Oral History Archive

Gloria Nicholson
Memories of growing up in a Jones Walk rooming house in 1940s Coney Island
Van Milana
Grandson of sword swallower Joseph "Ajax" Milana and DeWise Purdin "The Handless Sharpshooter"
Hyeyoung Kim and Michael Cooper
Composer and lyricist of Luna Park, a musical, on chronicling the partnership of Thompson and Dundy
Don Ferris
Carpenter, mechanic, and showman who started his career operating roller coasters and road attractions
Karen Dawn Blondel
Environmental justice organizer who was born in Coney Island and raised here in the 1960s and '70s
Deena Metzger
Writer, poet and healer who grew up in a Yiddish literary family in Sea Gate during World War II
Anthony Wang
Resident of senior housing in Coney Island was born in Shanghai and survived the Cultural Revolution
Marian Carbone and Anna Jackson
Memories of riding the Parachute Jump and Steeplechase horse race ride in the 1950s
Chris "Daze" Ellis
Artist whose Coney Island-themed work includes solo and community murals at Coney Art Walls
Teresa Genaro
Reflections on the history of horse racing in Coney Island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
Andy Fuhrman
Memories of growing up in Coney Island Houses and on Mermaid Avenue in the 1950s and '60s
Irene Karas
Sea Gate resident on her girlhood memories of Coney Island and passing them on to her daughter
Naum Barash
A Coney Island Polar Bear recounts his 50 years of winter swimming in Ukraine and Brooklyn
Susan Meyer
Memories of growing up in the 1940s and '50s in a tight-knit Jewish community in Coney Island
Gabriel Alegría
Jazz musician and bandleader of the Afro-Peruvian Sextet has lived in Coney Island for the past decade
Eric Safyan
Architect who grew up in Coney Island in the 1980s and designed the renovated Ruby's Bar & Grill
Michael Goldstein (Looch)
Memories of growing up on Mermaid Avenue and working games in Coney Island from age twelve
Lola Glass (Lola the Illustrator)
A nine-year-old artist whose favorite place is Coney Island paints a mural at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park