photos by Brooklyn Beat/TN
Visiting Coney Island for a stroll early in the spring, it was still hard to tell where the "old" Coney Island ended and the "new"Coney Island began. I had apparently beat the hype machine to the punch, and my post was followed by a number of emails reassuring that despite the construction, gates, and lack of info, Coney Island would be back in business this summer.
Flaneurs and peripatetic urban wanderers that we are, My Better Half and I took a stroll through Brighton Beach yesterday, stopping for a leisurely salad and vareniki lunch at Cafe Glechik. We made our way to the Boardwalk, starting at Little Odessa and made our way down to Coney Island. Well, despite all of the hype, the Coney Island Boardwalk, as far as I can tell, remains its good old self. There is the addition of the new amusement park section with newer kiddie rides which supplements, not supplants, the old standbys: Deno's, Shoot the Freak, Ruby's...there are some new smaller concessions on the Boardwalk, and sections are still under construction. But happily, Coney Island, crowded on a sweltering Saturday remains Coney Island. We took a walk out onto the pier (which still haunts in the memory in its super-real portrayal in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for A Dream) and there were the fisherman and tourists, locals and visitors. Kitschy tzatzches, hot dogs and french fries, beautiful, oil- free water, and the blue vistas of a summer day. Environmental activitists. The occasional drunk and druggy, kids with melting ice cream, teenagers in love, seniors with zinc'd noses and skin already tanned like leather.
Still not sure where the hype begins and ends, or what the future holds, but for now Coney Island remains a delight. Despite the sagging economy, it's a place for an inexpensive outing, a little respite from the summer sun, some fresh ocean breezes, and a place to mingle with other New Yorkers.