English

Librarian and exhibit curator at Coney Island Library emigrated from St. Petersburg nearly 30 years ago
Sea Gate resident Boris Ioselev is Managing Librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library's Coney Island Branch on Mermaid Avenue.  Ioselev and his family emigrated from St. Petersburg in January 1989 to join his brother, who had moved here in the 1970s...
Content type: Oral History Item
Sign-painting legend, musician and Sea Gate resident
Sea Gate resident Sam Moses, 66, is one of Coney Island's finest sign painters. He shares memories of his boyhood apprenticeship at a sign shop in East New York and his dreams of painting in Coney Island.  In 1998, he moved to Sea Gate and started...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in a Jones Walk rooming house in 1940s Coney Island
Gloria Nicholson was born in Coney Island in 1940 and grew up in a rooming house that her mother Josephine Boyce managed on Jones Walk and the Bowery. It overlooked the Virginia Reel and Wonder Wheel, which she often rode.  During the summer her...
Content type: Oral History Item
Grandson of sword swallower Joseph "Ajax" Milana and DeWise Purdin "The Handless Sharpshooter"
Van Milana, 65, was born on Dewey Place in the area of Coney Island called "The Gut" before Trump Village and Warbasse. He shares memories of both of his grandfathers, who were famous sideshow performers in Coney Island. Milana recalls his paternal...
Content type: Oral History Item
Composer and lyricist of Luna Park, a musical, on chronicling the partnership of Thompson and Dundy
Lyricist Michael Cooper and composer Hyeyoung Kim met as students at NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and began working collaboratively in 2005. They talk about researching and writing Luna Park, a musical which chronicles the...
Content type: Oral History Item
Carpenter, mechanic, and showman who started his career operating roller coasters and road attractions
Donald Ferris, who passed away on January 4, 2018, was involved with everything that Coney Island had to offer. From the age of 14 he worked nearly every ride and attraction as well as building or repairing anything and everything. He was a...
Content type: Oral History Item
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...
Content type: Oral History Item
Writer, poet and healer who grew up in a Yiddish literary family in Sea Gate during World War II
Deena Metzger is a writer, poet and healer who was born in Brighton Beach in 1936, moved to Sea Gate when she was three, and went to school in Coney Island. "The land, the water, the sea were formative characters in my life," she says. "When I was...
Content type: Oral History Item
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...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artist whose Coney Island-themed work includes solo and community murals at Coney Art Walls
Brooklyn-born Chris "Daze" Ellis is an internationally known artist who began his career painting subway trains as a high school student and successfully transitioned to canvas in the early 1980s. His series of Coney Island-themed paintings created...
Content type: Oral History Item