Monday, November 30, 2009

Coney Lovin'

Artists, sculptors, and bakers are spreading their lovin' Coney flavor through their passionate work. From a Coney lovin' kitchen to a big firm's canned masterpiece. New York is tasting the fabled place with all their senses.

Coney Island USA poster Winterblock15 bakes for a Coney lovin' niece. With these beautiful looking tasty Coney iconic delicacies you'de want to bite into them but wouldn't dare mar the workmanship. It would be great if more of these colorful tasties were made and sold at Phillip's Candy for the rest of us to enjoy.

Philomena Marano loves to capture the essence of Coney Island in her wonderful works of art. Here is one of the 4 cut paper collages she has in a group exhibit entitled Collages (1936-2009) at the New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan Campus, Opening reception: Friday, December 4th 5-7pm. You're invited. Exhibit runs through January 8, 2010. Location: New Technology Building, 11th floor, 16 West 61st Street, NY, NY. Viewing hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Go see this magnificent work with your own eyes!

And as Coney Island USA poster Elephant Man was slumming through Manhattan he was wowed at a glimpse of this mini canny Coney Island. Local firms create these for what's called a Canconstruction Competition.

More Coney lovin' surprises are sure to spring up as the true character of Coney Island remains to be a permanent fixture in the hearts of many Coney lovers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Saving Coney Island Depends On You!

The plan to revitalize Coney Island made a big step forward last week when the Bloomberg Administration announced the City will be purchasing seven acres of land from developer Thor Equities. While this releases a big hold from a developer who seemed to only descend on Coney Island under the false impression to change it for the better and only reveling himself themselves as another speculator in the end, the city still needs to modify the current plan in order to keep Coney Island alive with the same character and spirit it has always thrived on.

A word out from the Save Coney Island group makes it loud and clear:

This is good news, but it's not enough to save Coney Island

We're concerned that the City's plan for Coney Island leaves only a narrow strip of land for outdoor amusements. This tiny amusement area would be hemmed in by four high-rise hotels rising up to 27 stories. To add insult to injury, these proposed hotel towers would be built on top of many of Coney Island's most historic buildings, obliterating what remains of Coney Island's rich past.

If this plan is executed, it would ruin Coney Island forever.

Save Coney Island is committed to doing everything we can to fix this plan and making sure that Coney Island reaches its potential as a world-class amusement destination - as the playground of the world.

But we need your help. Over the next few weeks, Save Coney Island will be announcing exciting new initiatives to ensure both the short- and long-term success of the People's Playground. We need you to be a part of our effort. If you have skills to offer as a volunteer, please let us know. If you can donate money, that would be terrific.

With your support, we will help to make Coney Island great again.

Coney Events: The Siren Screen Series

A Park Slope pub gets the Coney buzz with a night of Coney-short films.

Here's the lineup:
1) John Salvatore - "Sodom by the Sea" - narrative, 19 mins.

2) Ilya Chaiken - "The 100 lovers of Jesus Reynolds" - narrative, 7 mins. (Ilya is known for the indie feature "Liberty Kid")

3) Howie Alex - "Falcons are Three" - narrative, 6 mins.

4) Lila Place - "Under the Roller Coaster - doc, 15 mins.

5) David Rogers - "The Light of Eons" - narrative, 16 mins.

6) Adam Davis - "The Green Flash" - narrative, 25 mins. (this movie was shot in 1989 and stars Omar Epps in his first ever role)
See you there!!

For more information, maps and other resources, visit the Save Coney Island website

The Siren Screen Series
at the Black Horse Pub
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009

$10 cover
68 5th Avenue @ 16th Street
Park Slope, Brooklyn

All profits go to support Save Coney Island

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coney Pioneers Given Awarded Postumously

Among the glitz of the Las Vegas style show world, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo 2009 held in Nevada gave kudos to the creators of the beacon of glitz of the older world at the turn of the century in Coney Island. Fred Thompson and Skip Dundy, who were the dreamers around a depression ara who dared to imagine and turn their dreams into a motion of lights and dazzling beauty and spectacular amusement.

Last year's IAAPA Expo 2008 was held in Orlando, where Lynn Kelly, president of the Coney Island Development Corporation attended, bringing back a roster of names and good handshakes. At least that's all we know. Last year what happened in Orlando stayed in Orlando. However, this year what happened in Las Vegas will surley be brought back here to Coney. On behalf of Skip and Dundy, Coney Island History Project director, Charles Denson and co-founding partner and Coney Island Cylcone Roller Coaster operator, Carol Hill Albert accepted the award.

(Pictured above with Carol Albert and Charles Denson is Tim O'Brien, Chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame Committee.)
Image courtesy of IAAPA

The ceremony kicks of the event of the IAAPA International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. It's the largest trade show of its kind, dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry in regards to permanently situation amusement facilities.

From the Coney Island History Project press release:
"We'd like to see Coney Island rebuilt with the same sense of creativity and wonder that Thompson and Dundy showed 100 years ago," said Charles Denson, Executive Director of the Coney Island History Project and author of Coney Island Lost and Found. "Thompson and Dundy were risk takers who used new technology to create a sense of wonder. They were competitors who joined forces. Their creativity came out of competition. Coney Island needs multiple operators to succeed."

We hope now that with the city aquiring much of the land, speculator Joe Sitt and Thor Equities had a grip on, the city will reflect upon this honor to Skip and Dundy and rethink their plan and come up with a better solution to the little land that is left for amusements in Coney Island. And yes, smaller more independent amusement and entertainment operators are needed but it's going to be tough to entice them to come here to Coney Island and make their dreams happen during these hard economic times. But then again Coney Island was never for the weak and fearful.

You can read the full press release at the Coney Island USA message board.

[This post has been updated]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turning Point In Coney Saga: City Buys Sitt Land

A major turning point in the Coney Island revitalization saga happened yesterday as the City most of Sitt's hold on Coney Island. Which in the end proves Sitt was who we always thought he was: a speculator. The city has agreed to pay $95.6 million for 6 or so acres of Sitt's land he owned in Coney Island. Most of that is the land in the core of the amusement area including the former Astroland lot. What Sitt still owns in Coney Island is still questionable as what will be the situation there.

Curbed writes:
Nastiness has reigned on both sides, and in the end he'll get $95.7 million in taxpayer skrilla for seven acres, a slightly ridiculous amount given the market value of land nowadays.

The New York Times writes:
Each side claimed victory, though no one wanted to comment for the record before Thursday’s announcement. While Mr. Sitt got much less than the $140 million he had been demanding for 10.5 of the 12.5 acres he owned, the $95.7 million for 6.9 acres came to more than $300 a square foot — a huge amount in the current market. Mr. Sitt, chief executive of Thor Equities, plans to develop hotels and stores in the 5.6 acres he still owns as the city invests in the neighborhood.

Seeking Revival, City to Buy Land in Coney Island [NY Times]
Coney Island Land Deal Finally Sealed [Curbed]
Closing Bell: City Reaches Deal with Sitt for Coney Land [Brownstoner]
Save Coney Island Applauds City’s Land Purchase, but Warns It’s ‘Not Enough’ [Save Coney Island]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coney Vid: A Look Back...Before The Saga

A look back at a not-so-distant past summer in Coney Island. A summer that was yet untouched by greedy hands. A Coney Island that needed repair but was still alive and thriving without its future in peril or in question. A Childs Building that still had not let in the sun for decades, a thriving boardwalk, the Wonder Wheel still shimmering in the sunlight, the B&B Carousel whirling to the grind of the organ, an Astroland still alive and kicking, and the Top Spin and the Zipper still spinning with verve.

Coney Island- Summer, 2005

Posted by CoasterToolProd [YouTube]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coney Goodies: Get Cozy This Winter Lola Starr Style

From the Lola Staar store:
Get Cozy with Lola Staar this Fall! Check out our incredible sale on all our Lola Staar cozy gear! Lola has designed tons of adorable new online exclusive items to keep you warm as the brisk breese drifts onto the boardwalk! Hoodies only $25 (usually $35)! Long Sleeve Tees $15 (usually $25) Now till Thanksgiving! Don't be left out in the cold!!

Take me to Get Cozy with Lola!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Save Coney Island Meeting Update: Tonight!

The Save Coney Island group meets tonight at Freddy's on Dean Street in Brooklyn.

From the Save Coney group:
Meet in Freddy's back room from 7-9 pm tonight (Monday, November 9th) for an important meeting about our exciting post-rezoning-vote strategies to preserve and expand Coney Island's amusement district.

Topics that will be discussed:
1.What steps to take to create a landmark district in Coney Island
2. Ways to effectively lobby City Hall to buy up land and dedicate it to amusements
3. How to expand our constituency in Coney Island and across the city
4. Other ways to pressure the city that depend on your participation
5. Fundraising efforts so we can have more resources to fight the fight!

We need your input and help on all of these subject to make a difference in Coney Island. We will break into small groups to collect ideas and find solutions to the tough challenges that lie ahead. Your presence at this meeting will affect strategic decisions that need to be made in the very near future.

Freddy's Bar and Back Room
485 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY 11215
phone: 718.622.7035
That's the corner of Dean Street and 6th Avenue in Brooklyn.
(In the proposed footprint of the Atlantic Yards Project!)
For directions visit website:

Friday, November 06, 2009

Save Coney Island Stragety Meeting Monday

This coming Monday at 7 pm is an important Save Coney Island strategy meeting. Presented will be strategies and movements for a new direction in saving Coney Island from the grips of greedy developers and city officials. And of course expect a fun social and tipsy atmosphere.

Location and further info to come up shorty so stay tuned at

Save Coney Island Fundraiser

From the Save Coney Island group:
This Friday, November 6 At 9 pm, see Angie Pontani's show "This is Burlesque" and support Save Coney Island AT THE SAME TIME! 10% of the door at Sweet Carolines will go to support Save Coney Island's efforts to create a C.I. historic district and keep pressure on the city to designate park land for outdoor amusements. Be dazzled and entertained by the beautiful Angie Pontani and comedian Murray Hill in the funniest and sexiest show this side of the Mississippi. The show kicks off at 9:00 pm.Sweet Carolines is at 322 W. 45th Street between 8th & 9th Avenues.

For more information visit

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Coney Boardwalk Repairs Resume For Winter

Image courtesy of Rubys Host

As our good friend, Rubys Host, brings us, fences are going back up on the Coney Island Boardwalk from the Stillwell Bathhouse to Gregory & Paul's (which is now run by Paul's daughter). They have even snug a fence in the sand and have removed most of the benches. The railings are next to go in preparation for the continuation of the repairs on that part of the boardwalk. The light posts are to remain as they work around them.

Rubys Host points out that Cha Cha's is still open on weekends and the Polar Bear Swims have started for the '09/'10 season.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Coney Vid: Skuld II

A Coney Island nostalgic lull footage taken from various Prelinger films.

Skuld II


The amusement park is Coney Island, and the footage is taken from three different Prelinger films. All footage in this video is public domain, but this combination of images is copyright 2009.

Posted by CartwheelofFortune [YouTube]