Frost Catch of the Night


These hardy fishermen at Steeplechase Pier were among the few people encountered last night by photographer Bruce Handy on his walk through snowy Coney Island. Later this month, Bruce’s photos will be on view in “A Stroll Through Coney Island Among Friends,” a photo exhibit featuring the work of five photographers and friends. The exhibit opens on February 22 at Coney Island USA’s Shooting Gallery/Arts Annex on Surf Avenue.

via Amusing the Zillion


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Frosty Kayaking

kayaking coney island
There’s probably nothing better than kayaking in Coney Island in December…except for not doing it at all.
Kayaking anyone? Charles Denson stepped out of the Coney Island History Project to find this kayaker parked in snowy Dreamland Plaza! — at Coney Island History Project.

Wheel Inspection

wonder wheel

Throwback Thursday photo of the Wonder Wheel on May 28, 1952: NYC elevator/ride inspector Alexander “Mac” McIntyre and Freddy Garms of the Wonder Wheel “ride on top of one of the cars to check the working of the ride,” says the original caption. AP photo/Robert Kradin 

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

Back on the Switchback Railway


Coney’s Island’s Switchback Railway was America‘s first roller coaster.  Designed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson in 1881, constructed in 1884, Thompson may have based his design on the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway; a coal-mining train that, in 1827, was turned into a amusement ride.

A ride on the SR cost five cents. The stately dressed crowds of summers long ago would ascend a tower, be seated in bench-like cars, and pushed off to coast along at over 6 mph (9.7 km/h) along a 600 ft (183 m) track to another tower at the far end. Upon arriving at this other tower the vehicle was switched to a return track… or “switched back” (hence the name).

This track design was soon replaced with an oval complete-circuit ride designed by Charles Alcoke and called the Serpentine Railway. In 1885 Phillip Hinkle developed a lift system which appeared in his ride called Gravity Pleasure. The Gravity Pleasure also featured cars in which the passengers could face forward instead of in the awkward bench-like seats of the first two roller coasters.


Brightening Up the Boardwalk


4.27.2004 Gretchen Mol in Coney Island filming a TV movie, “The Ballad of Bettie Page.”


gretchen mol3

Now these are the sort of attractions that make me want to constantly rediscover Coney Island; they’d even be more thrilling than my annual ride on the Cyclone.

Brooklyn New York Baby Boomers and Everyone Who Loves Brooklyn

Like Bumping Your Ass Off, Man

Also revving up for Coney Island‘s Opening Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter now operated by our friend Gordon Lee.  In the Coney Island History Project‘s Oral History Archive, you can listen to an interview with Sheila Buxbaum Fitlin, whose family started the Eldorado and first came to Coney in the 1930’s: 

This video from last season is by amusement park “cygnus122”

Coney Island Project

New Wave Fugitive


There are three ways of looking at “Little Fugitive,” which starts a five-day run at the Museum of Fine Arts on Wednesday. The 1953 film was jointly written and directed by the novelist Raymond Abrashkin (under the name Ray Ashley) and the married couple Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin. Engel also shot it, and Orkin helped edit it. It’s the story of a 7-year-old boy, Joey (Richie Andrusco), who ends up by himself at New York’s Coney Island amusement park.

{read more} How the French New Wave got its start at Coney Island