Amanda Deutch

Amanda Deutch is a native New Yorker whose mother and grandparents lived in Coney Island. She has worked with the Coney Island History Project since 2008 and is also a teaching artist and poet.  Amanda is the author of four poetry chapbooks and her poems have been published widely in journals.  In 2009, she founded Parachute Literary Arts, which utilizes poetry as a catalyst for community engagement and youth empowerment.  Her passions include impressing bystanders with her Skee-Ball skills and riding the Wonder Wheel.

Interviews

Growing up on West 16th Street between Mermaid and Neptune in a cold water flat in the 1940s and '50s
Carmela recalls growing up in Coney Island on West 16th Street between Mermaid and Neptune Avenues in a cold water flat with a coal belly stove and an ice box.  She lived there until 1959, when she got married and moved to her husband's neighborhood...
Memories of growing up on Brighton First Court and a summer job renting beach chairs in Coney Island
Bill Zeidenberg grew up in the 1950s and 1960s at 212 Brighton First Court, just east of Ocean Parkway, the dividing line of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. He shares vivid memories of his summer job working for the M. & C. Chair Operating...
Environmental justice organizer who was born in Coney Island and raised here in the 1960s and '70s
Born in Coney Island in 1963, Karen Dawn Blondel shares memories of the 1960's, '70s and '80s. Family members, including both sets of grandparents, aunts, and cousins lived in the community in bungalows, apartments, and public housing, and after her...
Memories of riding the Parachute Jump and Steeplechase horse race ride in the 1950s
Marian Carbone and Anna Jackson, twin sisters who grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, share their memories of 1950's Coney Island. "It didn't cost much. It was a nice day out. What was it? 15 cents on the train," says Marian.  "Coney Island was our...
A Brooklyn native's boyhood memories of Washington Baths and Steeplechase Park
Jan Brown grew up in Brooklyn where his family spent summers at Washington Baths in Coney Island. His parents, who had met at Washington Baths, played handball and his father was a professional model and bodybuilder. Brown describes the atmosphere...
Girlhood memories of growing up on West 5th Street in Coney Island before being displaced by Warbasse
Sisters Gladys Sandman and Lucille daCosta, née Salvia, share girlhood memories of growing up on Coney Island's West 5th Street in the 1950s and the beginning of the '60s. Their grandparents were homeowners on West 5th and their mother and father ...
A five-year-old describes her visit to Coney Island
At 63 seconds, this is the shortest oral history in our archive and one of the youngest narrators. Five-year-old Rebecca Diamond, who was visiting with her family, including her grandmother Rosalie Diamond, tells us her favorite rides in Coney...
Memories of going to Steeplechase Park as a teenager in the 1950s
Visiting the Coney Island History Project and seeing an original Steeplechase horse brings back vivid memories for Rosalie Diamond of coming to Coney Island as a teen in the 1950s. She recalls the clowns at Steeplechase, riding the Parachute Jump,...
The founder of the Dark Ride Project on documenting Spook-A-Rama and other historic dark rides
Joel Zika is a multimedia artist, a lecturer in Creative Arts at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and the creator of the Dark Ride Project. Using a Virtual Reality 360- degree video camera, his mission is to document the dwindling number...
Memories of growing up on West 33rd Street in Coney Island and working on the Boardwalk in the 1960s
Al Burgo, who grew up in Gravesend Houses in Coney Island's West End, shares memories of street games and streetwise hijinks in the 1960s. As a boy, he earned 15 cents per shine while apprenticing with a shoe shine pro on the Boardwalk, an...