazine's sidebar (on the blurb above) in their feature on Brooklyn.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thor Seeks Variety Acts Through CraigsList

According to the organizers of "Flea By The Sea" (or shall we say Thor Equities) Brooklyn, this spring and summer, is going to be a lot more exciting. They are looking to bring to Coney Island and exciting and entertaining flea market. They've already started looking for specialty acts. As found on Craigslist by Coney Island USA board poster, Adam.

Presumably, it's much cheaper to bring in a flea market (which is what some amusement enthusiasts wanted out in Coney Island a decade ago), instead of traveling carnival rides.

Morkowitz Reaching Out For Fed Money To Fix Boardwalk

Brooklyn borough President Marty Markowitz wants the feds to bail out Coney Island’s world-famous, long-neglected Boardwalk.

Gowanus Lounge posts on a Daily News report that Brooklyn Borough President wants the feds to bail out our historic Coney Island and repair the boardwalk.

The Daily News (via
Gowanus Lounge) writes:

Markowitz is calling on the Bloomberg administration to use a large chunk of the city’s federal stimulus money to overhaul the entire crumbling, 3-mile promenade which runs from Sea Gate to Brighton Beach. “The Boardwalk is an essential part of Coney Island and it’s deteriorating. It’s in horrible condition,” said Markowitz.

Community Board 13 Pulic Hearing

A public hearing on the rezoning plan for Coney Island by the city will be held this March 3rd.

Tuesday, March 3rd
at Lincoln High School
2800 Ocean ParkwayBrooklyn, NY 11235

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reminder: Imagine Coney Exhibit Runs Until March 11th

Exhibit: Imagine Coney - Bold Ideas for Coney Island’s Future.
Exhibition on display:
Wednesday, February 4 - Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Gallery Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, and Sat: 11 am – 5 pm.
Closed Thurs and Sun

Coney Film Festival Early Bird Deadline Approaching

For those you didn't have to scramble and rush to finish their films for festival entry and have completed their masterpieces will be able to be early birds and submit their films to the Coney Island Film Festival by this Friday, February 27th, 2009.

The other deadlines are:

Regular Deadline - April, 24, 2009
Late Deadline - July 3, 2009
Extended Late Deadline - July 10, 2009

Good luck to you filmmakers!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Coney Beer On The Rise Despite Economic Slump

According to a press release by the Shmaltz Brewing Company in Brooklyn, their "Chosen" and "Coney Island Lager" beer's sales and been sky rocketing despite the bad economy.

As Brownstoner reporeted:

HE'BREW Beer and Coney Island Lager, reported that its sale rose 80% in 2008 and predicts it will clear the $2 million sales mark in '09. Although it's a member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Shmaltz actually makes its brews in Upstate New York.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Could A Circus Or Flea Market Be Coming To Coney Town?

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA group)

Pitch forks or steel rods for what looks to be for a tent are spiked into the Thor Equities lot on Stillwell Avenue for what could be a flea market that was rumored to be brought to Coney Island. Could this be the beginning of Thor Equities and their "Summer of Amusements Galore 2009"?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Microsoft Store To Open In Coney Island?

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Probably just another loose rumor, loose reporting, or loose lips from the Microsoft corporation. As New York Magazine's Daily Intel reports; Microsoft wants to copy and the Apple stores and open stores of there own in New York City. They want to open 'cool' stores in Murray Hill, the Manhattan Mall, and Coney Island....even Florida.

Daily Intel writes:

How cool would a Microsoft store be in New York City? Andy Rooney spokesperson cool. Hamburger Helper for Valentine’s Day cool. Alex Rodriguez doing a "Just Say No" campaign cool. Gates and Co. will try to mimic the Apple buzz, but they’ll inevitably add their dorky spin.

Coney Vid: Today's Coney Looking Like Yesteryear


This is a silent film. How far can we foresee the future of the built environment? After summer, after people are gone, Coney Island shows a face we have not seen before. It is like an abandoned city after a catastrophe. This film questions about a possible aspect of the built environment in the future.

Posted by
greatjohnney [YouTube]

Ruby's Still Waiting For Life Signs This Coming Season

New Yorker magazine's Grub Street approached Ruby's Bar & Grill owner, Micheal Sarrel for any updates on whether they will be open for this coming season and received a 'still negotiating with Thor' response.

Grub Street writes:

The venerable Ruby’s isn’t included on a list of establishments that will definitely be open when Coney Island starts its season on April 5, so we decided to check in with owner Michael Sarrel. He tells us he’s presently negotiating with Joe Sitt, the landlord, who has doubled his rent, to try to open the boardwalk dive for another season. “It’s a coin toss at best,” he tells us. “There’s not that much money to be made up in Coney Island.” Asked whether he’ll have to operate at a loss if he agrees to a higher rent, Sarrell says it depends on the weather and also on how many people return to the boardwalk now that Astroland is closed. “There’s speculation he’s going to get some kind of circus where the park is going to be, but that’s just speculation. I expect at best to do 75 percent of what we did last year. I don’t know that that’s going to be enough to stay here. It’s tough because we’ve been there so long that it’s in our blood.” Sarrell should have a better idea of where things stand in a couple of weeks.

Coney has many rumors, and one buzzing around is about a circus that Thor plans to bring in on the empty Astroland slot, which Grub Street picked up on.

Here's what, so far, will be open in Coney Island this coming season.

Image courtesy of Andrew Karcie [Grub Street]

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coney Island Now Has A New "Talking Historian"

The Coney Island History project proudly appoints Coney's 'landmark' meat market's proprietor, Jimmy Prince as Coney Island's "distinguished talking historian." After Prince retires from Major Meats store after more than fifty years, he will be working with the Coney Island History Project at their exhibit under the Cyclone roller coaster to share his Coney Island memories with visitors.


Jimmy Prince began working at Major Market as a young man in 1949 and became the shop's proprietor in the 1970's. The storefront is emblazoned with signs that say "Coney Island is Coming back Folks, Let's Watch it!" and "It's Major's for your Barbeque Specials." Founded in the 1930's, Coney Island's oldest butcher shop is a throwback to the days when the entire length of Mermaid Avenue, from Stillwell Avenue to Sea Gate, was a bustling retail strip serving a predominantly Jewish and Italian population. The shop was one of the few survivors the area's downturn in the 1960's and 70's, and, later, the incursion of supermarkets.

* * * * * * *
One of the audios in the History Project's online oral history archive is an interview with Jimmy. A second recording captures the sounds of a typical day at Major Markets.

Prince will also star in an upcoming documentary by Charles Denson, executive director of the Coney Island History Project. The documentary with premier this summer.

Coney Vid: Master Of The Bally Stage Doc With Scott Baker

Here's the first five minutes of the Scot Baker film "Bally Master" which, a trailer was issued last spring of 2008. The film is directed by Gary Beeber.

Bally Master (First 5 Minutes)

Enter the bizarre world of Scott Baker, master of the bally stage at Coney Island's Sideshows by the Seashore. Directed by: Gary Beeber.
Watch the entire film on NewFilmmakers Online at:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Flickr Convoy: Polar Bear Newbie

Image courtesy Rubys Host / KC Flickr Group

While the the chill winds still whisps in the winter air, those occasional warming breezes are setting us up for the spring season arrival. We can imagine and hope that the summer season in Coney Island will be one full of activity and real promise.

Feb 2009 Coney Island Polar Bear Swim Club - new Members are Cubs - the first few times they go in they are assigned Polar bear Buddies

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

Friday, February 13, 2009

Coney Events Beyond Coney: Coney Island USA's Spring Gala

Coney Island USA's annual gala to raise money will be held this April in Manhattan. There will be performances by The 2009 cast of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, NYC’s Finest Burlesque Stars, Fisherman's Xylophonic Burlesque Orchestra, The Great Throwdini, and Bullseye!and, and more.

For more information see their website

The 2009 Coney Island USA Spring Fundraising Gala
Thursday April 16th 2009
M2 Ultra Lounge
530 West 28th Street
(btw 10th and 11th avenues)
Cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres will be served

Coney Loses A Landmark And Jimmy Prince Remembers his 50 Years In Coney

This weekend [At the End of this month] Coney Island's Major Meats on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island will be closing, taking away one of Coney Island beloved places. Here's a video of Jimmy Prince of Prince Meats talking about his 50 year love affair with Coney Island. Brought to you by Gowanus Lounge's Brookvids.

Jimmy Prince Speaks About His 50 Years in Coney Island

Jimmy Prince, owner of Major Meats on Mermaid Avenue talks about Coney Island and closing a store that has been there since the 1930s.

Posted by
writerman000 [YouTube]

View Gowanus Lounge's great Flickr Slideshow of their Major Meats visit here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Discussion On Coney's Future In Recession-Era Economy

The Municipal Arts Society will hold a discussion with amusement industry professionals to deal with "ConeyImagine"'s dream task up against the toughest if not the second worst economic state this country has experienced.


A panel of amusement and economic experts will discuss the future of amusement parks in New York’s recession-era economy and whether Coney Island has the potential to become a true economic engine for New York.

The panel discussion, entitled "A Serious Business: The Future of Amusements in an Urban Economy" is part of the Municipal Art Society’s broad-based “ImagineConey” exhibit on Coney Island that features 350 design ideas from the public, as well as the results of two public workshops and a design workshop with leading amusement professionals.

Panelists will include: former Disney executive and Managing Director at real estate advisory firm RCLCo, David Malmuth; former Six Flags executive and Senior Vice President of PARC Management, Dan Aylward; President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Seth Pinsky; and owner of Astroland Amusement Park, Carol Albert.

The Municipal Art Society
457 Madison Ave.

February 11, 2009

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

$15, $12 MAS members/students or 212-935-2075

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mysterious Writing Under The Boardwalk

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island message board)

Capt_Nemo has found some mysterious scribbles on the slab slide of the boardwalk storefront where Nathan's was or still will be. The 'writing' or coding of some sort was exposed after the removal of part of the boardwalk for repairs. They mystery remains. Does anyone know if this actually means something or simply under the boardwalk scribble.

Flickr Convoy: Slumming Down the Bowery

Image courtesy of Hajjar / KC Flickr Group

At such a low angle of the Bowery we can just imagine almost how many feet have strolled along this exact spot in almost a whole century's time.

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

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Coney Men At Work

Image courtesy Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA message board)

One again, Coney's roving eye catches a glimpse of happenings at Coney. Here, high above are men working on the Wonder Wheel's massive structure.

Here's what Capt_Nemo said:

When the sound of power equipment breaks the silence of Coney Island in winter, people ran to see, could this be the end of something on the former Astroland lot? No, just some workers from Denos working on the Wonder Wheel

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Don't Rock The Coney Boat, Baby!

Image courtesy of the Coney Island History Project

Carol Hill Albert, former owner/operator of the former Astroland Amusement Park, has donated a few relic signs from the old Neptune's Water Flume ride, which parts were left behind on the now-empty lot ready for demolition. Luckily, Charles Denson, executive director of the Coney Island History Project, along with administrative director, Tricia Vita, managed to save a few signs. Now property of the Coney Island History Project is the "Don't Rock The Boat" and "Remain Seated" signs.

Image courtesy of the Coney Island History Project

Coney Beyond: Coney Room At The Chelsea Star Hotel

Sleep at Coney Island while stay over in Chelsea at the Chelsea Star Hotel located in Manhattan's hip Chelsea district. A boutique hotel with plenty of themed room to choose from. KC's favorite, of course, is the Coney Island double room.

The Chelsea Star Hotel says:
You'll find our new decor cheery and upbeat with an industrial chic feeling. Throughout the three floors the hallways are bright yellow with star bursts and custom light fixtures. Underfoot, vivid red carpet softens chrome diamond-plate floors and guest room doors are brushed stainless steel.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Flickr Convoy: Grandpa Harry Visits Luna Park

Image courtesy of egulvision / KC Flickr Group

Here's Coney Island USA poster, egulvision's vintage photo of Grandpa Harry as he proudly poses for a photo back when Luna Park was vibrant and thriving.
(egulvision is also blogger coneyislandplaygroundoftheworld blog.)

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

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Coney Openings: B&B Carousel Space Transforms Into 'Magic Bowling'

Top image from CIUSA board
Image courtesy of Gowanus Lounge

Found via the Gowanus Lounge, a new bowling 'place'. Either an alley with small short lanes or a merchandise store or something. The B&B Carousel sign was painted over about a year ago.

"Far Cry 2" Video Game Gets Into The Coney Act

With their version of Coney Island, Ubisoft's "Far Cry 2" brings part of their inventure through their version of Coney Island.

NYC Coney Island Far cry 2 multiplayer map

A far cry 2 multiplayer map featuring Coney Island.

Posted by
meatbadnoeat [YouTube]

Monday, February 02, 2009

Astroland Snuff Film (WARNING: May Be Graphic For Some Viewers)

Here's a depressing video of the last remaining pieces of Astroland. Brought to you by Gowanus Lounge. Also, be sure to catch more vid and pictures of Astroland today over at the Gowanus Lounge.

Warning: May be graphic for some viewers.

Astroland Snuff Film Final2

The end of Astroalnd, January 31, 2009. The final move out day.

Posted by
writerman000 [YouTube]

Final Destruction Of Astroland: Demolition Code 1X31

Images courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA board)

As the Capt_Nemo points on the Coney Island USA message board, various remaining structures on the former Astroland lot are marked with what he says are code markings for demolition. That is: 1X31

Since Astroland operators have now officially vacated the premises, it looks like this demolition job is one for Joe Still and Thor Equities. We would expect, as soon as possible, for Thor Equities to leash out their destructive dinosaurs on a rampage through their new dead lot for more of their good 'ole Coney Island destruction.

With that thought it would be fitting to take another look at the destruction done by those THORasick Park dinosaurs back in 2007 with the lot on the former Go-Kartz and batting-cages site Stillwell Avenue.

So, for those who haven't see it......Welcome to Thorasick Park!

The Destruction Of Coney Island "Thorasick Park" (2007)

Imagine the world of Coney Island destroyed by demolition,leaving it a ruined oasis for years to come. That world may just be what you'd see when you arrive...."Welcome To Thorasick Park"

Posted by ConeyHOP [YouTube]

A Romp Through Sitt Land

Image courtesy of Capt_Nemo (Coney Island USA board)

Coney Island roving eye, Capt_Nemo has returned from vacation and back in Coney Island with a solemn romp though the remains of Astroland. He posted his sad new findings over at the Coney Island USA message board.

Astroland R.I.P. 1962-2009

Image courtesy of me-myself-i (

Even though you may come back, reincarnated, as a smaller amusement park somewhere in Pakistan, we will miss you dearly.

Official date and time of death: January 31, 2009. 12 noon.

"Coney Island Alive And Kicking" Flickr Group Is Alive And Kicking

...with over over 30 members and 100 pictures and counting.

Flickr Convoy: Astroland's Corpse Now Taking On That Joe Sitt Look

Image courtesy of Pablo57 / KC Flickr Group

The empty, desolate, murky ground, and faint smell of amusements-past is all that's left on the former Astroland lot which was officially pronounced dead yesterday its official lease was let to expire by Thor Equities. And now the lot is taking on that familiar Thor Sitt look that we've come to know since 2007 at the former go-kartz and batting cages site.

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

Coney Vid: Best Cyclone POV

Even though Astroland is officially, dead...there's still lots of attractions in Coney Island for this coming summer of 2009. And the Cyclone roller coaster is one of them. Here's a short point-of-view vid of the cyclone. You won't be able to wait to get on it again this summer.

Coney Island Cyclone POV

Some of the best footage you'll see of New York City's Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster! Filmed by Robb Alvey of

Posted by robbalvey [YouTube]