Coney Island, Brooklyn
Coney Island is so infamous for a reason. Sure, it's undergone some recent development (Luna Park) and now you're less likely to get tetanus from walking on the sand, but there's still a good amount of grit to the area. You can still "shoot the freak" on the boardwalk or watch old men get into arguments.
There's plenty to do, the arcade games, the aquarium, the beach and of course, the candy apples.
Really, you need to go.
Anyone who is visiting Brooklyn during the warm months should be obligated to take a stroll through Coney Island. So much of Brooklyn's history, warmth and charm has come from the stories, plays and musicals written about it's neighborhoods. Coney Island is one such neighborhood. It has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. Coney Island is home to Nathan's Hot Dogs, the best hot dogs in the entire world. It is also home to The Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone. Overall Coney Island has 35 or more rides for visitors to enjoy.
Coney Island is a seasonal center. Coney Island typically operates from Easter through Labor Day. In general rides and attraction are generally open on weekends between Easter and Memorial Day. One the warm weather hits, they are open all week long until Labor Day, and then weekends from Labor Day until the end of September. The beach and boardwalk are open all year round. Be wary though lifeguards are only on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Nathan's Hot Dogs and the New York Aquarium are open almost every day of the year. The Coney Island Museum is also open on Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 5 PM all year round.
Fireworks are sponsored by Astroland and Deno's Wonder Wheel Park every Friday night at 9:30 during the season. As a rule of thumb, fireworks start the last weekend in June and conclude the Friday before Labor Day. Specific questions about the fireworks should be directed to Astroland (718-265-2100) or Deno's (718-449-8836) directly.
Coney Island also hosts a Saturday Night Film Series sponsored by www.indiefilmpage.com and Coney Island USA. It. The dates change from year to year, but the location is always the same, The Coney Island Museum at 1208 Surf Avenue and the time never changes 8:30 PM with doors opening at 8:00 PM. Admission is $5.00 and the popcorn is free.
Patrick and I stumbled onto Coney Island when we went to visit the New York Aquarium. Knowing that Patrick had never been to the ocean, I decided to take him down the boardwalk to the beach. He really loved see the ocean. We even found the shell of a sand crab as his first ocean visit souvenir. I grabbed a couple of shells since it is my tradition to get a shell each time I visit a new beach.
Taking the subway out to Coney Island is completely worth it... If you take the F train you will get two treats.
It comes above ground for 2 stops (9th St. & 4th Ave) and offers the best free view of the city. You'll be able to see the Empire State Bldg, Chrysler Bldg, Brooklyn Clock Tower, Statue of Liberty, & Verrazzano Narrows Bridge. (sidenote: the 9th St. station is the highest subway stop in the city at + 80 ft). The train then goes back underground for 4 stops and resurfaces, staying above ground out to Coney Island.
Once you get to the last stop that station has been completely renovated. When you come out of the station you will be greeted by Nathan's infamous Hot Dog stand... and hot dog lover or not it is a must. Their waffle fries are great too. You can walk around the area there is a lot of renovating and revitilization going on. In the off season the park is closed but the boardwalk is open all year round. The New York Aquarium is out there too.
If its history and Amusement parks your looking for, this is the most impressing merge. Coney Island,s heyday is long past, but with the economic growth of the area its making a grand comeback. I cherish all visits I have mad e to this Atlantic waterfront. All different occasions have planted me on these shores from beach rambles, to the Mermaid Parade to the most memorable, Bjork. A must see for all who visit NYC. Test out the rides as well, but definately get a good chiropractors number, and life insurance won't hurt either. These rides are old, but that's half the adventure.
If you're in Brooklyn, you have to stop by Coney Island--in the summer and preferably during the day. However, they do have fireworks on the weekends in the summer on Saturday nights (I believe) which is also a good time. It's a fun place to go, but also a sad reminder of what used to be. The old pictures of Coney Island during its heyday are incredible with the bathhouses and packed beaches--you could even RENT swimsuits back then. It's been restored a good deal, Marty Markowitz, the Bklyn borough president had the parachute jump restored (from the NY 1939 worlds fair in Queens), there's still the circus sideshow, the mermaid parade (on June 26 of this year), the rides, batting cages, the Brooklyn Cyclones, and the Coney Is. aquarium
AND who can forget Nathan's? mmmm...seriously the best hot dogs and fries ever!
Last time i was there, I heard a vicious rumor that Disney was going to be buy the Coney Island boardwalk--can anyone verify this info? I sincerely hope this isn't true.
Okay, I'll admit it...I was a little nervous on this ride the first time. The outside cars move back and forth and it looks like you will slide right off - or you'll hit one of the stationary cars. You get some of the most amazing views from this ride....the beach, the people, the zipper, the kiddie rides, the boardwalk...it's all so cool. You don't have to share a car with anyone else, and I've heard some couples have taken that opportunity to become engaged.
Coney Island. The oldest amusment park on the east coast. Millions of people visit here each year. With its rides and attractions this by far is the one place you dont want to miss. Within the boundries you can take in a game of the old American pastime, Baseball played by brooklyn's own and favorite " The Brooklyn Cyclones". After the game take your kids down to the NY Aquireum then take a dive in the atlantic at Coney Island Beach.
Do I have to say any more?
Coney Island; land of the freakshows, snowcones, and the old rickety Cyclone. Wooden rollercoaster enthusiasts come just for the history of the Cyclone. Hot dog lovers come for the history of Nathan's! Still voted best dog in NYC (I don't do dogs much anymore, but I am a fan of the Gray's Papaya, but that's Manhattan).
Hint: Watch your money at the boardwalk gambling games! Those guys are the last of the true hustlers! Good fun though, try your luck for a few bucks just for the experience...
You might also want to take a subway or ride your bike on the bike path out to Coney Island. For those who don't know Coney Island, it was a seaside resort in the 19th Century and in the early 20th Century, featured one of the first amusement parks. While the amusement park is nothing like the big entertainment centers of today, it is still worth a visit. The boardwalk is teaming with sidewalk entertainers in the summer; the beach is covered with sunbathers (and a great annual Mermaid parade); and you can now attend baseball games at the new Cyclone baseball stadium.
The wonderful Coney Island Mermaid Parade occurs the first Saturday after the summer solstice around the third week of June, Hundreds of mermaids, Neptunes, mer-men and tens of thousands of spectators descend upon Coney Island, to celebrate the beginning of Summer and the official opening of the Atlantic Ocean. Part Mardi Gras, part art parade, the Mermaid Parade is a fine New York tradition.
Boardwalk-rides-freak shows-beach. A must see. A NY destination for over a century. Do not miss Astroland with the Cyclone, a 73 year old wooden roller coaster or Sideshows by the Sea, one of the last places of its kind located at Surf Ave & W. 12th St. Nathans Hot Dogs got there start here and can still be found on the boardwalk.
Coney Island Mermaid Parade
(make sure you check out my travelogue, which has tons of pix of this year's parade).
Every year gets bigger and better. This is Brooklyn's version of Mardi Gras, as this is the parade that inspires a great deal of fun and debauchery.
The only one place I like in Brooklyn all year around! There is a light house that is in The Sea Gate that is a jewish community district in the picture .
Even if you're not going to have a whole meal, at least stop by for cheese fries or some other snack. The original Nathan's is open and always bustling. It's quite an experience.
You can buy some time on the raceway at the track. Everyone who went looked very satisfied and the cars seemed to go pretty fast. Only one guy got a dud car, and he got to go again for free.