Closed for in-person events, open for virtual oral history sessions

Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Coney Island History Project has postponed walking tours, group visits to our exhibition center, events at schools and senior centers, and in-person oral history interviews from March 14, 2020 until further notice. 

In order to maintain social distancing while continuing to engage with our community, our staff is recording oral histories from home via Skype and phone. Our audio interviews are conducted in English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish and other languages 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 350 interviews in our online archive here

"In the past, phone interviews were done primarily with people who live outside of the New York metro area," said Charles Denson, executive director of the Coney Island History Project. Over our nonprofit organization's 16 year history, in-person oral history interviews have been conducted at our exhibition center and recording studio in Coney Island or at the interviewee's home or office in New York. "We started doing interviews via Skype in October and have recorded the stories of people who grew up in Coney Island and Bensonhurst and now live all over the world. We're pleased to be able to offer residents of the five boroughs and metro area the opportunity to share their stories with us via Skype chat or phone call."

Now more than ever we encourage you to browse the Coney Island History Project's website, which in addition to our Oral History Archive includes Ask Mr. Coney Island, selections from our Collection, and Coney News and Hall of Fame. Follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube to learn about Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and the Coney Island community of today. 

We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Coney Island History Project exhibition center again soon. In the meantime, please stay safe and take care.

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I was born at Harbor Hospital on W29 and the boardwalk. I lived at 3202 Surf Avenue. I remember Sam's Knishes, Vinny's Pizzeria and Charlie's Pizzeria. He made the best Sicilian pizza. I remember getting rock candy on W33 and Mermaid Ave. Also Charlotte rouses at Meyerson's Bakery. My niece is 4 years younger than me. My mom would send us to Meyerson's Bakery for rolls, bialy's and Whitefish and baked salmon from store close-by. I was 8 years old and my niece was 4 years old. We were like sisters and still are. So young, we went to the beach, park in Coney Island Houses and played skelly. We went to Nathan's, rides in Coney Island. We even went ice-skating in Prospect Park. Also RKO, SURF and Loew's Movie Theatres. Growing up in Coney Island were some of the best years of my life!!! I really loved growing up in Coney Island!!!!

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