Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Coney Island Gem Is In Danger Of Being Lost Forever

All images courtesy of Scouting New York
(the bank building of Coney Island)

With the zoning changes that took place for various parcels in Coney Island, a few of the remaining old structures immediately became endangered.  But the old remaining structures that sit on the land owned by Thor Equities are most in danger.  Because, as the new zoning allows for high rises, any land owner with no respect for the integrity of preserving the historic parts of Coney Island, will find these old structures a thorn in the way of bigger profits.  The Henderson and the Grashorn buildings are already targeted for demise, according the release of yesterday's conceptual rendering by Thor Equities.  These buildings may not be as attractive in their current state, and perhaps they may or may not be as structurely sound, but they are among the very few buildings in Coney Island that connect it to its past.  And they are vital to any historic areas Coney's future will contain.

(interior of the bank building)

The interior to both these buildings are a mystery to today's public and perhaps they don't hold such beauty as one other endangered building in Coney Island does.  A truly magnificent interior that, if refurbished could truly be the gem of Coney Island.  This is the old bank building which sits directly across the Child's building of Coney Island USA.  (This Child's building has already been considered for land-marking along with the Shore Theater on Surf Avenue).  It's exterior is simple and insignificant but its interior is intricately beautiful.  Aside from the Shore Theater it is probably the most beautiful interior of any building in the area and it is probably going to be destroyed. 
(The mezzanine of the bank building)

This building should be saved and preserved to be part of the historic areas within the future of Coney Island.  It sits in harmony perfectly across the CIUSA Child's building, which has been refurbished to its original structure.  They could compliment each other if saved and reworked.

We urge you to please help save the bank building of Coney Island from facing an unfortunate demise in the hands of greed.

To see more images visit Scouting New York's post:
Abandoned Coney Island – Last Chance To See? and Amusing the Zillion's post: A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thor Equities Sacrafices Pieces Of Coney History For The Short-Term Buck

New rendering by Thor Equities for the 2011 Summer Season
(Click to enlarge)

Thor Equities releases a rendering for their $10 million dollar plans for the 2011 summer season with a quaint and very non-Coney fast food and retail complex.  Last week, ATZ (Amusing the Zillion blog) had us wondering and dreading that we were going to face more of nothing by Thor Equities for the parcels he still owns in Coney Island.  Tents from their failed "Flea by the Sea" have been laying their in the winter winds for months.  And feared, was the possibility of losing the last remaining historic buildings left in Coney Island.  The Henderson, The Grashorn, and the bank building.

Though his land doesn't seem to compete with the former Astroland lot in size, Joe Sitt with Thor Equities is still the largest private land owner in Coney Island.  And even though it may not feel like it, Joey Coney Sitt has indeed been very Coney himself.  A bizarre real estate spectacle he has played out in Coney by Sitt equipped with fantastical promises, smokes and mirrors, and careless showmanship.  Therefore, with a person who wished to be the next Thomas Dundy of Coney Island, there had to be more in store.  And now here it is. 

Hiring Thinkwell Designs once again, Thor Equities wants to make good buisiness use of his parcels even though it sacrifices a couple of Coney's last remaining historiec structures.  These Payless shoe boxes with poster billboards don't even pay homage to the Henderson or the Grashorn building.  Instead they are simple Trump-like eye sores.  It seems that behind it, this is only something to present while covering the real reason:  A need to quickly demolish these two historic two-story buildings so that they won't be in the way for much larger development in the future.

If these buildings are too dilapidated then at least these drawings should represent a modern twist to their original version.

At any rate, this is the quote in the press release sent out by Thor's PR, KnickerbockerSKD:
 "We are beyond pleased to see the City bringing in new rides to Coney for the 2010 season and beyond. It is critical that all stakeholders in the area invest in new talent and attractions, and this is very big step in the right direction. We look forward to announcing our program for the Summer 2010 season and working shoulder to shoulder with the City not only in the next few months, but also during the many years ahead as City Hall begins to put its more permanent plans into place."
Further speculation is implied by The New York Observer:
The thinking, presumably, is that these new buildings would fetch decent rents, and can go up and down with relative speed, allowing Mr. Sitt to replace them rather quickly with larger hotels or other development if and when he is able to go forward on larger developments. When the city rezoned the area late last year, it struck a deal with Mr. Sitt to buy his property close to the boardwalk, and leave him development sites along Surf Avenue, further away from the water.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coney Vid: SoundSeas

Here's an 'introspective trip to Coney Island'.  One that starts in the West coast, we might add.  Though, not a road trip by any means since after a some cloudy visions of the ocean and sky somewhere in the West, find yourself in Coney Island without ever feeling like you've moved at all. 

Note: This video is, perhaps, better suited for those Coney lovers who like to watch while in a trance or a fix of some kind.

Description:An introspective trip to Coney Island.

Posted by soundseas [YouTube]


Flickr Convoy: Coney Boardwalk Rebuilding Continues

Image courtesy of Rubys Host / KC Flickr Group

The Coney Island boardwalk still undergoing repairs.  Shown are the concrete slabs that lay under the wooden planks.  As more tests with other types of planks (some synthetic) will take place along other parts of the boardwalk, as well as altogether replacing wood with cement in areas from the Aquarium to Brighton Beach, expect to see further work being conducted throughout the summer season.

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

Monday, April 26, 2010

Coney Vid: Sneak Peek At The New Luna Park Coming To Coney Island

The New Luna Park Sneak Peek

Correction: Astroland 2.0 To Be Luna Park 2.0

What looked like a newer version of Astroland is now intended to be a newer version of the original Luna Park in Coney Island.  According to an article in the New York Daily News, the new amusement park coming to Coney Island by Zamperla, the Italian company, will be molded after the original park that existed in Coney Island from 1903 to 1944.  The company promises a new gleaming amusement part to rise from the dirt rubble that still exists today on the former Astroland site.  Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International is said to have been closely studying Charles Denson's book: "Coney Island: Lost & Found".

The NY Daily News reports:
Visitors will find 19 new rides, with highlights that include a spinning roller coaster dubbed the Tickler, an airplane ride that will have thrill-seekers "doing corkscrews in jets," a giant swinging pendulum and a log flume with a steep, watery plunge.

There'll be teacups, swings, hot air balloon rides and the Disc-O, which spins passengers up and down a 60-foot rail. Look for a smaller coaster, a flume ride for kids and the Beach Shack, a surfboard ride where the brave are buffeted by simulated winds.
"There will be more edgy rides, and we're going to bring in new rides every year," Ferrari said.

And there's more coming to the new Luna Park according to the articleThere is also a animated video offered, which shows a large roller coaster towards the end of the clip, which sits away from Luna Park.  This is what was talked about as having its footing along the structures that now rest along the boardwalk. Thus, it was also indicated that the fate of Ruby's Bar and Grill and Lola Star's Boutique, for the long run, is still uncertain.  Though, for this year they will stay. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Aquatic Summer Camp By The Sea

The summer the New York Aquarium offers an aquatic summer camp for children by the sea.  A great educational experience while being entertained with the wonderful Coney Island beach and its marine animals.

Press release states:
Brooklyn, NY – This summer, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium is offering week long camps for children ages 6 through 12. Campers will engage in special investigations and creative projects, play interactive games, meet animal guests and much more. Each day will be a great educational and exciting experience.

Learning is fun when it includes behind-the-scenes visits, strolls on the beach, lots of make-it-and-take-it art activities, opportunities to touch living sea stars and animal biofacts such as whale bones and shark teeth, and exhibit visits to observe our marine animals. Each session is age appropriate for the most fun and learning. Reservations are required for all sessions. Sessions can fill up quickly, so make your reservations early. For a brochure or to make reservations, call 718-265-3457 or visit

Aquatic Adventurers

Ages:                6-8
Session A:        July 5-9
9:00 a.m. –2:00 p.m.
Session B:        July 26-30
 9:00 a.m.2:00 p.m.
Session C:        August 16-20
 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Fee:                  $250 members; $275 non-members per session

Marine Explorers
Ages:                9-12
Session A:        July 12-16
9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Session B:        August 2-6
9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Session C:        August 23-27
                        9:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.
Fee:                  $250 members; $275 non-members per session

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last Minute Notice: Community Board 13 Meeting Tonight Discusses Amphitheater

Image posted on CIUSA board by Captain Nemo

The meeting will be held tonight at 7:30

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm
at the Coney Island Hospital located on Ocean Parkway & Avenue Z

This is your opportunity to voice your opinion and to APPROVE this project.  Though this community alert is against it, this blog is surely, for it!

Summer Of Zamperla: Yesterday's Rumors Quelled

Yesterday, KC received an e-mail from Zamperla spokesperson, Tom Corsillo of The Marino Organization informing that these rumors posted here yesterday are false!

He stated that, Luna Park will open May 29th. That's 37 days from today.  He also said, "There are construction crews working in three shifts, nearly around the clock, to ensure that happens.   Central Amusement International is entirely focused on preparing Luna Park for opening day,"

And as far as the local business's on the boardwalk being told that they will need to leave next year to make foot room for a roller coaster he responded, "They [Luna Park/CAI] have not asked anyone to leave next year."

Visit Coney Island In A Different Plane Of Existence

A dark, rouge feeling Coney Island is where this virtual website will take you.  Inspired by Coney Island for the Andrew Lloyd Webber opera musical and sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera"; is "Love Never Dies".  Visit the Coney Island Experience and virtually fly through this Coney to play games of chance like: a shooting gallery, Whack-A-Clown, a coin drop, a fortune teller, a cup and ball game, or enter the picture palace to watch videos, but of the musical of course.

More images after the jump

Reminder: Coney Island Film Festival Regular Deadline This Friday April 23rd and Coney Island USA present the 10th annual Coney Island Film Festival September 24 - 26, 2010 at Sideshows by the Seashore and The Coney Island Museum in the historic Brooklyn neighborhood Coney Island, New York!

Regular Deadline April 23, 2010 (postmarked) $25 entry fee all categories
Late Deadline June 25, 2010 (postmarked)
Extended Late Deadline July 2, 2010 (postmarked)

Entry categories: Feature, Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Experimental, Silent Film, Horror, Animation, Music Video.

The Coney Island Film Festival is open to filmmakers working in ALL GENRES, SUBJECTS AND FORMATS.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Summer Of Zamperla: The Good, The Bad, And The Thor-Like

The Coney Island rumor mill was buzzing yesterday, and buzzed this way about Zamperla and some latest news from an undisclosed source.  

The Good:
Zamperla has more concrete plans for a new big roller coaster placed right off the boardwalk.  Also, the boardwalk, from Brighton to the Aquarium will go all concrete?  Don't know if this is actually good or not-so-good.

The Bad:
The roller coaster will come with a few hard sacrifices in which places like Ruby's Bar & Grill and Lola Star Boutique will be wiped off the map for it.  Even if they are promised a place in the new footing structure they will have to go away while construction is taking place.  Steve's Grill has already been given the boot for next year.   Paul's Daughter has also been given told to go.  And representatives of Ruby's have been rumored to be unhappy from what they've been told by Zamperla.  "They didn't like it at all", quote.

The Thor-like:
Already, Zamperla is saying they are coming in late with their season opening. They're still working on electric, sewage, and water pipes.  We're looking at a possible end of June or July 4th opening.

Zamperla is still the good guys, we hope it remains that way!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Closer Glimpse Of Coney's New Amusement Park Shows An Astroland 2.0

This is the recent poster for the new amusement park coming to Coney Island; Luna Park.  Though, last year Thor Equities brought us a make-shift park with old generic carnival rides for his 'Dreamland', this year, Italian amusement ride builder and operator will bring in a better looking, newer, more high-tech amusement park with rides they have placed all over the country for their take on the old Astroland lot.  For a start this is great, though it really is just a new version of Astroland.  The fun will surely be back in Coney this year, but we hope in the coming years something more unique will rise in here.

Naturally, there has to be more to accomodate the city's plans for hotels, retail, and indoor space.  Coney needs something more unique.  Something extra.  And if Luna Park is a temporary park, let's hope the next main attraction will have a fresh name to come with it.

Flickr Convoy: Wonder Thrills Wheel

Image courtesy of thepetor / KC Flickr Group

Wonder if this signs hasn't been hampered with since the building behind it was torn down.  The building was part of the Feltman's restaurant that stood from this point to the corner of W. 10th Street.  And was the real birth of the hot dog.

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

Coney Events: Wasabassco Burlesque's Coney Island Medicine Show

The Burlesque at the Beach in Coney Island season opens with a burlesque from Wasabassco. 
Experience a night of Wasabassco’s trademark couple-friendly, risqué-fun starring the Reigning Miss Coney Island herself, GiGi La Femme - plus a cast of ecdysiasts, magicians, snake charmers and flim-flam artists unparalleled on the Eastern Seaboard.

Wasabassco Burlesque’s Coney Island Medicine Show guaranteed to cure what ails you!

Joining GiGi are Charismatic Huckster Bastard Keith; The Cheese Queen of Coney Island, Nasty Canasta; Tease Queen Melody Sweets; and Snake Charming Goddess, Nikki Le Villain, plus Sizzle Dizzle, Jenny C’est Quoi and Doc Wasabassco.

Burlesque at the Beach
Season Opener: Wasabassco Burlesque's Coney Island Medicine Show
Friday, April 23

located at Coney Island USA
1208 Surf Avenue
Coney Island
Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Coney Vid: Luna Park Promotional Video

The first Luna Park amusement park in Coney Island promotional video!  It's a quick zany teaser.  Just 41 days as of today left for the new Luna Park's grand opening!  For more info visit

Is that Joe Sitt being taken for whirlwind in this promo video?

Luna Park Promo Video

Posted by CARATTIEPOLETTO  [YouTube]

Reminder: Congress Of Curious People Concludes This Weekend

Coney Island USA's Congress of Curios People which started this Friday, concludes this tomorrow.  If you haven't stopped by you still have tomorrow.  For more info see the CIUSA website.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coney REopenings: Surf & Turf Grill Becomes Luna Grill

No more Coney Island Surf and Turf, grill  Instead welcome to the new place called Luna Grill.The new Luna Grill's website is:   It seems the new place pays tribute to the grand park in Coney's hey day: Luna Park and at the same time welcomes the new Luna Park amusment park set to open this season.


Luna Grill
at 1315 Surf Avenue 
directrly across from Nathan's Famous (corner of Surf & Stillwell)

Coney Openings: Brooklyn Bread Cafe On The Boardwalk

Images courtesy of Captain Nemo (CIUSA message board)

A small makeshift eatery opens on the boardwalk.  At least that's what it looks like with just a simple sign and some wooden table and chairs.  Coney roving eye, Captain Nemo spotted the few crumbs blowing in the boardwalk wind.  The Brooklyn Bread Cafe & Bakery has a few locations scattered around Brooklyn.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flickr Convoy: Planet Coney

If our Planet Coney was a pie it will clearly show you that beside sand, shoreline water, the largest part of the pie is the housing.

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

New Facebook Page For This Blog

If you're already a friend of mine on my original Facebook page but are mainly interested in Coney Island related tidbits, then you may wish to join the Kinetic Carnival facebook for this blog's links and other info!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Job Screening Event In Coney Island This Week

Job Screening Event Tomorrow at MCU Park (Former Keyspan Park)

Tomorrow is the first of three job screening events for qualified candidates to fill full and part-time season positions with Luna Park and the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus

Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13 from 10 am to 5 pm
MCU Park, 1904 Surf Avenue

For more information about the 2010 Season Workforce Outreach efforts, please visit the CIDC website or download the (job opportunities) flyer, or you can contact the CIDC at or call 212.312.4233.

Additional job screening events after the jump:

Coney Wants Workers...They Want You, The Locals

The operators of the new Coney Island along with city officials and the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) will be holding job fairs throughout this week in Brooklyn for more than 200 full time and part time jobs for the coming revitalized Coney Island.

The announcement yesterday states:
“Central Amusement International is proud to work with the Coney Island Development Corporation and Department of Small Business Services on this tremendous recruitment effort,” said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International. “With Luna Park, we’re not only bringing the fun back to Coney – we’re bringing jobs back, as well.  CAI is thrilled to be able to give local residents the opportunity to help write a bright new chapter in Coney Island’s spectacular history.”

“When we passed the redevelopment plan for Coney Island, we promised we would bring jobs to the people who live there,” said Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.  “I’m proud to say that we’re fulfilling that promise.  Central Amusement International recognizes the importance of providing jobs, and has been a wonderful partner in Coney Island.”

“Coney Island is a place where families of every economic means have always come to play and to dream. I was thrilled last year to be part of the historic rezoning that guarantees a brighter future for ‘America’s Playground,’ including ensuring that benefits of new development and resources are realized by the residents of that neighborhood,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz. “In short, when we build in Coney, we must build with Coney.  All of Brooklyn and New York City is thrilled to welcome Central Amusement International and the new Luna Park to a revitalized amusement district, and I’m thrilled that the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) and Small Business Services are committing to holding job fairs for area residents for the upcoming summer season.”

The jobs range from temporary, part-time, long-term, and full-time including:
Coney.  All of Brooklyn and New York City is thrilled to welcome Central Amusement International and the new Luna Park to a revitalized amusement district, and I’m thrilled that the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) and Small Business Services are committing to holding job fairs for area residents for the upcoming summer season.”
...customer service and retail, event staffing, food and beverage service, grounds maintenance, party hosts and entertainment staffing, ride and game operations, and security, and include both entry-level and supervisory positions. An online application, as well as descriptions of many of the positions, can be found at:

You can read the full announcement posted on the CIUSA board.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Coney Events: Author Talk And Q&A On New Book; "Luna Park"

"Dreamland" the book, author, Kevin BakerLuna Park". The Tenement Museum Shop on the Lower East Side will host a talk with a Q&A Tuesday, April 20th at their museum shop.

The press release states:
rekindles Coney's past in his new book; "
Our favorite historical novelist is back with this punchy and ghostly modern-day noir, set in the ruins of America’s most famous amusement park. A former Russian soldier fights gangs and his memories of the war in Chechnya, all while traveling through alternative histories of his own life. Joining Baker is the book’s illustrator.

“A tough-nosed crime story redolent with magic and sadness, Luna Park serves as a fine showcase for two great artists working to the best of their abilities.” – Publishers Weekly

Kevin Baker is the author of Dreamland and Strivers Row, among other works of fiction and non-fiction. He is a longtime friend of the Tenement Museum who used the stories of 97 Orchard Street as inspiration two of his novels’ Lower East Side settings.

Luna Park: A Graphic Novel
With Kevin Baker and Danijel Zezelj
Moderated by Karen Berger, executive editor at DC Comics
Tuesday, April 20
6:30 pm
at the
Tenement Museum Shop, 108 Orchard Street (Delancey), Lower East Side
F to Delancey; J/M to Essex

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Reminder: Congress Of Curious People Starts Friday

Brought to you direct from Coney Island USA:

April 9-18, 2010
at Sideshows By The SeaShore
1208 Surf AVE.
A Congress of Curious Peoples:
An Amazing Collection of Human Marvels


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Coney Music Vid: Anna Rose "Picture"

New York Musician Anna Rose's latest video "Picture" takes us to the Coney Island boardwalk.  For a audio download of this song click here.

Anna Rose "Picture"

Official video for "Picture" off Anna Rose's self-titled EP released in September 2009. "Picture" will also be featured on Anna's forthcoming full-length, Nomad. The video was directed by Shruti Ganguly and shot on the Coney Island boardwalk.

Posted by annarosemusic [YouTUbe]

Coney Events: Congress of Curious Peoples

(Click image for larger view)

Congress of Curious People

April 9th through April 18th 2010

at Coney Island Museum & Sideshows by the Seashore

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Coney Vid: Musician Curtis Eller

A day out in Coney Island with Brooklyn-based musician, Curtis Eller.

Curtis Eller

Posted by jvanpraag [YouTube]

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Norman Blake Coney Island USA 2010 Spring Gala Slideshow

Here are the pictures I was waiting for.  The Norman Blake images for this year's Coney Island USA Spring Gala for 2010!

Coney Events: Michael Schwartz Continues Tour Of Coney Pieces

Last year in August Michael Schwartz, brought us stories from Coney Island.  This year he continues his presentation at the Puffin Room with a fabulous exhibit of visual arts

An announcement from Michael Schwartz:
Dear Friends,
The Puffin Room has been a beloved sanctuary of art for many years and now, sadly, they are closing down.  I was thrilled to be invited to perform there in November 2008, as part of the "Coney Island Maybe" exhibit, and now I am honored to have been asked by the Puffin Room to return and perform some more of the works from my developing book of short stories, monologues, and poems, which I've been touring across New York City.  There will be an exhibit of visual artists' works running for two weeks, with an opening reception April 3rd; there will be a night of music and dance; and there will be a spoken word night.  I will be one of the headliners of the spoken word night, April 10th at 8PM.  I'll be doing about twenty minutes of material, including the world premiere of a new monologue and maybe some other surprises as well.  Please see the attached flyers for all the details.  Thank you.

Happy spring,

"The Last Word"
with Steve Ben Isreal, Michael Schwartz, Ngoma and special guests.
part of the "Last In Show": A Celebration of 15 years in SoHo
Saturday, April 10
8 pm
Exhibit opens April 3rd
at the Puffin Room
located at 435 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 343-2881