Somewhere between the cusps of lower Manhattan sways a small peninsula off the shores of Brooklyn, a sugarcoated embellishment of all that’s surreal-
Coney Island, New York.
Perhaps, it remnants the only place where you can pay .25 cents for a smile and a dancing chimpanzee where a plastic figured, Miss Coney Island , stands tall, encased in a glass window, full of fingerprints and flit.
Coney Island extends all through West 8th to West 24th Street, and from Surf Avenue to the glistening Atlantic Ocean. Since the early 1800s, Coney Island , engulfed proud entrepreneurs and persevered fiercely through the great depression. This opportunistic land became known as the, “ Nickel Empire,” which destined a nickel for amusements, subway, and Nathan’s Famous five-cent hot dog.
Over the years, this historic amusement park still offers quaint family-filled shows, a three-mile beach and boardwalk, The New York Aquarium, KeySpan Park (home of the minor league Brooklyn Cyclones), Asser Levy Park and Amphitheater.
Coney Island has so much to offer New Yorkers and tourist alike. If it's not the Sideshow by the Seashore, where Donny Vomit and the gang of freaks can entertain you (for only $5 early admission) with snakes, fire dances and sword swallower then it can be the fried chicken, grandma the fortune teller or the "make your own" Coney Island penny that can keep your summer rested ashore. Let’s not forget the cheapest Coney Island museum, documenting history, for only .99 cents admission year round.
Being, what I consider to be the millionth article ever written on Coney Island , I graciously walked through the vivacious streets of the trickling smells of hot dogs, suntan lotion, cotton candy and funnel cake galore. I cannot say my words would outlandish anything you’ve ever read about Coney Island, but I managed to relive the gullible and fanatical years of my childhood all in one bite.
Conceivably, it could have been the vast memories of the blue, fabric-lined baby cart my immigrant mother pushed me in, or the tight grip of my father’s hand, as he feared losing me in the sugar-rush of overjoyed magical clowns, adults and children. Today, the boardwalk at Coney Island hasn't changed one bit. It's just where I left it; overstuffed within a fervent world of toys, games and the anticipation of the next big thrill.
Immense sounds of running children, balloons, stuffed monkeys and the discovery of a mystical Beer Island tucked in the corner as homage or playground for adults remained crowded in the heat of the day.
Listless faces as the sun glazed everyone with a shade of pink, lemonade hues all while watching the crowds of Rudi's clam bar and Nathan's famous hot dogs collide in harmony before they feverishly break.
It's one place, in a million, where New Yorkers let history live its course. Where we sit back and watch the honey-filled sun resemble every lollipop and gobstopper we just gorged on.
While my years spent, gazing at the world on the wonder wheel or the puke thrills at the tipsy turn, the one ride that I would never outgrow, the now $8.00, cyclone. Finally reaching the 54' to ride, the cyclone has still its pounding fierce that every roller coaster should have. The everlasting heart drops, cries for help, head pounding and whip lash you will love to outlast for the rest of your fun-filled day.
As I stood, outgrown the buzzing bee rides, petting zoo and the undersized carousel, I realized life wasn't so different from the intimidated cyclone . Like life it carries its ups and downs, heartbreaks and thrills. Even though you know what to except sometimes, there you are waiting on line to do it all over again - at a cost of just five-dollars more.
Please read the Coney Island blog to find out more about the construction, being done by Architect Philip Tusa, for the expansion of this mystical land onto Surf Avenue. Details and status of this Surf Avenuebe read at http://www.coneyisland.com/news.shtml
To read more about Angela Ambrosini Haliski please visit her web site at www.angelaambrosini.com