2010 - 2019

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
Actor and playwright whose new play A Lonely Night in Coney Island is set on the Boardwalk
Actor and playwright Mohammed Saad Ali's new play A Lonely Night in Coney Island is being produced by Bensonhurst's Genesis Repertory on April 28 as part of the Rise of the Phoenix Festival in the East Village. Set on the Coney Island Boardwalk and...
Content type: Oral History Item
The founder of the Dark Ride Project on documenting Spook-A-Rama and other historic dark rides
Joel Zika is a multimedia artist, a lecturer in Creative Arts at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and the creator of the Dark Ride Project. Using a Virtual Reality 360- degree video camera, his mission is to document the dwindling number...
Content type: Oral History Item
Teaches Yoga on the Beach in Coney Island
Yoga and meditation teacher Chia-Ti Chiu has been teaching "Yoga on the Beach" off West 19th Street in Coney Island since 2014.  She talks about her family's Taiwanese heritage, her travels to China and Southeast Asia, and studying yoga at an ashram...
Content type: Oral History Item
A Coney Island native's memories of running amusement games
Eliot Wofse grew up in Luna Park Houses across the street from the amusement area, which he calls his playground. His elder brothers worked as game agents and regularly sent him off to play, for free, at Steeplechase Park and Playland Arcade. At...
Content type: Oral History Item