Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flickr Convoy: Winter Lull

Image courtesy of Coney817 / KC Flickr Pool

On a boardwalk bench in a last winter lull before Coney Island enters a new era. An era of change and rebirth.

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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Coney Vid: Coney Island Dream

Here's a great little Coney vid found via the Coney Island Houses blog. Video by Joshua Brown.

Coney Island Dream

A subdued Coney Island as a winter storm approaches. I will be making prints available soon, follow me on twitter if you would like to be notified. If you like the film, please share it. I am primarily a still photographer, but I am looking to work and collaborate on more films.

Coney Island Dream from Joshua Brown on Vimeo.

Thor's Coney In Shambles

Images courtesy of Captain Nemo (Coney Island USA board)

Coney roving eye, Captain Nemo, has caught some current neglect in some of Thor Equities and Joe Sitt's land. The failed flea market tents and signs have been left to blow in the recent nor-easterly gusts creating continued eye sores in Coney Island.

As of mid-December, the flea market tents have been left to be shredded by the winter winds and now signs of the flea market are flapping off in the high winds. With the influx of Polar Bears and spectators coming in for the New Year's swim, we hope Thor gets off his mighty butt and clean up their part of the act.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Coney Vid: The Coney Island Polar Bears Take A Post Blizzard Dip

The always high-strung Coney Island Polar Bears are always eager to jump into the cold Coney waters. Here is their first dip after this years first and probably last real blizzard! Don't forget to catch them for their big New Year's Day dip coming up!

Coney island polar bears


Day after blizzard.Burrrrr

Posted by paullee54 [YouTube]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coney Goodies: Lola Staar's Holiday Wonderland

There's plenty of Coney Island goodies for this holiday season. Take a trip to Lola Staar's Holiday Wonderland and treat yourself to some wonderful holiday gifts for you, your friends, and family!

Visit Lola Staar's Holiday Winterland!

Happy Holidays!

City Closes Deal On Almost Half Of Thor's Coney Land

Though this still does not put Joe Sitt and Thor Equities out of Coney Island completely, it does make a change for the better. The city now has the opportunity to modify their plan for the main amusement core in Coney. Let's see if they now turn around and make the needed changes to the oxymoron parts of their plan.

Here is the press release from Thor Equities press rep.; Stefan Friedman:


Thor Retains Nearly Half of its Coney Parcels, Will Remain Largest Private Landowner in Amusement District

Plans to Develop Hotels and Retail as Part of Revitalization of ‘People’s Playground’

(BROOKLYN, NY): Thor Equities and the City of New York have officially closed on the sale of 6.9 acres within the amusement district of Coney Island, officials from Thor Equities announced today. The deal allows Thor to retain nearly half of its parcels in Coney Island.

"Today marks a new beginning for Coney Island and the culmination of a lot of hard work," said Joseph Sitt, Chairman and CEO of Thor Equities. "In the end, we all wanted the same thing: to return Coney Island to its historic grandeur and prosperous past. The sale of half of our land allows the City to move forward with its vision and for Thor to continue to be an integral part of Coney’s future. Now it’s time for all of us to come together and get back to work in restoring the People’s Playground to its prominent position as the preeminent amusement and entertainment destination in the world."

The sites sold comprise approximately 300,000 square feet of land, mostly within approximately 9-acres of planned parkland located between KeySpan Park and the landmarked Cyclone roller coaster along the boardwalk, where the City plans to develop an outdoor amusement park as part of its 27-acre amusement and entertainment district.

As part of the deal, Thor Equities will retain roughly six acres in Coney Island, enabling the company to join the City of New York in a dynamic partnership. As the city works to attract the best of the best in amusements, Thor intends to build new hotels and bring in new retail stores and services to the region as soon as infrastructure improvements are made by the city that will help put Coney back at the top of tourist destination spots.

All these elements will help spur economic growth and deliver year-round jobs for Coney Island the people of New York.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Coney Vid: A Few Coney Lovers Speak Their Minds

Some fleeting comments from a few Coney lovers including an 'articulate' self-proclaimed temporary Coney Mayor.

Coney Island

Posted by CMediaProject [YouTube]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Coney Goodies: Surprise Yourself With Goodies

The Coney Island USA gift shop offers Mystery In a Box. For only $25 dollars get a box of Coney surprises in gifty goodies.

What's in the box? It's a mystery! There's only one way to Satisfy your curiosity! Buy it now! You'll receive a wrapped gift box ranging in value from $35-$$$$ worth of merchandise for only $25 shipped! There are two ways to go. You can request a sized gift or a non sized gift. If it's sized you know that part of what your getting is something to wear... if you choose a non-sized gift, you won't be slipping it on over your head! Order now! Don't let the suspense get the better of you!!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Save Coney Island Group Sues City

The City did well in aquiring much of the land owned by Thor Equities but their plan still needs major revision. The way it stands it's an oximoron. Their plan for high rises and hotel does not justify what will be left there for amusements.

Here is the full press release from 'Save Coney Island':



New York, N.Y. Dec. 2, 2009 — Grassroots activist group Save Coney Island announced today that it had filed a lawsuit challenging the Bloomberg administration’s rezoning of Coney Island’s amusement area. Several Coney Island residents and amusement district workers and performers joined Save Coney Island as plaintiffs.

The suit was filed Wednesday, November 25 at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan by attorney Albert K. Butzel of the Urban Environmental Law Center, who is representing the plaintiffs. The suit seeks to have the rezoning declared illegal and annulled.

The Bloomberg administration’s rezoning plan, which passed the City Council on July 29, dramatically shrinks Coney Island’s famed amusement district, leaving a proposed amusement park that is restricted to a narrow, 12-acre strip of land. The rezoning allows the insertion of four hotel towers — rising up to 27 stories tall — along the south side of Surf Avenue in the heart of the historic amusement district. The placement of the proposed high-rises invites developers to tear down Coney Island’s handful of remaining historic buildings, including Nathan’s Famous and several structures that are more than a century old.

“The goal of this lawsuit is not to stop the redevelopment of Coney Island as a world renowned amusement district,” Mr. Butzel said, “but rather to make it possible for that to happen. Responding to the interests of private developers and ignoring expert studies, the City has so reduced the area available for outdoor amusements that it will not be capable of regenerating a world-class Coney Island. In evaluating the impacts of the rezoning, the City ignored this and other critical information. That and its knuckling under to private development interests violated the law.”

The lawsuit contends that the rezoning was effected in violation of the State Environmental Quality Review Act and other relevant laws. The plaintiffs assert that the City’s Environmental Impact Statement on the rezoning failed to adequately address expert testimony from the Municipal Art Society concluding that the area allotted for amusements under the rezoning was too small to create a viable amusement park, that it failed to take a hard look at the visual impact of the proposed high-rise hotels, and that it failed to adequately consider impacts on Coney Island’s historic resources.

The suit also contends that changes made by the City to an earlier version of its rezoning plan — such as the placement of new high-rise hotels and the reduction of the size of the mapped amusement area — were not made for public benefit, but were instead for the private benefit of Thor Equities and to induce the developer to go along with the rezoning.

Over the past two years, Save Coney Island had urged the Bloomberg administration to fix its rezoning plan by expanding acreage reserved for amusements and relocating the proposed hotels outside the heart of the amusement district. These recommendations, which were ignored by the Bloomberg administration, had been echoed by the Municipal Art Society, the editorial board of The New York Times, numerous Coney Island stakeholders, and 15 prominent historians of New York City.

“The Bloomberg administration has tried to portray this rezoning as an effort to revitalize Coney Island,” said Save Coney Island spokesman Juan Rivero. “In fact, this rezoning threatens to irrevocably squander the tremendous potential of this world-renowned ‘People’s Playground.’”

“Save Coney Island strongly supports the redevelopment of Coney Island,” Rivero added. “But the Bloomberg administration’s short-sighted plan puts the interests of real estate speculators ahead of the long-term interest of New Yorkers. This plan erases Coney Island’s past and sacrifices its future. New Yorkers don't want a small amusement park walled off by high-rise towers. They want an extraordinary Coney Island worthy of its name and history. This lawsuit keeps that dream alive.”

For more on what experts have said about the City’s Coney Island rezoning plan, visit: Save Coney Island website .

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Your Easy Vote Can Help Coney Island USA Win $25K

Chase is giving a helping hand to twenty lucky non-profit organizations with $5 million in charitable donations. And on the list is the cultural organization; Coney Island USA. With your easy clickable vote you could help Coney Island USA win $25,000. That's just one click at Chase Communities Facebook page. Become a fan and click away. Hurry, because the voting ends December 11th, 11:59pm ET.

Help support the Mermaid Parade, the Sideshow, The Museum, the Film Festival and all of Coney Island USA's innovative arts programming.

It's that easy! Click here!