2010 - 2019

Sea Gate resident on her girlhood memories of Coney Island and passing them on to her daughter
Currently a resident of Sea Gate, Irene Karas was born in Belgium and grew up in Bensonhurst and on Ocean Parkway. She recalls excursions to Coney Island beach with her family.  As a young girl, Irene would "roam all of the nooks and crannies of...
Content type: Oral History Item
Jazz musician and bandleader of the Afro-Peruvian Sextet has lived in Coney Island for the past decade
Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Gabriel Alegría has lived on Coney Island's Mermaid Avenue since 2007.  The trumpet player, composer,  and bandleader of the Afro-Peruvian Sextet talks about what drew him to Coney Island, Afro-Peruvian jazz music and...
Content type: Oral History Item
Architect who grew up in Coney Island in the 1980s and designed the renovated Ruby's Bar & Grill
Eric Safyan grew up in Coney Island's Brightwater Towers overlooking the Aquarium. His parents were political refugees who emigrated from Odessa in the Ukraine when he was 3-1/2 years old. After graduating from Brooklyn Tech and architecture school...
Content type: Oral History Item
A nine-year-old artist whose favorite place is Coney Island paints a mural at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park
Lola Glass, whose artistic name is Lola the Illustrator, talks about her new mural at Coney Island's Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. Called "Coney Wonders,"  the mural depicts a snow globe of the Wonder Wheel flanked by two mermaids. The nine-year-old ...
Content type: Oral History Item
On growing up in Coney Island in the 1940s and the history of Greek-American businesses in the area
Father Eugene Pappas, the pastor of Southern Brooklyn's Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church for the past 35 years, shares his memories of Coney Island, where he was born in 1940. His family lived at 2812 Stillwell Avenue across from the subway...
Content type: Oral History Item
Daughter of Gargiulo's founder was born in an apartment above Coney Island's famous restaurant
Josephine “Chickie” Cassata is the daughter of the late Louis Gargiulo, founder of Coney Island’s famous Gargiulo's Restaurant on West 15th Street. Chickie was born in an apartment above the restaurant in 1929 and grew up working at the...
Content type: Oral History Item
On growing up in Coney Island and founding the nonprofit Urban Neighborhood Services
Mathylde Frontus grew up in Coney Island as the eldest child of Haitian immigrant parents who instilled a love of learning and community service. In 2004, she founded Urban Neighborhood Services (UNS), a small multi-service agency on Mermaid Avenue...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island singer/songwriter who wrote "A Coney Island Song"
A Coney Island resident for the past 16 years, Paul Sanchez is a singer/songwriter who can be found playing his guitar on the Boardwalk and in Coney venues such as Steeplechase Beer Garden. He plays his signature composition, "A Coney Island Song,"...
Content type: Oral History Item
Jamaican-born artist and Coney Island resident
Courtney King was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and has lived in Coney Island for the past seven years.  An artist since childhood, he began working as a sign painter after training in commercial art and fine art.  He spent 12 years working on an...
Content type: Oral History Item
A five-year-old describes her visit to Coney Island
At 63 seconds, this is the shortest oral history in our archive and one of the youngest narrators. Five-year-old Rebecca Diamond, who was visiting with her family, including her grandmother Rosalie Diamond, tells us her favorite rides in Coney...
Content type: Oral History Item