Memorial Day weekend impressions……
People were pouring out of the subway station when I got off at Stillwell at noon on Monday. The platform was jam packed, it took 5 minutes just to make my way to the street. In the History Project booth, someone looking at our vintage photo of shoulder-to-shoulder beach goers said it was almost that crowded on Monday except everyone was on the beach, not in the water. It was cool, and windy…But I didn’t get to check it out myself b/c no breaks for me, too busy….
I felt happy to see the storefronts and lots along Surf and Stillwell filled again with rides, games and food. Last year property owner and real estate speculator Thor Equities evicted many of the amusement operators and tried to blight the area with empty lots and boarded up buildings. On Thursday I saw a slew of new and returning concessionaires setting up and stocking their stands on Surf. By Memorial Day afternoon, a dunk tank had sprung up on a tiny lot between Jones Walk and 12 St.
It’s too bad Thor’s new strategy is just a diversionary tactic.. While Thor pr flacks are proclaiming “The Summer of Hope” in Coney by bringing in the carnival and renting out the storefronts, Thor’s attorney is putting the screws to the city for permanent rezoning to allow generic retail and high rises in the area.
Coney Island is like nowhere else on earth—I mean is there any other city which has an old neighborhood zoned exclusively for amusement rides and attractions?! With multiple owners?!
If you’ve never been to Coney, or want one last look, better come this summer. We’re calling it the 2nd annual last season for Coney Island because last season was said to be the last. No joke though, it really may be the last for quite a few folks.
btw I did get to talk with Stefan, thanks! Nice to meetcha, shopdude…see you next weekend!