Thursday, April 30, 2009

PB Markowitz Guarantees Glitz! Bling bling?...Forgetaboutdit!

Issuing a breakdown of his full recommendation report to the City Planning Commission that past April 30th, Borough President, Marty Markowitz approves the city's current rezoning and redevelopment plans for Coney Island, yet differs on a small number of issues. He compiled a list of recommendations.

Summary of Recommendations:
1. More Amusements: Increase Amusements in Coney Island Special District
2. Guarantee Glitz: Create Design Committee to Ensure Awe-Inspiring Architecture
3. Build With Coney, By Coney, For Coney: Build in Community Opportunities: Local Jobs, Housing, Rewards and Resources

Guarantee Glitz: Create Design Committee to Ensure Awe-Inspiring Architecture
Coney Island has always been known for its awe-inspiring architecture and ambiance—the famous Luna Park was fondly described as “Electric Eden.” The recommendations call for establishing a Coney Island Design Committee charged with ensuring the development of the Coney Island amusement area (i.e. the Special Coney Island District) remains unique, creative and iconic with regard to elements such as architecture, signage, lighting and the preservation of appropriate buildings and amusements, as well as the upholding of certain aesthetic values for thrilling, over-the-top design both now and in the future.

Markowitz will have to have plenty of faith for the city since it hasn't been able to complete a much simpler promise they kept shouting since 2007. That certain 'bling bling' that Markowits asked the city to do after the Parachute Jump lighting simply didn't happen.

The full statement can be read in its entirety at the Coney Island USA message board.

2009 Siren Music Festival Official Lineup

The 9th Annual Siren Music Festival presented by The Village Voice has announced its initial lineup of bands that will rock on two stages in Coney Island this summer; Saturday, July 18, 2009. The music festival will feature international, national and local bands and DJs.

The Village Voice SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL™ has solidified its status as a leading New York City outdoor music festival, drawing over 100,000 music fans by showcasing indie rock veterans and emerging artists.

Budweiser returns to the Village Voice SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL™ as the exclusive beer sponsor for the 9th consecutive year. Other sponsors include Metro PCS and Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

It's a shame you can't expect the Coney Island Lager to be a sponsor due to direct competition with Budweiser.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coney Island Symposium Today

"Which way Coney Island?", in a symposium on it's future at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute tonight at 7 pm, April 29th 2009.

New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden will be among the speakers at “Which Way Coney Island? A Symposium on Its Future,” on Wednesday, April 29, 7 p.m., at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute (20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor, between 5th and 6th Streets). Subways: 6 (Astor Place); R, W (8th Street). The event, which brings together many of the most important voices in the debate over the future of Coney Island, is free and open to the public.

In recent months, New Yorkers have been wondering what’s in store for Coney Island, New York City’s famous amusement park. For more than a century, Coney Island has been New York City’s playground, amusement park and, in the words of entertainer and symposium panelist Dick Zigun, the “Capital of the Weird.” But it is also a neighborhood facing serious struggles.

Moderated by NYU Journalism Professor Suketa Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, the symposium will feature the city’s proposed comprehensive plan for Coney Island, currently in public review, with a presentation by New York City Planning and responses by the Municipal Art Society and Thor Equities, LLC, a major landowner in the amusements section. Panelists include: Purnima Kapur, Brooklyn director of City Planning; Dan Jennings, Thor Equities; Melissa Baldock, Kress/RFR fellow for Historic Preservation and Public Policy, the Municipal Art Society; Charles Bendit, Taconic Investments; Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, El Diario/La Prensa; Dick Zigun, Coney Island Circus Sideshow; and Ahsanullah “Bobby” Khan, Coney Island Avenue Project.

Video Rewind - 1998: Coney Island

Video rewind and going back to pre-Coney redevelopment saga years takes a look at 'Coney's lull years'. From the late 70's to the turn of the century when Coney Island was still going but almost in an state of comatose caused by the first amusement-haters, Robert Moses and Fred Trump. And ends with the next big change in Coney Island that started with the creation of something bigger; the ballpark and the new subway station. That sparked the interest of the city followed by the big developer to finally redevelop Coney Island.

We video rewind to 1998 to some fast cutting super black and white 8 footage of a Coney Island day with an air show.

Coney Island

Super 8 footage by Todd Boebel of a Coney Island air show in 1998.

Posted by
toddboebel [YouTube]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Calling Brooklyn Bands To Play At Coney Island

New York Rocks is giving local rock bands to opportunity to play on the boardwalk for a hour of sets in front of summer beach goers as well as exposure on the interent on For New York Rocks Coney Island Series.

Dates in Coney Island as follows:

Saturday May 23rd
Saturday June20th
Saturday July 18th
Saturday July 25th
Saturday August 1st
Sunday August 9th
Sunday August 16th

Here's what you get if your band plays at the beach.

A Complete Band $225 Video Package Consists of:
1. Your band plays a full Set on the boardwalk
2. Video (DVD) of 3 songs digitally recorded
3. Video Interview
4. Written Bio
5. Picture Disc
6. Video streaming on Internet and your website
7. Band interview and performance on New York Rocks Cable TV Show and website.

To submit your music and contact information send to:Phil Fiumano at Also visit the site at

Here is a pain in the ass video from concert series. "New York Rocks!", yells Borough Prez. Marty Markowitz. The song asks Coney boardwalkers, "Who's a pain in the ass?". Coney songster, Amos Wengler says, "The guy who wants to build, these condos over here!"
Warning: Song lyrics contain 'ass' language not suitable for kids on the boardwalk.

Mystical Children Video

"Pain in the Ass" Video.

Posted by
NYRockstv [YouTube]

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coney Events: Construction Industry Information Seminar

Click image for larger view

In an e-mail announcement from the Coney Island Development Corporation, here's a chance for Coney Island locals to take the next step into a rewarding career or make a change. With Coney Island suffering a higher unemployment rate that usual, this should be a great opportunity. The speakers for this event will be: Levon Chambers of C.I. C.L.E.A.R. explaining why Unions are important! As well as elected officials, dignitaries and other speakers . They panels will be discussing entry into the construction indursty as well as networking. Panelists are: Nontraditional Employment for Women, Helmets to Hard Hats, Construction Skills 2000, and union representative to provide Apprenticeship Program Overview

Construction Industry Information Seminar
Coney Island Residents
April 30, 2009
4 pm to 8 pm
at Liberation High School
2865 West 19th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11224

Coney Video REWIND: A Teen Matt Dillon Talks Coney Coasters

A teenage actor Matt Dillon dolefully narrates a 'Wild Rides' series and talks about the birth of the roller coaster. Most of the rides we see him talk about were in good 'ole Coney Island. Check out that roller coaster for cars...radical man!

Wild Rides 4/6 Roller Coaster History

Posted by
milothedj [YouTube]

Saturday, April 25, 2009

To Boycott Or Not To Boycott! That Is The Thor Question

In a whim of good strokes, is it fair to take a stand back and at least one moment to thank Thor Equities instead of bombarding them with negative rants? Sure, Thor Equities may have a plan in the long run to kill Coney Island..the Coney Island spirit that has lived on for so long. But at least for the time being Coney Island will not be a land of empty lots. Most Coney lovers seem poised and ready to boycott everything. But will they? I'm sure most of us will go through those grind shows and other sideshows this season. The city and the CIDC is also boycotting Thor Equities by apparently omitting anything Thor in their Coney Island Fun Guide. No mention of the 'Festival by the Sea' by Thor Equities. Of course, most Coney goers who just feed upon what you give them will descend on Coney Island and probably think, "Ah the future of Coney has arrived!". Other's may say..."Is this what all the hoopla was about...more of the same old?"

So, are you planning on boycotting Thor this season in protest?
Take the poll below and tell us.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Coney Dev. Corp. Makes Ringling Circus Official

In a letter from Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), president Lynn Kelly makes an official announcement of the Barnum & Bailey Circus that will be coming to Coney Island for the 2009 summer season. The letter is posted here in its entirety:

Exciting News for 2009

Dear Friends and Residents of Coney Island:

I am writing to share some incredibly exciting news about one of New York City's greatest treasures: World-famous Coney Island. As you can see from the attached press release, Mayor Bloomberg joined together with Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and Borough President Marty Markowitz last week to announce that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to Coney Island for the Summer of 2009!

This is great news not only for the Coney Island community, but also for Brooklyn and for all of New York City because it highlights what a wonderful, exciting, accessible -- and perhaps most importantly, affordable destination Coney Island will be in the Summer of 2009. Despite what you may have heard, Coney Island is "Really Fun and Really OPEN" in 2009, and we want to make sure that all New Yorkers know that they don't have to travel out of town for a great time by the shore this summer.

Along with the attached information on the upcoming special installation of the Circus (which has tickets starting at only $10 dollars!), I have attached a flyer highlighting the Coney Island Fun Guide (, an online resource that contains a full list of Coney Island's attractions and events. In these tough times, New Yorkers need to know that they can find affordable, accessible family fun right here close to home.

So, while the City's comprehensive Coney Island redevelopment plan is currently still in the review process, we're working hard in the meantime to make sure that the good times don't stop. The Summer of 2009 is going to be a great one in Coney Island and we want to make sure you don't miss out on the fun. We hope to see you at the beach!

Lynn Kelly

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flickr Convoy: At Ruby's Bar On The Boardless Boardwalk

Image courtesy of Rubys Host / KC Flickr Group

Chillin' and chuggin' down beers at Ruby's Bar & Grill at the Coney Island still plankless-slabbed boardwalk with no wood to stand on. At lease you still have Ruby's and the view of the beach.

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

Coney Film Festival Deadline Tomorrow

For those filmmakers who still more time tomorrow may not be enough. This Friday is the regular deadline for the Coney Island Film Festival but you still have the late and the extended deadlines.

Late Deadline - July 3, 2009
Extended Late Deadline - July 10, 2009

Entry categories:
Feature, Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Experimental, Silent Film, Animation, Music Video.
The Coney Island Film Festival is open to filmmakers working in ALL GENRES, SUBJECTS AND FORMATS.

Visit the Coney Island Film Festival website for more information.

Last Few Days To Witness The Congress Of Curious People

3RD ANNUAL CONGRESS OF CURIOUS PEOPLES is running April 17 - 26, 2009 at Sideshows By The SeaShore! So, only a few days left and here's what's left to see:

THURSDAY, APRIL 23RD @ 8:00 PM - $10
ALBERT CADABRA'S The Skullduggery & Skin Show The best Twisted Magic,Classic Burlesque,and Sexy Sideshow performers from around the world to create one incredible night of high-energy entertainment. LIVE entertainment right before your unbelieving eyes!

FRIDAY, APRIL 24TH @ 8:00 PM - $10
ZAMORA: THE TORTURE KING Tim Cridland, better known by his stage name Zamora The Torture King has spent years perfecting his chosen craft. Through his knowledge of martial arts techniques, hypnosis, Middle-Eastern techniques, science and anatomy, he is able to overcome dangerous situations - fire eating, sword swallowing, body skewering, electrocution and more to emerge unscathed and unharmed and all in the name of entertainment!

SUPER FREAK WEEKEND featuring London's

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marty's Potato Chip Turns Out To Be A Classy Clam Shell By The Sea

Designed by Grimshaw Architects

The controversial amphitheater dreamed up by Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz to revamp the current boring Asser Levy Park's concrete band shell turns out to be a classy clam shell with a charming pearly hue. The $65 million amphitheater is gaining much opposition for some weak reasons and some strong ones.

City law bans amplified sound within 500 feet of a house of worship. That's why the free concerts by Markowitz's have always been on Thursdays. And that's exactly what sits in that range: two Synagogues. They are the main opposers of the project.
Therefore, the $64 million for a concert space that won't generate money on weekend nights seems pointless.

"What concessionaire is going to take this over if you can't have concerts on Friday and Saturday nights?" said activist Ida Sanoff, who is leading the charge to scuttle the project.

"How is this thing going to be viable if they can't run events at the most popular time?"

That's viable but what do the synagogues have to worry about if the noise polution law is protecting them? Nearby residents are also opposing the project for the same reason. But as Marty says it will 'bring a "world-class" concert venue to Coney Island and that is a key part of the city's planned revitalization of the area', reported the NY Daily News.

They also reported:

"This location is absolutely perfect to become something that the community will be proud of," said Markowitz, calling the site a "gateway to Coney Island."

"There's not a project anywhere in Brooklyn that doesn't meet with some folks in the community opposing it," he said.

There are synagogues everywhere, yet no where in Coney for such a venue. A venue that is needed to invigorate Coney Island's redevelopment.

Markowitz's plan for $64 million amphitheater comes under fire [NY Daily News]

Monday, April 20, 2009

Adam Sandler Misses Coney Island

Here is Adam Sandler 'stuck' on location as he mentions that simply misses Coney Island. He wants to be in pretty places where you can have activity. So, naturally he misses Coney Island.

Adam Sandler - "I Miss Coney Island"

From the archives from

Posted on hippietreehugger91 [YouTube]

Portrait Zaniness At Coney 2009 Spring Gala

Top right image courtesy of linda rosendahl. Right and bottom left images courtesy of David H. DuPuy

For the eccentric and the zany of the Coney Islandesque type, photo ops look more like a drunk fest in a burlesque hall back room. The 2009 Coney Island Spring Gala fundraiser brought out the confederacy of lunacy in everyone all in efforts to help preserve the cultural arts organization.

Here showcased in these a la
photo booth and benefit portraits are from the photographers,
linda rosendahl and David H. DuPuy.

See the
Flickr Slideshow for the 2009 Coney Island USA Spring Gala photo booth portraits. Warning: Almost 2,000 pictures of zaniness!

Coney Island Residents Party To Save Community []

Thor Equities Announces Their Land Fully Active This Summer

In a press release issued out today from Thor Equities, they announce that 100% of their land including 100% of the boardwalk businesses to be open and in full operation for the 2009 season.

Here is the press release in its entirety:


Nathan’s Famous, Ruby’s Old Tyme Bar, Beer Garden, Shoot the Freak, Steve’s Grill House and other Coney Institutions Re-Sign to be Part of Thor’s “Festival By the Sea”

Thor Continues Major Push to Help Bring Coney Back to Life – 100% of Thor’s Land Active this Summer

(Brooklyn, NY) – Coney Island’s famous boardwalk will once again feature some of the City’s most iconic and traditional Coney fare this summer, Thor Equities announced today. Institutions like Nathan’s Famous and Ruby’s Old Tyme Bar along with “only in Coney Island” favorites like Cha Cha’s, Steve’s Grill House and Shoot The Freak have all re-signed to come back to Coney Island this summer and be a part of the Thor’s Festival By The Sea.

“You just can’t have a Coney Island summer without a Nathan’s hotdog or a burger on the Boardwalk,” said Joe Sitt, President of Thor Equities. “This summer will be the best we have had in decades as the Festival is bringing new rides, new vendors, better freaks and filling the Coney Boardwalk with the institutions that have been here for generations."

The vendors who have renewed leases include: Nathan’s Famous, Steve’s Grill House, Pio Pio Riko, Cha Cha’s, Gregory & Paul’s food stands, Shoot the Freak, Ruby’s Old Tyme Bar and the local beer garden.

“We are thrilled to be coming back and to be a part of the festival,” said John “Cha Cha” Ciarco. “This season is shaping up to be the best in years and is a tremendous step forward for Coney.”

Today’s news is the third announcement in two weeks by Thor Equities on The Festival. This week’s announcement confirms that 100% of Thor’s land in Coney Island will be active this summer.

“This summer you’re going to see something at Coney you’ve never seen before,” said Anthony “Freak” Bellengerini and Carl Muroco, operators of Shoot the Freak and the beer garden. “There will be something for everyone here, and we’re looking forward to a great season.”

Last week, Thor announced rides, sideshows and four colorful tents dedicated to a festival market place, featuring hundreds of local and regional vendors. A fifth tent will be dedicated to seating for the Foodies Festival area.

Two weeks ago Thor announced that it will be bringing dozens of amusement rides and the country’s largest sideshow, the John Strong’s Shows, to Coney this summer as part of the Festival by the Sea. The approximately 25 rides, sideshows and oddities will be housed at the former Astroland site, featuring freaks of nature such as a two-headed cow named “Nosy Rosey” and a 200-lb snake named, “Julius Squeezer.”

All told, Thor plans to create more than 1,000 jobs as part of the Festival.

The Festival By The Sea is scheduled to open in mid-May and all of the Festival will stay through Labor Day weekend.

Unless the former and small Lola Staar botique has not been leased to a new business, then it not be completely 100% open. According to this latest press release, Thor has incorporated the famed boardwalk businesses into his 'Festival by the Sea' which will be at the lot directly behind these long-time coney boardwalk establishments. It also seems Thor Equities didn't think much of the Coney Island USA freaks since he plans on bringing in 'better freaks' as the release states. Lastly, it seems a bit confusing as to what Thor Equities is calling its 'amusement galore' in Coney. Sittland West is the 'Festival by the Sea' and previously Sittland East (the former Astroland lot) was or still is the Dreamland park which will temporarily house the rides that are still due to arrive and the sideshows. So, is it all now going to be called "Festival by the Sea" or what? We'll have to go by Thor's fourth or fifth press release or the festival's website to find out.

Borough Prez Markowitz To Tawk With Brooklyn Bloggers Over For Breakfast

This coming Thursday, Brooklyn bloggers will have a chance to share their thoughts and concerns over this most vibrant community of Brooklyn. For an hour and a half, Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz will meet with bloggers and discuss Brooklyn. Hopefully, the morning meet will

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coney Vid: See One Of Coney's Eccentric Character Caught In The Act

Brooklyn Independent Television's 'Caught In The Act' series presents the rogue taxidermist, Takeshi Yamad as he shares his passion for drying up the freakish and the bizarre from the Coney Island waters and beyond with this twist on the art of taxidermy.

Caught In The Act: Takeshi Yamad, Rogue Taxidermist

From Episode 13 of CAUGHT IN THE ACT:Rogue Taxidermist: Its a giant spider with the head of a dog! We must be in Takeshi Yamadas Cabinet of Curiosities (Coney Island), where none of Takeshis creatures could ever be more eccentric than he is.

Posted by
BKIndependentTV [YouTube]

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Ball Is Now In Sitt's Lot

In the continuing game of chicken, the continuing saga in the redevelopment war of Coney Island between the city and developer Thor Equites the ball now fallen in Thor's court or lot how ever you want to call it. The power game over Coney Island is now in favor of Thor Equities. They will have to either take the $105 million that the city is offering in their last bid for the famed seaside area or continue pressing on with his demands to this administration or the next.

The Bloomberg administration has called the final price that the city could afford to obtain the property in Coney owned by Thor Equities.

New York Daily News reported:

Talks to buy coveted property standing in the way of a city plan to redevelop Coney Island have come to a halt.

"The bottom line is we can only pay so much - that's it," Bloomberg said, referring to an offer of $105 million for 10.5 acres of property that developer
Thor Equities owns. "The city does not have unlimited money."

The offer is significantly less than the $250 million Thor officials floated in November for the property - and $5 million under the city's last offer, officials said.

"We don't have enough classrooms; we don't have enough clinics; we don't have enough infrastructure things," Bloomberg said yesterday. "Government is about making choices and setting priorities, and this is our priority."

Barnum & Bailey Circus Presents Coney Island Boom-A-Ring

From the Coney Island Fun Guide:

The "Coney Island Boom-A-Ring" presented by the Ringling Bros. will open on June 18, 2009, with a special performance saluting Coney Island. The show will include Vincenta Pages and her seven white Bengal tigers; the Urias family, known as The First Family of the Motorcycle Globe; the New York debut of The Negrey Troupe, a world-renowned retinue of Russian acrobats; "Eccentric Personality Extraordinaire" Justin Case; and a trio of Asian elephants. The show will run on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 17th through September 7th. Tickets, which start at $10, go on sale Thursday, April 30th. Additional information is available at

Reminder: Coney Island Is Really Fun And Really Open For 2009

Check out the full listing of everything happening at Coney Island at he Coney Island Fun Guide as well as a full list posted on the Coney Island USA message board posted by electricia.

Sign up for the Fun Guide newsletter by clicking on the image on the left and stay current with all the Coney happenings.

And don't forget the
big events going on in this famous part of the world. Check out the Cyclone's website ( and go to 'big events' for more info.

'Festival By The Sea' Website Is Up And Running

Thor Equities and their Festival by the Sea's website is up. With a flash splash page of a small place pulling banners that say: 'Life is a Beach...', 'So make the most of it', and 'Food, Fun, Bargains, and Rides'. Then in zooms down on the festival itself with sounds of the crowds.

Once you find your way around the site you can get an overview of the festival itself:
Coney Island has never been accused of being “ordinary.” And, just like its home, Festival by the Sea is no ordinary open air market. Festival by the Sea is a totally new and exhilarating experience – an exciting and festive place to eat great food, hang out and see and be seen. This hip new approach to the old school open air market will include everything from great rides and live entertainment to local flavors of all kinds.

Festival by the Sea is taking place in the heart of Coney Island. Just go to the corner of Surf and Stillwell. It’d be hard to miss!

You can find out its schedule and hours of operation. The festival will be open weekends and during the week except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And then only open on the weekends from September 7th all the way to Christmas Eve. You can also view their list of vendors which currently seems there are none. Their events calendar is coming soon. There is also a neat map of the area where you cursor magnifies areas of it. The map at this point seems geared more for vendors.

The festival is slated to open on May 15th.

Coney Vid: Taking A Dip With The Coney Polar Bears

Coney Island Polar Bear Club members share their stories of why they took the plunge.

Coney Vid: Taking A Dip With The Coney Island Polar Bears

Posted by Jessica Rudis [The Brooklyn Ink]

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Confederacy Of 25 Rides To Descend On Thor's New Dreamland Park

The Rides Are Coming! The Rides Are Coming!

Yesterday we complained about no signs of any rides coming to Thor's new Dreamland park on the former Astroland lot. But in an email shot to KC from Thor Equities spokesman, Stefan Friedman, he sternly said:

We are having upwards of 25 rides this summer as part of Dreamland. I don't understand why you keep asking where the rides are. They're on the way.

Since there was also no mention of rides on a particular flyer and there was talk about no rides in sight on the Coney Island USA message board, the complaints started. But now we can be assured that up to 25 rides will descend on Thor Equities new Dreamland amusement park. Hopefully, they'll be something new and not the same ole' stuff again.

Flickr Convoy: Recession Busters at the Concession Clusters

Image courtesy of me-myself-i / KC Flickr Group

Luckily, for many Coney goers, opening day in Coney Island didn't mean waiting for Thor's Coney to sluggishly drag themselves in weeks after Coney's official season opening. Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and many of Coney's games of chance had already opened. And in tune with the country's recession woes, many game concessions on the Bowery were offering recession buster offers, giving players 100 shots for $2 dollars. Now that's a big bargain coming from the carnies.

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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Will The Ghosts Of Astroland's Rides Overshadow Thor's Dreamland?

How well will Thor Equities and Joe Sitt's 2nd Dreamland 'amusement' park fare with this coming season's Coney goers? Will most appreciate something new and different merely because it's not what's been there for last few years in Coney Island? Or, would most grind through it only once and whine, "Where are the new rides"? Yes, we still have those great Coney icons to ride but nothing new? No Astroland! We can never forget Astroland...can we? As frequent poster on the Coney Island USA message board, Elephant Man points out; "Everyone who walks on this midway is going to see the ghosts of the Astroland rides that were there before". What keeps many Coney goers coming back are the rides they could ride over again. So, unless Sitt brings in some rides as he's stated in a former press release, there may be big disappointments. The later flyers seem to be void of any mention of rides.

Last year Joe Sitt brought
"Summer of Hope" in Coney Island on the Thor Equities lot on Stillwell Avenue (Sittland West) and also called it 'Dreamland'. Sitt said, “Thor is fully committed to the amusement industry in Coney". But the 'Summer of Hope' fizzled out earlier than planned, leaving him unfully committed. Ride operators scrambled. So, perhaps Mr. Sitt was too greedy making too many demands or it was his intention all along. Sitt, just recently, managed to brush of the Ringling Brothers Circus who were in talks with Thor Equities about coming to Coney Island. They claimed he made crazy demands and decided to work with the city and Taconic Investments.

Look what you took out Mr. Sitt to put in. But it's too late now. Is this what you call 'Amusements galore'?

So, we ask, "Oh, where are the rides, Mr. Sitt"?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Coney Vid: The Coney Island Music Machine

Here's the world premiere of the Coney Island Music Machine. What does it really have to do with Coney Island? Well, it doesn't really.. or does it? The creator gave it the Coney Island name. The monkey music machine has preformed at the Galapagos Art Space. The machine is now permanent installation at the Coney Island Museum. So, there it does have something to do with Coney.

Coney Island music machine

Sound sculpture for the Coney Island Music Machine - a work in progress with Nick Yulman.

Posted by
moonmilklabs [YouTube]

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SittLand East Meets West To Bring 'Amusement Galore'

Left image courtesy of me-myself-i (,
right image Capt_Nemo (CIUSA message board)

Joe Sitt seems to be fulfilling his promise...for bring 'amusement galore' to Coney Island with an assortment of attractions for his 'Summer of Hope 2.0'. A few weeks ago Thor Equities announced 'Flea by The Sea', which was basically a big flea market for their Sittland West (their empty lot on Stillwell between Surf Avenue and the boardwalk. Which for only part of last summer housed their infamous 'Summer of Hope 2008'). But oops...they forgot that technically flea markets are a violation of the C7 zoning so they rethought, added three letters, and rehashed the 'Festival by the Sea' but didn't change much of else. It's still a flea market with a big food court, all under some tents. However, the city wouldn't of flinched much since they've never really enforced this violation. Coney had flea markets years ago and still have furniture stores, which currently violate the zone. So, Festival by the Sea will still be a flea market with music and food and no attractions. The poster claims rides which it means the rides already there: Wonder Wheel and Cyclone. The only attraction you may find at the festival by the Sea could be what Elephant Man (CIUSA message poster), points out on the board: " of the tents is going to be selling lamps. That's just what we need. We rub the lamps, the Genie pops out and turns the tents into new hi tech thrill rides."

Over on Sittland East (the former Astroland lot), Thor Equities announced 'Dreamland Amusement Park' which will be filled with Single-O grind show attractions (Which is basically a 1 show sideshow attractions instead of the 10-in-1 sideshows like the Coney Island Circus Sideshow). The Single-O attractions were brought in from Florida by Prof. Lee Koloszy. According a Thor Equities flyer also to be available for your amusement on Sittland East will be games of chance, lots of human and animal oddities, other sideshow performers, and all the strange, odd, and unusual has to offer. John Strong III's Freak Show will bring his 10-in-1 sideshow (a direct competition for Coney Island USA's 'Sideshow by the Seashore').

So, where are the rides? Perhaps Joe Sitt developed a bad reputation with ride operators with last year's Summer of Hope which had them flee early in the season leaving Sittland West empty for most of the season.

The test to time during the season will show if this is all in good intentions or a way for Sitt to get his way with rezoning in the long run. We'll have an open mind for now.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Has Coney Mayor Dick Zigun Gone Too Far?

Coney Island USA artistic director, Dick Zigun has decided to set himself up as a target for sharp metal rushing towards him at 60 miles an hour...all in effort to help keep his non-profit organization's doors open. At the Coney Island USA 2009 Spring Gala, Mr. Zigun will have (for every $100 dollars raised) a knife flown at him by Guinness world record holding knife thrower, The Great Throwdini. And for $100 or more a knife in your name. (if you pledge right now before this Thursday). Immediately, what comes to mind would be to hope Mr. Zigun doesn't have any enemies. But in the ever-pressing Coney redevelopment saga, he may have one or two ready to make some big pledges.

In a press release sent out by CIUSA:

“I’ve spent the last 3 decades of my life spilling blood, sweat and tears for Coney Island USA, what’s a little more? NY State’s Arts funding has been slashed to ribbons so this seemed like a fitting way to respond and help make sure that Coney Island USA's doors stay open” said Mr. Zigun.

While the Great Throwdini can boast of a perfect safety record when it comes to knife throwing, this time he'll be throwing at an amateur target. An amateur who is much more likely to flinch when faced with pointed steel flying towards his body at 60 miles per hours. Many of Mr. Zigun's friends have urged him to consider other ways to overcome the budget shortfalls. "This time he's gone too far. He's kind of a twitchy guy to begin with, with a knife thrown directly at him he is liable to jump and catch one in a sensitive spot", said a worried Coney Island USA Board President Mark Alhadeff.

While all of the knife dedications to date are of a cheerful nature, there may be exceptions. Even though Mr. Zigun has been a very popular figure around Coney for the last twenty seven years, with all of the recent controversy over the potential re-development of Coney Island he has made a few enemies. There are rumors of a few well-heeled folks getting together to sponsor a number of knives with some pretty scary dedications to be read out loud at the Gala. It remains to be seen whether the negative dedications actually materialize.

In this effort Mr. Zigun will risk cuts to balance budget cuts so make your pledge now. And remember, you don't have to join the event to sponsor a knife.

Reminder: The Coney Island USA 2009 Spring Gala

Remember, the Coney Island 2009 Spring Gala will be held this Thursday, April 16th 2009! Bring all your dazzle to the gala and indulge in the sideshow burlesque spectacle along with this year's honorary chair actor Harvey Keitel

Please join us for the 5th annual Coney Island USA Spring Fundraising Gala. All proceeds go directly towards funding CIUSA’s many unique programs and the fight to save Coney Island’s amusement district.

For all the info visit the Coney Island USA website.

Coney Island USA 2009 Spring Gala
Thursday April 16th 2009
General admission tickets $100 ($80 tax deductible)
VIP tickets $250 ($200 tax deductible)
The VIP ticket experience includes access to a private seating area with table food and drink service, goodie bag and meet and greet with our performers!
at the M2 Ultra Lounge
530 West 28th Street (btw 10th and 11th avenues)

Staten Island Brush Fire Smoke Seen From Coney Island

Image courtesy of Rubys Host (

Yesterday's Easter Sunday winds in New York helped to spread a brush fire in Staten Island threatening a few beach homes in the Homestead residential area. A six-alarm fire, called it, the fire department. The billows of smoke were seen from Coney Island and photographed by Ruby's Host

Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk via New reports:
250 firefighters were deployed to douse the fire, which ignited around 2 p.m. today and damaged at least three houses, the report says. No injuries were initially reported, but residents in two of the three affected
houses were evacuated.

Staten Island brush fire is visible from N.J. Turnpike [New]

Ruby's Opens Despite Ruby's

Image courtesy of Rubys Host (

Ruby's Bar & Grill opened on the Coney Island boardwalk today literally and sort of figuratively. Despite being unable to open inside due to the fencing so they set up a make-shift bar outside of the fence. As Ruby's Host indicates, people were allowed through the fence as long as they stayed over at Cha-Cha's which has been open for business a couple of weeks already. Despite, the windy and chilly day, people were enjoying themselves on the slabs at Cha-Cha's. Then after a few short hours Ruby's closed and packed up their make-shift bar.

This week, the boardwalk planks should be placed and the fences taken away. Some still question the slabs under the boardwalk planks. The city says they are used to protect people from falling through broken planks and to help support city vehicles. But some speculate that the slabs may not help the naturally drainage and sand build-up between the planks which could cause faster rotting.

And Ruby's expects to have their official opening inside by next weekend.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coney Vid: The Early Hours - Coney Island Trip

Here's a nice video about Coney Island which reminds us that though Coney has always had a wonderful charm, it also had its patches of darkness and turmoil throughout its history making some weary of lurking through Coney on a lonely night, alone.

The Early Hours - Coney Island trip

a video of sorts documenting video, photography and discussion from an April 2009 trip to Coney Island.

Posted by
theearlyhours [YouTube]

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coney Events: Save Coney Island Benefit At Southpaw'

(Click image for larger view)

This Saturday, April 11th 2009, come out to help Save Coney Island at Southpaw. Enjoy live performances and music

Prizes Galore!!
Astounding treasures from the Sparkling Sea of Coney Island!!
OPEN BAR from 8pm-9pm
with Hendrick's Gin & Coney Island Lager

Save Coney Island Benefit 2009
at Southpaw
Saturday, April 11th 2009
125 5th Avenue - Brooklyn
Admission: $12 advance, $15 at door
8pm doors open. 9pm show starts for tickets

Coney Events: Coney Island History Project History Day Event

This Easter Sunday, hop on over and ride the Cyclone Roller Coaster and upon exiting pay a visit to the grand Coney Island History Project's exhibition center snuggled under the coaster itself. The Coney Island History Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to reserve the vastly colorful history of our wondrous Coney Island through personal accounts, images, and artifacts. It also strives to encourage appreciation for today's Coney Island and for the protection of it's unique character for the future. The exhibit will be open April 12, from 12-5 pm for the season's first History Day Event.

From the CIHP press release:

During our History Day event, the first of which was held in 2005, the public is invited to record their personal memories and share their photographs and other memorabilia. Selected interviews and visual material are accessible at our online archive. Charles Denson and Amanda Deutch will be doing interviews from 12-5pm on April 12 in our professional recording studio.

The CIHP exhibition center will open for the 2009 season on Memorial Day Weekend with a new exhibition "Coney Island Icons". Located on Surf Avenue just east of West 10th Street, the center is open free of charge on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For additional info, contact the History Project at or 718-266-0012.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Robert Guskind Memorial

Image courtesy of Chris Kreussling a.k.a. Flatbush Gardener (

Now called the "Blogfather of Brooklyn", Gowanus Lounge blog founder, the late Robert Guskind was a true pioneer in this new media called blogging. At the top of his game in one of the most bloggiest places in the world. A single passionate and devoted man was able to write, photograph, edit, and publish his own electronic newspaper: The Gowanus Lounge. He was a keen observer, a great communicator, and a charmer! Robert Guskind will be sorely missed. His vast reporting and analysis on the continuing Coney Island saga was superior. Robert Guskind had many kind words for this little blog and helped gain its audience. Humbly stating, KC has recently dwindled down in coverage but will now be picking up its slack and fill, at least, some of the missing Coney coverage in blogs left by Mr. Guskind's absence.

On Saturday, April 4th 2009 The memorial for Bog Guskind drew about 100 people from bloggers, friends, and family. All came to pay respects and remember Mr. Guskind and his extraordinary contribution to his beloved neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Above Image courtesy Flatbush Gardener (

The Memorial Gathering Saturday at the Brooklyn Lyceum was a heartfelt opportunity for Bob Guskind’s friends (and family) to meet each other, share memories, and contribute to their understanding of a man who made a huge impression on Brooklyn in just a few years. Fellow bloggers and activists cited him as a mentor and an inspiration.

Here's a wonderful video to remember Mr. Guskind by. The video was produced by Blue Barn Pictures who produced the intro video to last year's Blogfest.

View photos from other photographers that attended the Guskind memorial here.

Below is a video with Senator Daniel Squadron and Assembly member Joan Millman who sponsored a resolution to honor the life and work of Gowanus Lounge founder Bob Guskind.