A Swim To Coney Island

100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my Grandfather Sam Finkelman’s Historic Swim from East Forty-second street to Coney Island, Steeplechase Park in a time of 6 1/2 hours, covering a distance of nineteen and a half miles using the seal stroke!

Let me add that I, too, once went from Manhattan to Coney Island in 6-1/2 hours…by way of a massive traffic jam!

Jody R. LaGreca/ Coney Island History Project


4 comments on “A Swim To Coney Island

  1. Styln says:

    Awesome photo! What a great story and family history!

    Coney Island is one of my favorite memories too!

    We were at a medical convention in NYC in the early seventies. Us kids were natural explorers and always running wild and free. Our parents being savvy jet-setters gave us a wad of cash, the hotel information and directions to Coney Island. They said, “take the subway to the end of the line and get off at Coney Island. You guys have fun and get back before dark and if you get lost take a cab back to the hotel”.

    After a long subway ride, we got to Coney Island and had a fantastic time running around, eating everything in sight and riding the rollercoaster over and over. Well, we made it back before dark and the next day we met Tamara Dobson walking down Avenue of the Americas and got free Cleopatra Jones T-shirts. NYC is awesome, I’ll never forget that summer vacation!

    • GrayFoxDown says:

      You sound somewhat like a member of my gang…but we were sans jet-setter parents and wads of cash!

      It is a great story/ family history. Whereas my family history is mostly relegated to faded photographs and scraps of paper strewn along the edges of forgetfulness.

      Thanks for the feedback, Stylin. And for your own bit of personal history!

  2. Coney Island is one of my favorite memories. This is a great photo and story! Thanks for sharing it.

    • GrayFoxDown says:

      My pleasure. Coney Island looms endearingly in my memory; a vital part of my past as well as my present. Delighted to share it with you.Thanks for your reply.

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