Another summer has come and gone. And no other neighborhood in New York City may feel the change of season more than Coney Island. With fall in full swing and the balmy winds begin to turn to frigid gusts, the peninsula is left with its residence, the occasional tourist or two gaping at the vacant fixtures, and of course, the Polar Bear Club. Summer amusement is abandoned and replaced with a bareness that seems more lonely than romantic. The park becomes its own sideshow with its remnants gawked at. To call the area a wasteland would not be fair to the residents of the peninsula. Coney Island is as important a destination as any other American attraction. Even though in many ways it feels like the last on a long to-do list. But needless to say, it rounds out any trip to New York and everyone’s happy that they made the trek.
Most of the year Coney Island is littered with empty lots and gated rides guarded by intimidating yet dutiful Rotweillers. Change is difficult — we know! But is it possible to give the tourist spot a well deserved facelift without destroying the essence of the amusement park?
As a native New Yorker and Brooklynite, Coney Island is an intrinsic part of my childhood almost as important as Great Adventure in New Jersey. In retrospect, I would have never ridden the Cyclone eleven times in one day. We don’t drive cars that are more than 50 years old, why should we ride massive machines that are even older still and made of wood!
At the moment there is a lot of debate surrounding what to do to with the legacy of Coney Island. What will be preserved and what will be destroyed? The famous borough of Brooklyn is about to get yet another well deserved overhaul. There are plans to renovate and expand Coney Island to include hotels, shopping, movies, and the city’s first new roller coaster since the Cyclone. May the Mermaid Queen come to terms with the revitalization of the beach and grab a bite to eat.
We begin Barely Brooklyn here at Coney Island. One of the remaining monuments to a bygone era that defined Brooklyn’s past and will definitely shape its future. Let’s hope that Coney Island can be year round fun soon!