Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why Coney Island Won't Be Coney Island Anymore

Summer Boardwalk Scene

Wonder why some people are less than enthralled with the top-to-bottom rebuilding of Coney Island proposed by Thor Equities that might leave it nothing more than a famous brand name that bears zero relationship to the original product? Well, for a strong sense of the concern, check out this post about Coney Island on Erica's Blog. For all of our writing of the planning and development issues involved, the spirit she conveys is far, far better than anything we've managed:
The highlight of my trip was always climbing the incline of the ramp of the Riegelman Boardwalk as the entire expanse of the Atlantic Ocean opened up before me...the world famous Parachute Jump - what has been called Brooklyn's equivalent to the Eiffel Tower - directly ahead of me. It was a sight that never failed to take my breath away, the sun setting over the crashing waves, old Russian immigrants huddling together (even in the summertime) on the benches lining the boardwalk, and the further along I rode on the rickety slats, the closer I got to the amusement park, which I would sometimes bypass my mother's job for if I had the time to kill, and then go back to West 5th Street later.

I loved the sounds of the rides, watching, and listening to them. The towering Wonder Wheel, its red and blue cars sliding back and forth on the rails, affording riders a breath-taking view of the landscape, children screaming with joy on the teacups...adults pleading with Cyclone operators "Shut it off!, I wanna go back!," as they ascended the first gut-wrenching drop of the coaster (which I've been on close to 20 times, each time better than the next)...these sights and sounds always made me so happy, and never was I more at peace with myself and life as when I took this journey to Coney Island.

After construction and re-development commence to turn Coney Island into (words escape me) the exact opposite 0f what it is now, the Brooklyn-spawned, age-old seediness and grit will be gone, replaced by digitized neons and high-techitude, nothing more than another Atlantic City, or Vegas-ized theme park. It won't be my Coney Island anymore, the only one I've known my whole life, the one I would go to every summer, and used to drool over as my bicycle wheels bumpily thumped over miles of boardwalk to the tune of coasting seagulls and the screams of Cyclone riders, who'd never before experienced that "first drop," which I hear is a killa.

I, for one, do not look forward to this makeover. Yeah, the neighborhood could use a little pick-me-up, but an out and out makeover, so that it's no longer recognizable from what it one was? No thank you.
We should have a better sense of what will happen as 2007 unfolds.

Related Posts:
Filling Out the Coney Island Vision
Is Coney Island the New Atlantic Yards and Joe Sitt the New Bruce Ratner?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous ANP said...

God, can we say misplaced nostalgia? Too bad her self-pity party lacks anything close to, say, facts. Instead she relies on what appear to be her powers of fortune telling and future predicting.

Unless this girl has a time machine and knows exactly what the future of Coney Island holds?

Give me a break.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Gawd, can we say chip on our shoulder and beanpole up our quivering rectum?

At least I don't shoot explosive diarrhea out of my mouf when someone reminisces on THEIR blog.

Oh, Lord...I get it...you're that wartsy troll that's been tied up under the boardwalk since 1983 and are waiting for Joe Sitt to let you out.

That esplains sooooo much, you frickin' wad of seagull turd.

9:16 AM  

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