Monday, November 29, 2010

Coney Events: The Bible Show II

From Coney Island USA:
Storybook Burlesque is thrilled to bring back their Bible Show, but This Time, It's Personal! Featuring new acts and old favorites, including a brand-spanking-new group number, this reboot is one you won't want to miss! From Genesis and the Garden of Eden to Revelation and the Second Coming, the Bible Show re-imagines everything you thought you learned in Bible Study. Start your holiday season right with blasphemy and boobs!

Featuring performances by
BB Heart
Cherry Magdalene
Jenny C’est Quoi
Lefty Lucy
Magdalena Fox
Rosey La Rouge
Victoria Privates
and Tigger! as Father McTigger!
with help from boylesque newcomer, Et Tu Booté!

Skip church and save your soul at the Sideshow with Storybook Burlesque! Praise for Storybook Burlesque: “The Bible Burlesque dancers -- Jenny C'est Quoi, BB Heart, Magdalena Fox, Lefty Lucy, Cherry Magdalene, Victoria Privates, and Rosey La Rouge -- never looked as hot as they do in this risqué show.” --Asylum “Just when we thought burlesque had sold out and become all mainstream, ‘Bible Burlesque’ by Storybook Burlesque arrives to save our souls.” --Trendhunter Magazine About Storybook Burlesque: Storybook Burlesque was formed in the summer of 2009 by seven of New York burlesque’s rising stars. Our mission: to produce literary burlesque inspired by variety of storybooks, from Tabloid Magazines to the Bible, Greek Myths to Dr. Seuss"

Burlesque At The Beach!
Storybook Burlesque Presents: The Bible Show Ii: This Time It’s Personal
Friday, December 3, 9pm, $15 at the door
coney island usa - sideshows by the seashore
1208 surf ave.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coney Goodies: Black Friday Turns Pink At Lola Star!

All images courtesy of Lola Star

This holiday season you'll have to walk over from Union Square to Soho to find all the Lola Star goodies.  But it's well worth the wintry walk.  Forget the kiosk, here you'll find a beautiful 1,500 sq ft boutique of wonderland.  After ten years of the frigid cold of the Union Square outdoors Lola set her stars onto this cozy Soho boutique. 

Lola Star newsletter says:
She set her sights on finding a new holiday alternative to the Union Square Holiday Gift Market! As fate would have it, We are thrilled to have found a spectacular new space to house our holiday wonderland! It is much much bigger and much warmer than our little booth! It is the beginning of a brand new holiday Soho adventure!!

For the last decade, determined fashionistas have been making the nearly hour long pilgrimage to Lola Star Souvenir Boutique to indulge in the whimsical retail offerings of Dianna Carlin, a k a Lola. Now, a version of that Coney Island institution can be found in SoHo.

Lola Star will be returning to the Coney Island boardwalk in the future.  Hopefully, next season.  Last month All of the Coney Island boardwalk businesses except Lola Star and Nathan's were terminated by the new Amusement operators of Luna Park who were given that parcel on the boardwalk to operate in the 10 year contract with the city.  But Lola Star will still be in Coney Island.  You can find her store in the Stillwell Subway Station on Stillwell and Surf Avenues.  However, you won't find the outlet at the Dreamland Roller Rink.  Unfortunately, the landlords of the Childs Building on the Boardwalk have decided not to bring back the Roller Skating for a third season.  But you can't complain...Lola Star is still everywhere!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Boardwalk Blues Un-HOOPLA!

Image courtesy of jamie nyc (

The past few weeks in Coney Island have been tainted with a disrespect for the old.  A killing spree starting with the old Coney Island Bank Building by Thor Equities and a big sweep-away of practically all of the old businesses along the boardwalk.  But the resistance by Coney Island denizens to preserve their endeared history was, once again no match for the big greedy developer and the new big amusement operator on the block - while the city allowed it all to happen.  They served as the accomplice.

Here are some of the links to the past few weeks.  Unlike a couple years ago, Coney Island links have have increased greatly due to the enormous growth of blogs and news sites.  Here are a few highlights!

Preserving the Best of the Boardwalk
Mourning Coney Island Institution, Ruby's Bar, 1934-2010

Coney Island boardwalk sweeping out all the old businesses

Ruby’s, a Coney Island Institution, Closing for Good

Coney Island Takes One Step Closer to Disneyland
Complete Shmendriks Destroy Coney Island Boardwalk

The Coney Island Bank Building Is Gone Forever – R.I.P.

Evicted Coney Island Businesses Say They Won't Go
Why Not Tear Down Coney Island?

Coney Bank Building Demo Halted

Coney Island Loses Historic Bank Building

Coney Island Bank Building Demo Stopped... For Now

Demolition of Coney Island Bank Building Halted: Full Stop Work Order Issued


 A Zillion HOOPLA!

Joe Sitt’s Gang Punches Holes in Bank of Coney Island Building
DOB Stops Thor Demo of Coney Island Bank, Cites Hazardous Conditions
Thor Resumes Demolition of Doomed Bank of Coney Island
Nov 16: Concrete, Wood or Plastic? Discussion on Future of Coney Island Boardwalk
First Pieces of Zamperla Flying Coaster Arrive at Coney Island’s Future Scream Zone
This Week in Coney Island: Party at Paul’s Daughter, Hypocrisy at NYCEDC

Featured Video Hoopla:

Historian Charles Denson; Ruby’s Daughter Speak for the Real Coney Island

Denson; "These are family businesses. These are businesses that are Coney Island. This is Coney's not some plastic amusement park.  And it's not some generic, gentrified restaurant.  This is the real Coney Island".

Audio Hoopla:

In Memory of Scott Fitlin 1962-2010

What's Coney Island Without Ruby's?

Indulge Yourself In Coney Island And Brooklyn Culture This Weekend

Brooklyn writers; Michael Schwartz and Elizabeth Gaffney share their work and passion of Brooklyn and Coney Island this Saturday at the Brooklyn Historical Society with written works as well as poems, performance, and song in this exiting event.
From the artists:
MICHAEL SCHWARTZ will to perform;"Hey Gerry!" and Other Selected Short Stories, Poems, Monologues, and Song.  His Coney Island writings have been exciting and entertaining audiences all over New York City.  In addition to a reading by acclaimed Metropolis novelist Elizabeth Gaffney.  She'll read from her new historical Brooklyn set novel.  The event is followed by Q & A session with each of the two writers.
The event is part of part of: "Artist & Artifact - Re-visioning Brooklyn's Past"  Which is the culmination of the "Interpreting Brooklyn" grant from the Brooklyn Historical Society, awarded to ten artists, including two writers (Michael Schwartz and Elizabeth Gaffney), several visual artists, and one composer, who will all be exhibited in the show.  Each artist has focused on a different section of Brooklyn and an aspect of its history.  The month long exhibit includes an audio recording of Schwartz performing one of his stories, a book containing all of the fifteen pieces he contributed, and an enlarged, wall-sized excerpt of a stirring section of his Cyclone roller coaster set short story "Hey Gerry!  (Besides being a writer, Schwartz is also an actor and director.)

Artist and Artifact: Re|Visioning Brooklyn's Past
Writers: Michael Schwartz and Elizabeth Gaffney
Saturday November 20th 2010
2PM to 4PM
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The exhibit runs: 
November 11 - December 17 2010
at the Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
located at 33 Clinton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

(Schwartz's work is being exhibited at Brooklyn Historical Society.)


Getting there:
R train (and maybe also the M?) to Court Street station
or 2, 3, 4, 5 trains to Borough Hall station
or A, C, F trains to Jay Street Borough Hall station 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Coney Events: Stuff Yourself Silly!

From the Coney Island USA website:
Adam the First Real Man Presents: Stuff Yourself Silly...A Variety Show With All The Fixins.

Spend Thanksgiving Eve in Coney Island with a cornucopia of extraordinary talent.
Get your fill of unusual acts and death defying feats with some of New York's most talented and outrageous variety performers.

Ventriloquist Pete Michaels
Contortionist Amazing Amy
Twisted Shockmeister Scott Baker
Belly Dancing and Accordion duo Bellow Dancer
Singer Princess Pat
Illusionist Eric Wilzig
Champion Western Artist Chris McDaniel
Fire Eater Angelica
Hula Hooper Justina Flash

"Its what they'll be talking about at thanksgiving dinner, don't feel left out!"

Freak Bar opens at 6:30pm.

Stuff Yourself Silly
A Variety Show With All The Fixins
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
$13 in advance or at the door
located at Coney Island USA - Sideshows By The Seashore
1208 Surf Ave.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Coney Island USA Building Brightens Up All Night , All Year!

Image courtesy of The Great Fredini (CIUSA message board)

After always being somewhat quiet in the dark for a long time, the Coney Island USA building finally brightens up to a delight all night every night of the year.  Coney Island USA  artistic director; Dick Zigun describes the enhancements to the structure on the Coney Island USA message board:

We are two weeks away from finishing a major upgrade to the exterior of our building:

The entire facade has been power washed;  the fancy tin cornice at the top of the building is being cleaned, primed and painted;2nd floor windows frames are also being painted;  anti-bird spikes are being installed and the exterior lights (which have not worked for twenty years) have all been repaired.

The Surf Avenue facade will be illuminated every evening, 365 days a year; the West 12th Street lights will be on when we are open for business any evening.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Fight To Keep Ruby's Alive Begins!

Image courtesy of Ruby's Host (Flickr)

With all the opposition against Zamperla's decision to axe Ruby, the people are gathering to protest.  They will not let it go down without a fight.

This Saturday, November 6th at 1pm, there will be a big rally to make noise towards Zamperla, Borough Prez. Marty Markowitz, Domenic Recchia, Mayor Micheal Bloomberg, and the Coney Island Development Corporation.

You can sign the petition here and then email, call, and fax these city officials with your pleads.  Help save Ruby's Bar and Grill!

Here are the contact numbers for city officials:

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz:
phone: (718) 802-3700

Zamperla Amusements:

Phone: (973) 334-8133 ext. 201

Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia

phone: (718) 373-9673
fax: (718) 373-0195

from the petition:
In business since 1934, we are the Oldest Bar and Grill on the Coney Island and is famously located directly on the boardwalk with the Atlantic Ocean as our front yard.

RUBY'S is  family owned and operated. We are the only full service bar & grill on the boardwalk with indoor seating. RUBY'S was Voted the 14th sexiest beach bar in the world by the TRAVEL CHANNEL. Other awards include best Dive bar in Brooklyn 1999, 2002, 2005, and. best jukebox on the boardwalk 40 years running.

RUBY'S has been featured in Films and TV

Our season is from (April) Palm Sunday thru Halloween Oct 31st.

Zamperla's Shiny New Boardwalk

(click images to enlarge)
Images provided to KC by Zamperla spokesman Tom Corsillo

With a huff and puff of the new giant in Coney Island, Zamperla Amusements will blow the boardwalk house down and wash in a shiny new row of glitz.  It’s out with the old honky tonk and in with the old Luna-esque; “amusement architecture”. A style designed and coined by Fred Thompson himself.  Which aspect's seems to express the missing link  somewhere, between the Tivoli Gardens and the World’s Fairs of the nineteenth century in design.

The masses who make their Coney visit may indeed welcome the new eye candy with its commercial theme-parkish flare, but die-hard honky tonkers may still scoff with mourn.

This Monday, boardwalk merchants received notice that they will not be receiving leases for 2011 and must vacate the premises by November 15, 2010.  The only three businesses that will be coming back, at this point, are Lola Star Boutique, the Coney Island Beach souvenir shop, and Nathan’s.

"The place has been there for 76 years. It's history," said Ruby's bar co-owner Michael Sarrel, to the Daily News.  Sarrel plans to appeal to the city, which owns the property and leases to Zamperla.  Probably a hard bargain, since the city has been neglecting any chance of saving any history in Coney Island by not stepping in and saving the currently destructive demolition process by Thor Equities.

What’s really hurting Coney lovers and denizens is the end for Ruby’s Bar and Grill, which has been a favorite in Coney Island.  It would be fitting for Zamperla to find a place for Ruby's in their new themed establishments.  Along with Shoot the Freak which is probably the most memorable attraction that most locals and tourists  will remember of Coney Island during the last decade.  However, it seems that Ruby's and Shoot the Freak aren't what Zamperla has in their vision for Coney Island, since their spokesman Tom Corsillo, said these decisions were based on what the company thought would fit with that vision.

What is part of their vision is a sit-down restaurant and sports bar which will be open year-round.  The new possible tenants have still not been named.  The company did mention to the Daily News that they’ve been in talks with Shake Shack and Atomic Wings about opening boardwalk outposts.

“They didn’t have the vision that we have for the Boardwalk,” Ferrari told ATZ. “It’s a business decision.” He says Zamperla/CAI’s vision is to revitalize the Boardwalk by making it a lively place open 365 days a year. But it’s also a matter of investment dollars. Luna Park is investing $1.4 million in a new restaurant at the corner of Surf and 10th Street, formerly occupied by Gregory & Paul’s. A Boardwalk restaurant/bar hoping to get a lease renewal would have had to make a million dollar investment as well, Ferrari said.

Image courtesy of Amusing the Zillion (Tricia Vita)

ATZ went around on the last day of the official season taking some of the last pictures of the 2010 season of the boardwalk businesses before going into Coney memory forever.

But while the axing of the existing structures along the boardwalk seems inevitable, Ruby’s people will be fighting back this week with full force and a vengeance.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Is Zamperla Trying On Thor's Boot? Coney Boardwalk Establishments Given The Heave-Ho!

According to sources close to one of the businesses on the Coney Island Boardwalk.  A few of the major long-standing businesses on  the Coney Island boardwalk have been given the boot by operator Zamperla of Luna Park.  The list includes: The Grill House, Ruby's Bar & Grill, Tom's Souvenir shop, and Paul's Daughter.  No word on Shoot The Freak or Lola Star yet. 

The New York Daily News called it judgment day today for the long-standing businesses on the famous Coney Island Boardwalk.  Today they were scheduled to receive word whether they would get another lease for next or vacate the premises.  According to letter via special delivery to the business operators, they will not be granted a lease for next year and must vacate the premises within two weeks.

It's sad to see some of them go, especially, Rubys' Bar & Grill which has been a staple of the Coney Island boardwalk for so many years. At this moment word buzz has it that Beer Island will be low and dry next year as well.

Zamperla operates the new Luna Park and is also in control of the businesses along the boardwalk.  Part of their plan is to bring in a new eat-in restaurant and sports bar to the boardwalk.

update 11/1/10 12:30 pm: Electricia phoned Valerio from Luna Park and got word that Nathan's stand and Lola Star will be coming back.
[NY Daily News article after the jump]