CONEY ISLAND, I can't repeat this enough. The Cyclone is one of the world's best rollercoasters.
Fondest memory: When I was a small child, I had an aunt who lived in Brooklyn and owned a toy store there. We used to visit her you can probably imagine what it was like to know as we were heading over the Verrazano Bridge that in a little while, I was going to be staring at all these toys and she always let me pick one to take home with me. It was most children's dreams!
Favorite thing: Although just a shadow of its former self, Coney Island still houses the New York Aquarium which is worth visiting. There are still many games of chance (read Skee Ball, etc.) And some rides remain....the Parachute Drop, for instance.
GO TO CONEY ISLAND!!!!
Anytime of year. Summer is the most crowded. Fall through early Spring is probably the most haunting time to go, as everything is boarded up and you feel like you've discovered a ghost of an amusement park. Which, actually, you have. Coney Island is but a shadow of her former glorious self. And yet, you can walk around and just feel the vibe of the past.
Make sure you see some of the really old landmarks that are still around before Herr Guiliani tears it down like he did the Thunderbolt.
Child's Restaurant is still there, although boarded up, on the boardwalk. You can also still see the Surf Hotel and some of the signs from older attractions on the older buildings. Visit the Coney Island Museum on Surf Avenue to see the old Steeplechase horses.
If it's summer, play at Astroland!
Fondest memory: Wandering around Coney this past March with my boyfriend in the rain. Lucking out at the flea market where I found an art deco ashtray and a 1950's decanter.