In the Shadow of the Half Moon Hotel

Dear Mr. Coney Island...
I lived in this building, which stretched the entire length of the block and was, at the time, the only apartment building in Coney Island with an elevator. I do not have any good photos of the building, however, and wonder who might? The Surf Avenue side had a pool hall-- Murrays, a luncheonette at the 29th street corner, a grocery store and a wholesale candy outlet. Thanks for your help.
- Martin Sage

Hello Martin,

The apartment building was divided in two: the Surf and Neptune. The Surf Apartments had an entrance on 28th Street and the Neptune Apartments entrance was on 29th Street. The building was constructed at the same time as the adjacent Half Moon Hotel in 1927. Weepy's pool hall was a famous fixture for many years, as was Jimmy's luncheonette/pizza joint on the 29th Street side. The building has been replaced by a nursing home.



The small part of the photo that shows Camp is EMPTY so it must be off-season. The date on the photo is 1971 and the camp ended in the mid 1980s.

We were next to the Jewish Home for the Aged (old Half Moon Hotel) and brought our campers there to entertain the residents. The counselors headed over to Jimmy's for lunch, snacks, and dinner. I have photos inside the Camp but none that show a front shot. Were you a camper, counselor, or member of the Surf Club?

Jane Markowski.
Are you still here on this page? I grew up in Coney Island, my dad worked at the CYO for 32 years. I hope you reply as I’d love to share stories of the CYO camp.

My friend Marty is only partially correct. In addition to the room at the Cresto Club, The Young Israel DID have a store front classroom in the "Elevator" building.

The rabbi's name is/was Hershel Kurzrock. He is my wife's cousin. (Another small world story!) Kurzrock lived in Building #1.

The other teacher and bar mitzvah teacher was Phil Polakoff. I still have the 78 rpm record of he made as a study aide.

do you have any picture of the old fashon cars next to the parachute jump the gas antque car that road on the cement tracki road way thanks

The second picture shows a small portion of the CYO day camp that was located on Surf Ave. I have been looking for pictures of the camp but haven't been able to find any. Do you have pictures of the camp, I'd like to see a front shot on Surf ave, also a shot from the Boardwalk that shows the pool.

if you go into that nursing home you will see a picture of cyo day camp building hanging on the wall

i use to go to cyo day camp it was the best most happy time in my life i use to go every year for the whole summer . there is a nursing home that is built on that site . if you go into the lobby right by the front door you will see a picture of cyo day camp hanging on the wall . so kool i went there to look for a job many years ago there and i saw a guard and the front desk to fill out an aplication and i started to tell him there use to be a wonderful place here and started to tell him about the camp and he go so into what iwas saying he was so happy to hear the story . as i started to walk out the front door i yell to him this is it the picture of cyo day camp on the wall . remember the red bears and mark jilies and sailor and jack the ripper stories and soft ball at bus park and i won the watermellon contest . drop an e mail if you like danny boyd st savior parish

Wow!! i was a camper at that old CYO camp, and ive been searching for photos of this for years...i remember it like it was yesterday. What really struck me as a little kid in 1970 was that the ocean view was right over that wall at the boardwalk. It's kinda like you wanted to be in the pool, but you had the entire atlantic ocean right there before you. If anyone has any other photos of the pool from the boardwalk or anything at all, please get in touch.

Joey Vento
The Haunted Barn Movie Museum

The Hebrew school of which you speak was part of The Cresto Club a men's club. Yes it was a storefront which was part of the club and I can remember attending many parties there with all my friends.

The Rabbai's name was Kirsrock who lived in the CI Houses across the street. And the cantor who ran the school, was Rabbai Pollack.

Did you know in the 1960's the Hebrew school of the Young Israel of Coney Island had classes in a store front on Surf Avenue under the apartments.

Next to Wippys was a beauty salon---Remember the owner. I forgot.

i went to cyo day camp in the 70s from st dominics we use to play ball at dyker park .

i started going to CYO in CI when I was about 7 yrs old, I'm 67 now. I can remember winding my way around, with a name on my chest looking for my group called the Aztecs. I guess it was done by tribe size, who knew then that some day I would make it to the Souix and Iroquois groups! It was a great place for a kid in the summer, we would track through the back of the camp to the ocean to cool off. That's where I learned to swim, we sang songs, played softball, did arts and crafts, and I still have a little purse I made for my Mom. I learned to box and became pretty good at it. In later years I would be " in charge" of raising and lowering the flag each day. When they built the pool, it was heaven, I practiced hard and became one of the first Jr. Lifeguards along with Jimmy McCloud. Years later I met him at a HS swim meet and could still beat him in the 440 freestyle. Great people there, bill ORielly, Dave Krause, many others. We sang a song " We travel there in the buses in the buses every day going down to CYO, always a sunny day"

Jerry Zimmerman. I was a Bunny (name of my group). It was Bill Ryder, not O’Riely. My brother Dan was a life guard at the CYO, my dad worked their for 32 years. I was heartbroken when I heard about the camp being turned into a nursing home. My dad passed away in 2019 at the age of 87. I spent my life at the CYO. My dad lived their for many years. After a while they had to get security guards to watch the grounds as people would try to climb the fence to use the pool during the summertime. My sister had her wedding reception their in 1973. It was so much fun for me and my family to swim late at night after hours. We used the arts and craft room, and enjoyed camp all summer long. It was a magical time, one I won’t forget. Joe Lacasa worked their also. Bill and Mary Ryder were very nice people, their daughter Kiera lives in Florida now. So many memories. Bittersweet.

I almost forgot about the Hubba-Hubba Lunchenette we would pass everyday while on the bus, and sneaking out to buy a knish across Surf for a dime. Trips to Raven Hall Pool and Steeplechase. What a blast.

I worked as a counselor and a lifeguard for about four years in the mid 60's and have fond memories of the place and people at the camp. Also worked after five for the surf club members at the pool.

I remember Jane Markowski who was also a lifeguard and looked good in a bathing suit.

I also remember lifeguard Jane

I went to cyo camp in the late sixties,and I think early seventies, and I had a good time,I remember when we had lunch we drank fruit punch which we called 'bug juice!what a great time I had on surf ave and Stillwell,I miss cyo!

I went to cyo in1969,and it was one of the best times of my life!

Many years later,whenever I would walk by surf avenue and stillwell,I always stop and remenisce about that great summer camp!

I was a counselor at CYO for 5years. It was a blast. I remember Spider and his brother, Danny, Louie & Derek, I also remember all the other counselors and the BBQ's we had on Friday nights!

I went to cyo in the early 80s I remember Danny Louie Derek

Does anyone remember the address of CYO in Coney Island on Surf ave . ?

I went CYO Daycamp in summers of '54,'55 & '56. Fond memories. Thanks for the info.

I remember my father got a family membership. The Day camp children used it by day and I believe families used it Saturday and Sunday. It had the double built-in pool, picnic tables under a secured metal canopy area and I remember a canteen store to buy food and treats. Locker areas and showers, bleachers and basket ball and sporting areas. It was the most memorable and exciting times we spent as a family. My mother had sandwiches pre made for lunch and usually we bbq burgers and dogs with sides for dinner. We stayed late and enjoyed fireworks when possible.

I went to Camp CYO from the late 60’s through the mid 70’s. I have warm fond memories of those years. I always looked forward to being there I felt included, accepted, and part of the community. I looked forward to playing softball ball and swimming. I’ll never forget the experiences from Jim Turner the group leader that gave me my first trophy (Which paid for out of his own pocket), Joe Cortesone’s (Apologies for spelling)
obsession with Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. From the Apache group through the Pawnee’s moments to cherish of days gone by.

On CYO Coney Island staff as a counselor and lifeguard in the 1958-1961 time frame. Remember Jane Markowski

how have you been?

we were lifeguards together. great times

Mom speaks fondly of CYO day camp a lot. If you remember Joan Johnston, please let me know. I'd love to tell her that someone remembers her. Thanks.

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