Shirley Aikens

Community activist and president of the Carey Gardens Tenants Association

Shirley Aikens has called Coney Island her home for nearly 40 years and is very active in the community. She is president of the Carey Gardens Tenants Association and a member of Community Board 13 and the NYPD's 60th Precinct Community Council. Aikens recounts moving to Carey Gardens with her one-year-old daughter in the 1970s, her first impressions of Coney Island, and how it has changed over the years. For ten years she worked at Astroland Park, where she enjoyed her jobs as a water race game operator and boardwalk arcade manager.  Aikens talks about the need for jobs for teens under 18 and a parking garage in the amusement area to alleviate summer traffic.  Interviewed a few weeks prior to the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, she shares memories of the storm and its long aftermath at Carey Gardens, a New York City Housing Authority complex, where renovations are expected soon thanks FEMA funding obtained last year.