2000 - 2009

Working year-round at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park for 30 years
This interview was conducted and recorded in Spanish. Read Leslee Dean's transcript and translation below. Jorge "Chico" Gallegos is a native of Ecuador who lives in Coney Island and has been working at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park since 1986. Having...
Content type: Oral History Item
A family tradition of raising and racing homing pigeons in Coney Island
For Anthony Martire, owner of Larry's Auto Radiator Shop on Neptune Avenue, the pigeon coops on his roof are a family tradition. His father, who was born and raised on 16th Street in Coney Island, began raising and racing homing pigeons in 1947. He...
Content type: Oral History Item
Growing up in Coney Island and becoming invested in the community
Native New Yorker Bonnie Kong has lived in Coney Island since she was ten.  In 2000, her parents, who had emigrated from China, bought a single family home as first-time home buyers and moved their family of five from an apartment on the Lower East...
Content type: Oral History Item
Longtime Coney Island resident and cinematographer for a series of indie films shot here
Martine Emile grew up in Coney Island after moving to Sea Rise apartments with her family in 1984. Her interest in photography was sparked at a young age with the gift of a camera from her father. Photography programs for teens in the community and ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island resident Georganna Deas has spent forty years advocating for a better Coney Island
Economic development specialist Georganna Deas is a Coney Island resident and advocate who has lived in the Gravesend Houses on Kaiser Park for forty years.  After moving here in 1977, she worked with Coney Island Pride and then with Astella...
Content type: Oral History Item
David Head tells the story of African-American inventor Granville T. Woods and his electric roller coaster
David Head is a retired NYC Transit worker and former chairman of the Black History Committee for TWU Local 100. Head has championed the accomplishments of Granville T. Woods (1856-1910) and has published a book and is working on a film documentary...
Content type: Oral History Item
Twenty years as part of the family at Gregory & Paul's and Paul's Daughter on the Coney Island Boardwalk
Gabriel Valencia has worked on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Gregory & Paul's eatery, now called Paul's Daughter, for 20 years. He came to New York from Puebla, Mexico when he was just 18 to join his brother. Valencia learned English little by...
Content type: Oral History Item
Ukrainian emigre writer and author of Stealing Cherries, a collection of flash fiction
Marina Rubin, the author of Stealing Cherries (2013), reads excerpts from her book of flash fiction, and talks about storytelling, poetry and the Russian Jewish immigrant experience. Born in the small town of Vinnitsa, Ukraine, she immigrated to the...
Content type: Oral History Item
Jamaican-born chef at Footprints Caribbean Cafe in Coney Island and originator of Rasta Pasta
Basil Jones is the chef at Footprints Cafe in Coney Island, which specializes in Caribbean cuisine, and is the originator of their famed Rasta Pasta. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in St. Ann's Bay, Jones first learned to cook as a boy...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island resident who moved here as a high school student talks about her neighborhood
Coney Island resident Theresa Giovinni moved here from Williamsburg as a high school student. When a class assignment to research the history of  her neighborhood came up, she chose Coney and learned about Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park...
Content type: Oral History Item