2010 - 2019

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
A young harmonica player born and raised in Coney Island
Born and raised in Coney Island, Connor Frontera, 23, began playing the harmonica six years ago. Currently in his last semester at Brooklyn College, he performs and teaches in New York City and at the national convention of the Society for the...
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
Journalist and PTA President of I.S. 303 moved to Coney Island from Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia
This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Mark Markov's transcript and translation below. A native of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, Aisuluu Sartbaeva is PTA president of Coney Island's I.S. 303, where one of her daughters is a...
Content type: Oral History Item
Husband-and-wife music duo Federico Ausbury and Maira Vergara of A Flying Dodo Society
Federico Ausbury and Maira Vergara are a husband-and-wife music and animation duo whose band is called A Flying Dodo Society. During the summer of 2015, they busked on the Q train and in Coney Island on the boardwalk and the pier. They talk about...
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
Mother and son remember the Laughing Lady at Coney's Magic Carpet Fun House
Taty Alicea and her son Ralph Alicea share fond memories of Coney Island's famous Laughing Lady, a popular mechanical attraction that was part of the Magic Carpet Fun House and is greatly missed. "Wherever Matilda is, she's not home," says Ralph....
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
Founder and head coach at New York Fencing Academy in Coney Island
Misha Mokretsov, 30, is head coach and owner of the New York Fencing Academy on West 12th Street in Coney Island. He first came to the U.S. in 2006, on an academic/athletic scholarship to St. John’s University, where he was captain of the fencing...
Content type: Oral History Item