English

Memories of growing up on West 36th Street in Coney Island's West End
Edith Storch, 90, grew up in the West End of Coney Island at 2762 West 36th Street near Canal Avenue. She shares memories of her immigrant parents, shops and street vendors, a nickelodeon on the pier at West 37th Street on the Bay, and Coney Island...
Content type: Oral History Item
Longtime baseball scout for the Chicago Cubs and Sea Gate resident
Billy Blitzer grew up in Brighton Beach, has lived in Sea Gate for the past 36 years, and is a pro scout for the Chicago Cubs.  Baseball has been an integral part of his life since he played Little League at Coney Island's Kaiser Park and with his...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artist and educator who restored the old signs and painted new ones for Paul's Daughter
Brooklyn resident and School of Visual Arts instructor Stephen Gaffney is an artist and sign painter who restored the beloved vintage signs and painted new ones for Paul's Daughter, the oldest operator on the Coney Island Boardwalk. "Some of these...
Content type: Oral History Item
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