Sunday, April 22, 2007

"Coney Island Miracle"? Lola Staar is Back

Diana Carlin

Lola Staar is back on the Coney Island Boardwalk in her old space. You might remember that she became the most prominent victim of developer Joe Sitt's Coney Island evictions and demolitions and subsequently led a "Save Coney Island" demonstration on the steps of City Hall. Dianna Carlin (AKA Lola) told us that Mr. Sitt called her two days before the demonstration, setting off a chain of events that culminated in a new lease with very favorable terms on the boardwalk space she had occupied.

"It's a Coney Island miracle," she told us. "It's a miracle."

We were walking down the boardwalk in Coney Island yesterday when we saw that the space Ms. Carlin had occupied was open. The closer we got to the store, the more familiar the merchandise looked. When we went inside, we saw a familiar head of red hair. We shrugged as if to ask Ms. Carlin what was going on.

"I didn't tell you?" she smiled.

Uh, no.

Ms. Carlin then told us the long story as she dealt with a steady stream of customers on her first day open again, several of whom were familiar with her ordeal. As the Pixies blasted in the background, customers bought bags, towels and t-shirts and told Lola they were glad she was back. Ms. Carlin was in the process of putting her store back together--some of the merchandise was still in storage as was her credit card processing machine.

We'll have full details of our conversation tomorrow and the "make nice and try to win over your opponents" strategy that Mr. Sitt seems to have adopted. (Another "evicted" business is open too.) Meantime, that's Dianna above, in her wonderful boardwalk store yesterday. Full update on Monday.

Related Posts:
Savey Coney Island Demonstration Rocks City Hall
Legal Gag Removed, Coney Island's Lola Staar Speaks Out

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see that Carlin is back in business... but as for her cheerful claims of "Coney Island miracles", whatever happened to her rallying cries against Thor's plans for condos in Coney? I hope there will be some word from her on that matter, as it seems to have drifted from her mind quite conveniently since her lease was renewed...

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is not at all true. As Gowanus Lounge's follow up article states, I have been speaking directly with Joe Sitt about my objections to his plans. It is very positive and hopeful that the No Condos in Coney demonstration has opened up communication between Thor Equities and the Save Coney Island organization. We are also organizing a Save Coney Island benefit concert. I am very passionate about helping to Save Coney Island and plan to continue to actively do so. Please visit my myspace page for further updates and info about the Save Coney Island Revolution.

Dianna Carlin

3:30 PM  

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