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Thread: Coney Island

  1. #1

    Default Coney Island

    The Wonder Wheel at Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk.

    Riding the Wonder Wheel and the view of Coney Island Cyclone.

    Coney Island amusement park.

  2. #2

    Default Coney Island

    This is what I LOVE about this forum! * You can get all kinds of info on NY. * I can remember as little as 10 years ago, I was photocopying skyscraper pictures from the late 60's to the late 70's of NY from my local library. *That was the latest that they had!

  3. #3

    Default Coney Island

    The Ocean Beach at Coney Island. *Aug 14, 2003

    Wall of the New York Aquarium

    Surf Ave and W 8 st. Renovation of the subway el and aquarium pedestrian bridge.

    Traffic cop

    Wonder Wheel from the boardwalk

    Surf & Stillwell Aves

    New transit station site


    Jewish Geriatric Center


    Lands end

  4. #4
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    West Harlem

    Default Coney Island

    Great, great pictures. Thanks.

    It looks like they made a whole new concrete support system for the main tracks at Stillwell. I can't wait for the structure and the glass arches.

    And you captured the geriatric center like I couldn't last time I tried taking pictures of it.

    Taiwan? Hehe..

  5. #5

    Default Coney Island

    A touch of proletarian Miami.

    Fantastic tour, again.

  6. #6

    Default Coney Island

    August 23, 2003

    Step Right Up, Live Human Target


    Slide Show

    Aiming a ball at a target to drop a clown into a tub of water is old school at the Coney Island Boardwalk. Now people eagerly shoot the Freak.

    The Freak, as signs and the barker say, is a live human target.

    Coney Island has seen a lot, from real-life crime to the Painproof Rubber Girl. But even in a place where trouble and cheap spectacle are the norm, "Shoot the Freak" has been turning heads.

    Up to six customers at a time can stand on the Boardwalk, a few yards from Stillwell Avenue, and aim their rifles down an alley filled with trash and concrete bits. There, one finds the Freak, darting and dodging.

    He is dressed in a combination of hockey, baseball and bicycling protective gear, making him look like a creature of some post-urban nightmare. Periodically, he stands still and takes one in the chest, or the forehead. The customers are firing paint pellets, and as they hit the Freak, there's a short snapping sound and a small spray of mist. Think of it as a video game come to life.

    Prices range from 5 shots for $3 to 75 shots for $20. No stuffed animals — the thrill of the pursuit is the only prize.

    "It never hurts, but sometimes it stings," said Matt Behan, 23, one of four Freaks. "The worst was one time when I took about 200 shots in three minutes," he added, shaking his head. "A big spender with a good shot."
    Mr. Behan is classically trained as an actor, having attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. And though he admits to enjoying life as a Freak because of the attention, he draws few parallels between dodging paint pellets and acting in the theater.

    "It's just a little hard to act when you are getting shot at a lot," Mr. Behan said. He gets one chance: when shot repeatedly, he recoils, drops to his knees and goes into death convulsions.

    "Shoot the Freak" is the brainchild of Anthony Berlingieri, 40, a lifelong resident of Bensonhurst and an entrepreneur who has owned hot dog carts, been a contractor and sold muffins door to door. Mr. Berlingieri said he grew tired of the predictable fare on the Boardwalk and wanted to provide people in the city with a place to shoot paint guns.

    "And shooting at a live person who runs around and talks back?" he said. "That's a lot better than shooting at a mannequin.

    "Look, this is a country where there was the pet rock," Mr. Berlingieri said. "I always figure that after that, everything stands a shot."

    So far, Mr. Berlingieri said, he has not had much of a Freak staffing problem. "How do they get the job? They ask. I don't do drug testing, I don't need to see a college background, and you can have a record."

    Mr. Behan, who lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, had been auditioning and working as a telemarketer for a dating service, but it was not for him. So when he was walking, slightly drunk, on the Boardwalk early in the season and happened upon the game, he said, he knew this job was a better fit. "Here I am out of an office, at the beach," he said, "and I can drink on the job."

    This is not to say the job switch was seamless.

    "Some of the things people say to you are hard to take, like, `Take the helmet off so I can shoot you in the face,' " Mr. Behan said. "But you can't bring it home. In the beginning I took it too personally."

    Jason Neufeld, 19 and another Freak, got an on-the-job surprise when his father, Barry, showed up. And shot him.

    "He'd been waiting to do that since I turned 12," said Mr. Neufeld, of Bensonhurst, who hopes soon to pass the section he failed on the high school equivalency exam and then enlist in the Army.

    Mr. Neufeld wasn't the only Freak to have a parent visit.

    Terry Behan came all the way from Cincinnati to see Matt on his birthday. Speaking by phone, she said that "Matt has been so consumed by being the Freak that he hasn't come home to visit."

    Did Ms. Behan take the opportunity to shoot her son?

    "I can get on him and make him feel real bad," she said. "But I don't have to pop him one."

    Ms. Behan would like Matt to stick to his auditions, as he has been. "I'm hoping for Matt that he does something besides the Freak," she said. She also said she had heard people say that Matt didn't look like a freak after he took his helmet off. "I don't know what they were expecting," she said.

    The pay is little consolation. Mr. Behan said he made $150 for a day that involved dodging and weaving, sometimes from 10:30 a.m. until late at night, depending on the weather and crowds at the Boardwalk. As Mr. Neufeld said: "You don't get fat in this job, trust me."

    The two Freaks struggle with how to balance making the game a challenge by moving around with letting people get the pleasure of hitting them. "Some want the hunt, others don't," Mr. Behan said.

    Eric Dingman, 15, who was visiting the Boardwalk from Suffern, N.Y., with his father, Ron, was glad Mr. Behan stayed relatively still. "I got him in the face twice," he said.

    Kevin Quinn, 40, was there with his son, Shawn, 11, from Lake George, N.Y. "It's just very realistic," Mr. Quinn said. But when Naomi Polito, 29, was asked what she would do if Shawn grew up to be the Freak, she shook her head. "I'm only his stepmother," she said, "but if he did that he'd still see my size 7 1/2 shoe."

    And as Chris Sabbagh, an 8-year-old from Staten Island, took shots at Mr. Behan, his mother, Karen, said she would abstain. "Because I might like it," she said.

    Nearby, Willie Hickson, 43, of Queens, took it all in before storming off. "Kids need to learn better things," he said. "They need some educational games here. And they wonder why we had the blackout."

    Mr. Berlingieri is unapologetic, he said while building an extension of his product: a "Shoot the Freak" at the Feast of Santa Rosalia Society street festival being held on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst. And more ideas are swirling in his head.

    "You know that machine that shoots tennis balls?" he asked. "I might have a Freak running around and you'll be able to shoot him with tennis balls. My trademark is going to be live human targets."

    And in any live human target games to come, Mr. Berlingieri will always call the target the Freak. "That's because there are always freaks walking around," he said. "Freaks are forever."

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

    (Edited by Christian Wieland at 8:12 am on Aug. 23, 2003)

  7. #7

  8. #8

    Default Coney Island

    That picture is worthy of MOMA.

    Elmo - the artful dodger?

  9. #9
    Forum Veteran
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    Jan 2002
    West Harlem

    Default Coney Island

    I think I saw the Freak. Kind of scary.

  10. #10
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City

    Default Coney Island

    Hey, is that Taiwanese palm tree a sprinkler?

  11. #11
    Forum Veteran
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    Jan 2002
    West Harlem

    Default Coney Island

    It's not really Taiwanese, I think it's a joke regarding T101....

    It's a shower.

  12. #12


    In Coney Island's Future, Looking to Past Glory


    Published: April 18, 2005

    or decades, talk about a revival of Coney Island was shrugged off by the area's veterans as a distortion in a fun house mirror. Such talk was about a Coney Island of the Mind that did not match the reality of a shrunken and forlorn stretch of boardwalk concession stands and down-at-the-heels amusement rides.
    But despite a long history of shattered dreams, there are signs that perhaps this time a rebirth is in the offing. Not only is a new stadium for the minor-league Brooklyn Cyclones drawing full houses, but the vacant lots that were the legacy of the arson-plagued 1970's are being snapped up at double the prices of five years ago.

    One national mall developer, Thor Equities, is buying many of the hot-dog stands and honky-tonk arcades between the Boardwalk and Surf Avenue so it can build a colossal indoor complex that, rumor has it, will include a water park.

    Landowners who held on to their properties for decades waiting for casino gambling or another white knight are finding Thor's prices irresistible, said Charles Denson, the author of "Coney Island: Lost and Found."

    "It's really happening," he said. "For someone like me who studies Coney Island, this is it."

    More than 10 million people streamed to the 2.7 mile-beach last summer - five times as many as in 1998, by Department of Parks and Recreation estimates - as the newest immigrants and European tourists discovered the bracing Atlantic surf and the gaudy anarchy of the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and Nathan's Famous.

    This year, beachgoers will arrive through a new solar-paneled Stillwell Avenue terminal for the D, F and Q trains that replaced one rank with urine. And even the restored Parachute Jump, a 262-foot Brooklyn icon, will soon be newly illuminated, though no entrepreneur willing to pay the sky-high insurance premiums for operating an actual ride has emerged.

    To manage the growth, the Bloomberg administration will soon release a blueprint for turning Coney Island into a year-round pleasure site that would include shops and apartments facing the sea.

    But some of these trends worry ride operators and concessionaires, who fear that sanitized chain restaurants will replace the more raucous outdoor joints where hot dogs are dished out by a crusty character, not a teenager trained to mouth formulaic pleasantries. They are concerned that the place will lose the flamboyant look of hand-painted signs with lurid block lettering advertising fried clams, cold beer and hot knishes.

    "People come to this beach because they can't afford a vacation," said the manager of Gyro Corner, who gave his name as Joey Clams. "They bring their own food. They don't need expensive restaurants."

    Dick D. Zigun, a tattooed impresario who runs what he says is America's last 10-act sideshow of sword swallowers, fire-eaters and snake charmers, says that a mall might prompt the city to abandon Coney Island's amusement zoning altogether and replace carnivals with condos. Coney Island would get too clean, upscale and homogenous.

    He said he did not entirely believe assurances by the Coney Island Development Corporation, which is drawing up the renewal blueprint, that it will retain the old flavor. Not a single amusement operator is on its board, he noted.

    "They say, 'Don't worry,' but everyone's worried," said Mr. Zigun, who is treated as Coney Island's unofficial mayor. "Coney Island has a rich history just like Times Square, and to lose that would be a shame."

    Joshua Sirefman, president of the development corporation, said, "We've worked very hard to develop a strategy that balances new growth while respecting the core of what makes Coney Island Coney Island." He declined to provide specifics about what might be included in the plan.

  13. #13

  14. #14


    Coney Island to my site

    Aerial View


    Witch a ZippyTheChimp Photo' :

    Last edited by Comelade; December 31st, 2005 at 04:19 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Wonder Wheel at night!

    Let's go to Coney Island!!!
    Fond Coney Island memories!!!

    Enj y!!!!

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