Coney Island History Show and Tell via Zoom

You're invited to join us for “Coney Island History Show & Tell,” an interactive reminiscence event presented by the Coney Island History Project via Zoom on April 8. Do you have historical or personal objects related to Coney Island that you would like to share? Sign up to “show and tell” your story on April 8 or at a future event by emailing events@coneyislandhistory.org. Guest sharers on April 8 include Eric K. Washington, historian and author; Martine Emile, Coney Island filmmaker; and Lola the Illustrator, artist and muralist.  Listeners are welcome and will have an opportunity to ask questions via chat.  

This new biweekly online event is hosted by Tricia Vita and Neter Antoine. Tricia has a certificate in reminiscence and life story work and creates and facilitates reminiscence activities for senior centers and records oral histories for the Coney Island History Project. Neter is a visual artist who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation at CUNY’s Lehman College. She is a 2020-2021 CUNY Cultural Corps intern with the Coney Island History Project.

Tickets for "Coney Island History Show & Tell" are free of charge. Advance registration is required and capacity is limited. Registrants will be sent the Zoom link two days before the event.

👉  Register via Eventbrite for Thursday, April 8 at 7:00PM - 8:00PM.

This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.

posted Mar 27th, 2021 in Events and tagged with Coney Island, Coney Island History Project, history,...

Coney Island History Project Show and Tell

You're invited to join us for “Coney Island History Show & Tell,” an interactive reminiscence event presented by the Coney Island History Project via Zoom on March 25 and on April 8. Do you have paper ephemera or artifacts of historical or personal significance related to Coney Island history you would like to share? After registering for the event, sign up to “show and tell” your story by emailing events@coneyislandhistory.org. Listeners are welcome and will have an opportunity to ask questions via chat.

This new biweekly online event is hosted by Tricia Vita and Neter Antoine. Tricia has a certificate in reminiscence and life story work and creates and facilitates reminiscence activities for senior centers and records oral histories for the Coney Island History Project. Neter is a visual artist who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation at CUNY’s Lehman College. She is a 2020-2021 CUNY Cultural Corps intern with the Coney Island History Project.

Tickets for "Coney Island History Show & Tell" are free of charge. Advance registration is required and registration for each event is limited to 50 people. Due to capacity, we request that individuals register for one or the other of these two events. You will be sent the Zoom link two days before the event.

👉  Register via Eventbrite for Thursday, March 25 at 7:00PM - 8:00PM.

👉  Register via Eventbrite for Thursday, April 8 at 7:00PM - 8:00PM.

This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.

 

One of Coney Island's bungalow fires, 1974. Photo by Charles Denson

Coney Island underwent a dramatic and tragic transformation during the 1960s and 1970s, a destructive era that left the West End resembling a war zone. Anyone who lived in the neighborhood during that era has mixed memories of the best and worst that Coney had to offer. New York City went bankrupt, a misguided urban renewal program destroyed homes and businesses, and arson fires gutted block after block. At the same time, people still flocked to the beach, amusements struggled along as popular as ever, and somehow Coney Island survived. New oral history interviews by David Louie and Theresa Veldez provide a vivid portrait of what life was like during that time. David Louie's family owned the popular Wah Mee Restaurant on Mermaid Avenue, and Theresa Veldez grew up in the bungalows of Coney Island. Their stories prove that tragedy and loss cannot erase the memories of good times had.

Coney Island Stories Episode 6 Bathhouses

Our new episode 'A Century of Bathhouses' has dropped! Listen and subscribe to Coney Island Stories on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 6 features stories of Washington Baths, Ravenhall, and Silver's Baths, among others, told by bathhouse owners, workers and patrons recorded for the Coney Island History Project’s oral history archive between 2000 and 2020. Bathhouses were the first businesses in Coney Island. Even before Coney’s first hotel was built in 1829, crude bathhouse shacks were set among the dunes. Before the city built the boardwalk in the 1920s, most of the Coney Island beach was private and bathhouses provided the only access to the beach and provided patrons a summer home away from home. Many had overnight accommodations, restaurants, and swimming pools, and some offered massages and the ever popular nude sunbathing.  They were very sociable places and generations of family and friends from the same neighborhoods patronized the same bath houses for years until the last one, Brighton Beach Baths, was demolished in the early 1990s. Now hardly anyone knows what a bathhouse is. 

posted Mar 15th, 2021 in News and tagged with podcast, oral history, history,...

Alliance for Coney Island Mural project

The Alliance for Coney Island is seeking local and regional artists to paint large-scale murals on storefront gates in Coney! We're excited that the Coney Island History Project's gates are among the 15 locations for the NYC Department of Small Business Services' funded project. Other locations include the games next door to us, Nathan's and Brooklyn Beach Shop on the Boardwalk, the Eldorado Bumper Cars and the Cyclone, and several stores on Mermaid Avenue. For information on submitting a proposal, please visit allianceforconeyisland.org/murals. Deadline: March 31, 2021.

Alliance for Coney island Mural Project

 

 

 

posted Mar 9th, 2021 in News and tagged with Murals, mural project, storefronts,...

Mermaid Ave Then and Now

You're invited to join us on Zoom for "Mermaid Avenue, Then and Now," a virtual tour with historian Charles Denson, director of the Coney Island History Project, on February 23rd.

We'll look at how Coney Island's Mermaid Avenue shopping district, where most of the storefronts were in three-story brick buildings constructed in the 1920s, was transformed by a destructive urban renewal project launched in 1949. Today the "Avenue," as residents called it, is recovering but remains a shadow of its former self. Denson grew up a block from Mermaid Avenue and will show his photo documentation of the street as it changed during the 1960s and 1970s, and as it appears today. 

The Coney Island History Project also invites anyone with Mermaid Avenue stories to sign up to record an oral history about their experiences on Coney’s famous Avenue. Some of the oral histories in our archive about Mermaid Avenue’s mom and pop businesses founded by immigrants past and present are featured in Episode 4 of our Coney Island Stories podcast.

Charles Denson grew up in Coney Island and began documenting his neighborhood as a boy, a passion that continues to this day. He is the author of four books: Coney Island's Wonder Wheel Park; Wild Ride: A Coney Island Roller Coaster Family; Coney Island and Astroland; and Coney Island: Lost and Found, named 2002 New York Book of the Year by the New York Society Library. 

Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 PM. FREE.
Advance registration is required. You will be sent the Zoom link two days before the event.

Register Here

 

 

This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.

posted Feb 11th, 2021 in Events and tagged with Mermaid Avenue, Then and Now, Virtual Tour,...

Neter Antoine

We’re excited to introduce Neter Antoine, a 2020-2021 CUNY Cultural Corps intern who is our new production assistant. Neter is a visual artist and dancer who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation at the City University of New York’s Lehman College.

"I am a creative thinker and an active learner from Bed-Stuy (Bedford Stuyvesant), Brooklyn," writes Neter. "My fondest memories of Coney Island involve people; sharing in the fervor of Coney Island's many parts with others is what I cherish most about it. The concept of storytelling from the perspective of a wide variety of people - a sharing of memories - is what drew me to the Coney Island History Project."

The Coney Island History Project has a history of working with interns but due to the pandemic we're working from home and this is our first experience working remotely with an intern. Neter is helping to develop and create new virtual content for 2021, including Zoom events such as reminiscence activities for seniors and virtual tours, online exhibitions, and audio and video promos for social media.

Established by CUNY with New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs and The Rockefeller Foundation in 2016, CUNY Cultural Corps partners with the City’s arts and cultural organizations to provide paid internships for CUNY students as a pipeline to careers in the arts. Thanks to a gift from the Mellon Foundation, CUNY Cultural Corps has been able to expand the number of opportunities for students to gain professional experience in the arts and culture sector.
 

Legendary Roller Coasters Coney Island History Project

Our new episode on legendary roller coasters has dropped! Listen and subscribe to Coney Island Stories on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 5 of our Coney Island Stories podcast features the stories of a trio of roller coasters built in the Roaring 20’s and named after violent storms: the Thunderbolt, the Tornado and the Cyclone.

While the Cyclone is the only survivor from Coney's golden age, the Coney Island History Project has recorded and preserved memories of people who rode or worked at some of these legendary coasters. A few narrators had the unusual fortune to live beneath one of these thrill rides. The stories of Harold Kramer, Mae Timpano, Don Ferris, Andy Badalamenti, Mindy Gress, and John Hunt, among others, were recorded for the Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive between 2000 and 2020.

posted Feb 9th, 2021 in News and tagged with Coney Island Stories, podcast, roller coasters,...

Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, tell us your Coney Island stories! During these days of social distancing, you're invited to share and preserve your memories by recording an oral history via phone, Zoom or Skype.

We record audio interviews with people who live or work - past or present - in Coney Island and adjacent Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods or have a special connection to the place. 

Sign up for an appointment or listen to some of the more than 375 interviews in our online archive. Among the oral histories we will be sharing during Black History Month are David Head, former chairman of the Black History Committee for TWU Local 100, who tells the story of African-American inventor Granville T. Woods, and historian Eric K. Washington, who rediscovered African American artist E.J. Perry, a renowned silhouette cutter at Coney Island's Luna Park.

posted Feb 1st, 2021 in News and tagged with Black History Month, oral history, Coney Island,...

Coney Island Stories Podcast


Our new podcast produced from oral histories in the Coney Island History Project's archive, which previewed on our website, has been retitled Coney Island Stories and is now available wherever you get your podcasts. Download and subscribe on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/coney-island-stories/id1546027462
Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS8...
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5XW8dXUrBU2Vqg3rjKeJA7
Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/coney-island-stories  

Here are reviews from some of our first listeners!

"I loved the optimism, ambition and grit that comes through in their voices and stories."
"You get a real sense of the incredible history of Coney Island through stories and memories shared by a variety of guests. I was lucky enough to be born and raised in Brooklyn. The podcasts bring back great memories and introduce me to history in the making."
"You can peek into a part of Coney Island not visible by just visiting. Coney was (is) such a unique place - and the podcast shares and saves memories that would be otherwise lost."
"It’s a true slice of Coney life that is quickly disappearing. It helps to remind those of us who were around then that it was a glorious place to visit and imagine what could be!"

Six new episodes will debut in the coming months. Here's the trailer for the first four episodes...
 

posted Dec 28th, 2020 in Events and tagged with podcast, Coney Island, Coney Island Stories,...