2000 - 2009

Memories of growing up in Coney Island Houses in the 1980s and '90s
Crystal Isley recalls the excitement of moving to Coney Island Houses from Williamsburg with her family on the day before her fifth birthday. With her bedroom window overlooking the beach and the sounds of the ocean lulling her to sleep, "I felt it...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of a gorilla show, a bungalow colony, and an underground city beside the beach
Coney Island native Robert Whitney has lived here all his life and worked in the amusement area for decades. He recalls doing electrical work starting in the 1980s for amusement operators Norman Kaufman, Ronnie Guerrero, "The Twins," and Jeff Brooks...
Content type: Oral History Item
A Sea Gate resident who is a Coney Island Polar Bear talks about the pleasures of winter swimming
This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Julia Khanina's transcript and translation below. Интервью проведено и записано на русском языке. Вы можете ознакомиться с траснскриптом и переводом Юлии Ханиной ниже. A native of Kuban,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Moscow-born Coney Island resident, writer of creative nonfiction and fiction, and professor of English
Natasha Lvovich is a Coney Island resident, a writer of creative nonfiction and fiction, and a Professor of English at  CUNY Kingsborough.  Originally from Moscow, her family of Refuseniks experienced what she describes as "the very hard path" to...
Content type: Oral History Item
From breakdancing on the streets of Coney Island with Fresh Kids to Peter Gennaro's Street Dreams
In August 2018, on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary Coney Island Break Dancers Reunion, Alito Hernandez shares memories of learning to breakdance as a young boy in the 1980s and the history of Fresh Kids crew in Coney Island.  "My parents moved...
Content type: Oral History Item
Silvana, Adrianne and Silverio Conte, owners of 51-year-old SAS Italian Records in Bensonhurst
When Ciro Conte founded Bensonhurst's SAS Italian Records in 1967, he named it after his children: Silvana, Adrianne and Silverio Conte. Fifty-one years later, the siblings share vivid memories of growing up in the store, which they still operate...
Content type: Oral History Item
Working at Coney Island's Deno's Wonder Wheel Park for 18 Years
Jewel Hough lives in Brighton Beach and has been working at Coney Island's Deno's Wonder Wheel Park for the past 18 years. She started out operating rides in Deno's Kiddie Park and currently works in Deno's Sweet Shoppe. Jewel describes her favorite...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of a boyhood helping out in his family's store in Coney Island and learning to play pinball
Ahmed Hussain, 24, has spent every summer since he was eight in Coney Island helping out in his family's stores in the amusement area.  What he enjoyed most about growing up in Coney was his friendship with the operators of Faber's Fascination...
Content type: Oral History Item
Growing up in the Russian community in Coney Island and Brighton Beach
Born in 1986, Brooklynite Sam Shlivko grew up in the Russian community in Coney Island and has lived here ever since.  His parents met in Brighton Beach after emigrating from Ukraine and Belarus in the late '70s and Russian was his first language. ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on Coney Island's first block and working in the Cyclone photobooth's darkroom
Brooklynite Mindy Gress and her family moved to Coney Island when she was 3-1/2 years old and she has lived here ever since.  "I'm living in Coney Island till I die," says the resident of West 5th Street, who describes her street as the first block...
Content type: Oral History Item