Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Coney Island: In Transition

Despite the intermittent media coverage regarding pending development,   it was still a bit of a surprise, visiting Coney Island yesterday,  to see the huge swath of the Boardwalk, from Stillwell Avenue east, fenced off, shops closed, as reconstruction of the Boardwalk, and presumably further development, commences.

While it was still early in the season, only a couple of food stands were open, west of Stillwell. I didn't realize that the impact of the development would be felt so soon, it seems clear that that the fenced off area precludes business in this section over the summer, if, as the sign indicates, work will be completed in Fall 2010. 

Update: Good news --I am pleased to report that shortly after this item was posted, an update was received from Ruby's, among our favorite watering-holes-by-the-water :   

Ruby's reports that, happily,  "while there is a section of the boardwalk being redone. Ruby's is open and doing well. The section that is being worked on has 2 parts - the entire section of boardwalk is closed from 6:30 am - 2 pm mon- fri only so they crane can hoist the concrete pieces of the boardwalk over the buildings and dropped in place. Ruby's is open 7 days a week and going strong. There is a section of the boardwalk - Close to the water section where benches are- that is fenced off. That section is having extensive repair work done and is closed until Memorial day weekend. The entire boardwalk has been under repair for over a year and will be completed 2011."

While it is possible to walk the length of the shore, much of the trip to Brighton Beach would have to be made either on the street or on the sand, since the Boardwalk no longer serves as a thoroughfare.  We took a walk out on the pier, still accessible, and walked on the Boardwalk to West 29th Street.  But there is no doubt that major changes are coming. One old timer was overheard observing that tourists are already appearing looking for "the new hotel."   While some of its "42nd Street-by-the-Sea" charm may be in flux, for better or for worse, Coney Island will always remain one of the most vibrant and amazing places to experience nature, and New York,  in any season. 

One more note from Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn, a long-time Coney Island fan: Based on the current signage at Stillwell Avenue, and the extensive fencing, it was not apparent to casual visitors like us that portions of the Boardwalk remain open on a part-time basis, or that any businesses will be available in that stretch to serve the public this summer. Hopefully, the Coney Island Development Corporation and area businesses will provide further information on-site and in the media as to hours of access and services as the season progresses.

Meanwhile, don't forget, folks, while changes and improvements are happening,  be sure to visit Coney Island this season... -- Brooklyn Beat




Boardwalk under construction
View from the Pier
Coney Island Community Garden

Photos by Tony Napoli - Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn
Coney Island Development Corporation Development Map here

Coney Island Fun Guide here

Coney Island Development Corporation's main page here

2 comments:

  1. Hello from Ruby's. As you have posted there is a section of the boardwalk being redone. Ruby's is open and doing well. The section that is being worked on has 2 parts - the entire section of boardwalk is closed form 6:30 am - 2 pm mon- fri only so they crane can hoist the concrete pieces of the boardwalk over the buildings and dropped in place. Ruby's is open 7 days a week and going strong. There is a section of the boardwalk - Close to the water section where benches are- that is fenced off. That section is having extensive repair work done and is closed until Memorial day weekend. The entire boardwalk has been under repair for over a year and will be completed 2011.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, If you had come on the weekend, the Boardwalk would have been open! I work in Coney Island and want to reassure everyone that Cha Cha's, Ruby's, Lola Star and the other businesses on the Boardwalk as well as the rides and games will indeed be open this summer.

    As Ruby's host explained, one section of the Boardwalk between Stillwell Ave & W 12th is temporarily closed this week only. Work continues on the beach side of the Boardwalk.

    Yes, at long last construction is now underway in Coney, including the new Luna Park with 19 rides slated to open on the former Astroland site on Memorial day weekend. The Ringling Circus returns in June. It's shaping up to be a great season. The Cyclone and Wonder Wheel are among the 40 rides currently open for business. Come on out and enjoy! Check the Coney Island Fun Guide for schedules and detailed info...
    http://www.coneyislandfunguide.com/

    ReplyDelete

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