Coney Island (and Brighton Beach)

September 2007

 

Tamy and I spent some a Sunday afternoon checking out Coney Island and Brighton Beach to check out the sights.

 

Coney Island

Coney Island is named for wild rabbits (konjin in Dutch), which was pretty much all the first European saw on the grassy shoreline in the 17th century.  By the end of the 19th century, the island had become a den for gamblers, hard drinkers, boxers and racers - some called it 'Sodom by the Sea'. 

 

The 20th century brought a new era with late night concerts, settings of Buster Keaton films, and best yet, amusement parks.  The most famous, Luna Park, opened in 1903 and was a dream world of lagoons, live camels and elephants, rides to the moon - all lit by a million bulbs (fire eventually took it down in 1946).  Surviving gems such as the wonder wheel (1920) and Cyclone (1927) were mere players in a bigger game.

 

By the 1960s, Coney Island's pull had slipped and the 'hood became a sad, crime-ridden reminder of past glories.  During the 1980s a slow, enduring comeback began, with new rides and 'freak shows' (sword swallowers, bearded women, folks with lizard skin, etc) trickling in.

 

Well ... that was the LP description .... here's what Tamy and I saw.

Glass at the Coney Island station

 

Wall art outside the station

 

 

 

 

 

Hot dog shop

 

Also "Home of the international hot dog eating contest"

 

Pina Colada Shop

 

Sign leading up the boardwalk

 

A slice of Americana

 

Shops selling beers, ices, pina coladas souvenirs and other assorted crap.

 

Shoot The Freak

 

Shoot The Freak - Live Human Targets!! The freak is in the middle of the photo holding a shield.

 

Coney Island Amusement Park

 

Big dragon.  Love this photo.  Took ages to get the timing right however

 

Guys playing down ball.

 

Fish in a wall on the board walk.  Tamy dropped her lense cap 'under the boardwalk' but couldn't retrieve it because under the boardwalk was closed off. 

 

So much for that song 'Under The Boardwalk' by the Drifters.....

Oh when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire-proof
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be making love
Under the board-walk, board-walk!

From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel
Mm-mm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be making love
Under the board-walk, board-walk!

Oooooh, under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be falling in love
Under the board-walk, board-walk!

 

"All Coney Islanders have SAND IN THEIR SHOES.  Once it gets in, it never gets out.

 

 

 

Blimp flying along the beach.  Resolution is bad due to digital zoom from the camera phone.

 

Light post.

 

Watching life go by

 

Bench

 

Light, bench and old lady reading in the sun

 

Brighton Beach aka 'Little Odessa'

Named after England's famous beach resort in 1868, Brighton Beach shows little link with England considering it's stream of signs in Cyrillic these days.  Now known as 'Little Odessa', Brighton Beach is home mostly to Ukrainian Jews who emigrated here in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Having been to Odessa in 2001, I can say the place doesn't look a lot like it ... apart from the cheesy Russian disco music, the Cyrillic signage, badly dressed Russians and some rather tall hot eastern European totty in the video store.

Cafe playing Russian disco music (not good).

 

Fire escapes.

 

Street sign

 

 

 

Tamy taking a photo of me.  Me taking a photo of Tamy.

 

Nice light effect.

 

Interesting entrance to block of flats

 

3 languages - one to send money in Spanish, one to go to a restaurant down the road in Russian and one to quit smoking in English.

 

Love this shot.

 

Kangaroo.  They're everywhere these days.

 

Psychic Anna

 

 

 

Video shop.

 

 

 

Can't wait to see these ones.

 

See totty on left. 

 

Subway runs over the road.

 

Metro

 

Fish shop

 

Sunset at the Russian disco cafe

 

Sunset on the board work.

 

Next: 3.Harlem, 4.Soho and Greenwich, 5.Out and About, Home