Mermaid Avenue

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
Memories of growing up in Coney Island during the Great Depression and 55 years practicing law
Charles Berkman, 88, grew up on West 29th Street in Coney Island during the Great Depression.  The youngest of nine children of a hard-working orphan immigrant from Poland, Berkman recalls peddling fruit, shining shoes, helping concessionaires in...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artist and Coney Island resident recalls growing up on Mermaid Avenue above Carolina Restaurant
Artist Johanna Gargiulo Sherman grew up in Coney Island, where her family lived on Mermaid Avenue in a cold water flat above Carolina Restaurant. Her father Joe "Carolina" Gargiulo led a musical trio and was one of the partners in this popular ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island resident for 43 years, community gardener and musician
Santos Torres has lived in Coney Island for 43 years, tends the Santos White Community Garden, and plays music on the Boardwalk during the summer.  Located on Mermaid Avenue, the garden was founded in 1995 and is part of the City's GreenThumb...
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
Louise Milano's mother, Carolina, operated Carolina Restaurant on Mermaid Avenue for 60 years
Founded in 1928, Carolina Restaurant on Mermaid Avenue was a fixture for over 60 years. Carolina, known as Carrie, prepared traditional home style cooking that remains memorable to generations of Coney Island residents. Carrie's daughter Louise and...
Content type: Oral History Item
Jimmy Prince at Major Market on Mermaid Avenue, 2008
The Prince of Mermaid Avenue
Content type: Collection Item
Collection type: Documentary photograph
Mermaid Spa founder talks about bringing the Russian banya tradition to Coney Island
This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Mark Markov's transcript and translation below. A native of Kiev, Boris Kotlyar is one of the owners of Mermaid Spa, a Russian banya on Mermaid Avenue just outside of Sea Gate in Coney...
Content type: Oral History Item
Mermaid Avenue pharmacist dispenses news and advice to new immigrants
Ho Cheung Li's J & R Pharmacy is on Mermaid Avenue at the corner of West 23rd Street in Coney Island. He and his family live upstairs.  Li emigrated from Hong Kong when he was in his 20s and spent more than four years in school to regain his...
Content type: Oral History Item
Owners of Mermaid Prime Meats in Coney Island
Sabino Eugenio and his wife, Magda Perez in their Mermaid Avenue butcher shop, Mermaid Prime Meats. After emigrating from Mexico, Sabino worked 15 years for Jimmy Prince at his iconic butcher shop, Major Meats. The couple opened their own store...
Content type: Oral History Item