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

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...
Memories of growing up in a Jewish household in Coney Island
Born in Coney Island, Susan Hochtman Creatura lived in Coney Island Houses when it was new and she was a little girl who enjoyed the novelty of riding the elevators. Her parents marveled that this New York City housing complex for working class...
Lifelong Coney Island resident and author of Living Life Like It's Golden
Dionne Brown, who has lived in Coney Island all her life, also works here.  She grew up in Surfside Houses and attended Surfside School (PS 329), Bay Academy, Lincoln High School, and Kingsborough Community College.  A love of reading was instilled...
Memories of working as a police officer in Coney Island in the 1980s and '90s
Gravesend native Donna Bianco became a police officer at age 22 after a female cop, one of the few she knew, registered her for the test and she scored well. She was assigned to Coney Island from 1986 through 1993, when the neighborhood was crime-...
Girlhood memories of visiting Great-Aunt Molly who lived in the house under the roller coaster
Linda Kramer Evans shares fond memories of visiting her Great-Aunt Molly Moran who lived in the house under the Thunderbolt roller coaster. During the 1950s, Evans and her parents and brothers would visit Coney Island on Sundays from their home in...