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New York City Photo Trip Report – Part 2 - Coney Island
August 2, 2012

(Part 1 is here)

A week in New York without a visit to "Sodom by the Sea" would be disgraceful, so I made sure a solid day was set aside for that pilgrimage. And a glorious day it was. My pal Matt and I spent the entire afternoon basking in the sultry heat and enchanting tawdriness of a Coney Island still in transition.

Since my last visit in 2010, there have been some impactful changes, notably, the addition of The Scream Zone, the removal of Shoot The Freak, and some major trackwork on The Cyclone. Mostly, it's all good, actually really great. Mostly. I'm never going to be entirely comfortable with the sanding down of Coney's rougher edges, but a healthy balance between Old and New appears to have been struck and my darkest nightmares about this place turning into "Six Flags Brooklyn" are fading.

Nathan's, right across from the subway station, beckoning with their beefy, juicy, snappy-casing, ultra-delicious doggies... We had some before we got on any rides. Priorities.

So happy to be back! (Although it pains me to see that Thor Equities still has a visible presence here. Anyway, their rampant evil seems to have been reined in, permanently, I hope.)

We started with a constitutional down the boardwalk, the Atlantic's briny zephyrs perfuming the air.

As grateful as I am that the delicate beauty of the Parachute Tower will be preserved for years to come, I can't help but wish that this was a functioning ride. It's just a matter of money, I believe. A lot of money, too much for a decent ROI, I know, okay, fine, whatever...

Farther north from the amusements and Keyspan Park, there are these shuttered bathhouses, awaiting proper restorations of their own.

Look at that; wonderful. And to imagine Coney during its heyday, filled to the brim with this sort of baroque detail...

If I ever have access to a time machine, the very first time/place I'm going to visit is Coney Island, circa 1910, when Dreamland, Luna and Steeplechase were all in operation. Oh, yes, most definitely.





© Robert Coker
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