Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Brighton Dreaming: Now That's An Amusement Pier!

In honor of Coney Island's long lost beloved Dreamland Pier which a part of its history in the form of a bell that delightfully greeted passengers disembarking at Coney Island, was brought to the surface this week, we dare not only dream of a magnificent pier for Coney Island...we simply set our course across the seas to the far reaches of England...a land beyond Coney Island.

A glorious amusement pier in Brighton Beach. But no not Brooklyn’s Brighton but the original. Original in name. Brighton England that is. A seaside extravagance that without making any efforts places today’s Coney Island as a bare bones relic of its past - brittle and corroded like the skeletal remains of a dead roller coaster. The fabled seaside in Brooklyn, though a true originator, sits awaiting promises that never materialize only to buckle under the kind of greed that is choking our American cities. However, Europe has a different way of seeing things. A different way of living. Not only boasting another witching seaside extravagance called Blackpool, which was featured here in 2007 and even larger than Brighton, but England and the rest of Europe is better at keeping their flair and nostalgia than us.

(click image to enlarge)

Strutting out majestically at 1,722 feet in length and acknowledged as the finest pier ever built, The Brighton Pier which opened in 1899 (more officially known as the Marine Palace Pier or the Brighton Marine Palace and Pier) was once considered a seedy and derelict seaside oasis. Much like the Sodom by the Sea description that has been given to the frolic and mayhem hidden in the shadows behind the sand dunes of Coney Island’s yesteryear. In addition, much like Coney it is an hour away from its metro center on railway.

(click image to enlarge)

It thrives in Brighton Beach, part of the city of Brighton and Hove on the south coast of Great Britain. An English port town with a shabby resort town that houses crumbling piers and decadent hotels that find an ease in the hospitality of dirty weekends.

Just recently, many Londoners have rediscovered this oasis by the sea with its magnificent pier, which boasts its regency style structures, mirth of fairground rides, an abundance of restaurants, arcade halls, and a domed game hall.

(Image above courtesy of

On land, its Royal Pavilions were once part of a royal palace for the Prince Regent during the early 1800’s and is notable for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and Oriental interior design.

The resort also was once prideful of its West Pier, which lay languished, in shambles, and mostly deserted since the 1970’s only to suffer one last fatal fire. Plans for a future structure like the Eye in London are being designed for the West Pier site.

Much of this vibrant seaside resort has been modernized with new attractions including thrill rides, while keeping many of its original flair and artifacts.

From an aerial Google Earth’s point of view this glorious amusement pier, were it in Coney Island would transform our run downed dreams into an astonishing marvel of reality that would awaken Coney Island from the near-death comatose that it's been put through for the last three decades by lack of vision, spurious promises, selfish bureaucrats and greedy mongers.

(Scroll down to view other interesting images of the Brighton Pier)

Tune into some Brighton Pier videos below

For more information on the pier's full ameneties and amusements visit the pier's fun and informative official website.

Many amusement piers are still thriving across the world though some fall to corporate and developer greed. In 2006 Donald Trump decided to axe the steel pier in Atlantic city to make way for more of what this country has too much already: mixed-use development.

More of 'Brighton Dreaming' to come: The West Pier, The Royal Pavilions, and the Starlings (hordes of birds that swarm the pier together like a frantic black cloud).

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Wow! I've always wanted to tour the UK's amusement parks. Even more so now. Great post