Coney Island Blog - Events

City of Water Day Kaiser Park


Join us on Saturday, July 10, at Coney Island Creek in Kaiser Park to celebrate City of Water Day! The Coney Island Beautification Project is hosting the event from 9AM - 2PM. Stop by the Coney Island History Project's table and say hello. This year's City of Water Day joins the Waterfront Alliance in highlighting a regionwide message of climate change, resiliency, sustainability, sea level rise and green jobs.

On Sunday, July 11, help beautify and preserve the environment by volunteering for the Coney Island Clean-up sponsored by Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus and the Coney Island Advisory Committee, Assembly District 46. The location of the clean-up is Coney Island Creek. For more info visit the event’s Eventbrite page.
 

posted Jul 1st, 2021 in Events and tagged with City of Water Day, Kaiser Park, Coney Island,...

Coney Island Stories Podcast

"Love and Marriage," the new episode of Coney Island Stories, has dropped! Listen and subscribe via Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Episode 9 shares stories of couples who met, got engaged or married in Coney Island, all taken from the History Project’s Oral History Archive. Visitors to our exhibition center often tell us that they or their parents or grandparents met or had their first date in Coney Island. Over the years, we’ve witnessed marriage proposals on Deno’s Wonder Wheel and weddings and wedding party rides on the Cyclone roller coaster.  

Many a Coney Island courtship of the 20th century began on the beach and continued with a stroll on the boardwalk and ride on the Steeplechase horses. Steeplechase Park founder George C. Tilyou famously observed of his mechanical horse race ride that “the young men like it because it gives them a chance to hug the girls; the girls like it, because it gives them a chance to get hugged.” 

The oral histories in the podcast are with Ellen Abrams, Michael Liff, Max and Stef, Tara Altebrando, Gina Femia, and The Reverend Cliff Herring. The interviews were conducted by Charles Denson, Katya Kumkova, Ali Lemer and Tricia Vita between 2014 and 2021. This episode was produced by Charles Denson, Ali Lemer and Tricia Vita. 

Listen to previous episodes about Coney Island's legendary roller coasters, beach, bathhouses, and restaurants and other businesses on Mermaid Avenue and in the amusement area via your fave podcast app or the podcast page on the Coney Island History Project's website.

Photo credits: Top right, Engagement photo of Gina and Freddy by Jody Christopherson. Courtesy of Gina Femia. Bottom left and right, Coney Island History Project Collection. 

posted Jun 30th, 2021 in Events and tagged with podcast, oral history, history,...

PS 90 Coney Island History Project

For July 4th Weekend, the Coney Island History Project exhibition center will be open Saturday through Monday, July 3, 4 and 5, from 1-7PM. Visitors can watch movies about Coney Island history and take souvenir photos with the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops, our original Steeplechase Horse, and other wonders. Admission is free of charge. The exhibition center is located on West 12th Street next to Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and the new Phoenix roller coaster.

This season, the Coney Island History Project is also presenting a series of outdoor exhibits. The first is a collaboration with PS 90, The Magnet School for Environmental Studies and Community Wellness, which is located up the block from the History Project on West 12th Street, half a block from Coney Island Creek.

"The student artists were asked to illustrate the natural world vs. the built world surrounding Coney Island Creek,” said Charles Denson, director of the Coney Island History Project. “We decided to use the traditional Coney Island banner medium to display the incredible artwork that the students produced for this project. The banners will be used to initiate a dialogue about the ecology of Coney Island. We’ve enjoyed a years-long partnership with PS 90, and enjoy lending support to our neighbor’s program of environmental studies and community wellness. These young students are the environmental stewards of the future."

A selection of banners will be displayed on July 10 at City of Water Day in Kaiser Park (see news item below) before being installed at PS 90, Maimonides Park, and other locations. The art pictured on the seven colorful 14 foot by 3 foot banners was created by PS 90 students under the guidance of Ms. Luz Morales.

“The Magnet School for Environmental Studies and Community Wellness is committed to learning about climate change and the role our community can play to combat it,” said Greta Hawkins, the school’s principal. “Expressing our appreciation of the natural wonders of our oceans through art is part and parcel of our studies at the school. We have a partnership with Mr. Denson and are grateful to the important work of the Coney Island History Project. The banner is representative of our longstanding collaboration with CIHP, and it is our students' way of connecting the natural environment with their Coney Island community. Aren't they amazing?" 

In April, PS 90 was one of 27 schools across the country designated a Green Ribbon School by the US Department of Education. The school was honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

Coney Island History Project Photo by Norman Blake

Coney Island History Project banner being raised while muralist Danielle Mastrion paints our gates in preparation for this weekend's reopening. Photo By Norman Blake.

We’re thrilled to announce the Coney Island History Project is reopening Memorial Day Weekend for the 2021 season after 18 months of virtual programming. In accordance with NY State and City Covid-19 health and safety guidelines, the part of our exhibition center with an open-air front has been reconfigured for socially distanced viewing. Visitors will be able to view movies about Coney Island history, and see and take souvenir photos with Cy, the mesmerizing Spook-A-Rama Cyclops, our original Steeplechase Horse, and other wonders.

In addition, starting in June, we’re presenting a series of outdoor exhibits at Deno’s Wonder Wheel, P.S. 90, and other locations in Coney Island. All exhibitions are offered free of charge. Located on West 12th Street adjacent to Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and the new, under-construction Phoenix roller coaster, our exhibition center is open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 1:00PM -7:00PM.

Visitors may purchase books, souvenirs, T-shirts and memberships at the History Project's exhibition center. They can also schedule appointments to record an oral history interview for our archive via phone, Zoom or Skype. For the safety of guests and staff, in-person oral history interviews and weekend walking tours remain postponed until further notice. We thank everyone for their understanding and continued support of the Coney Island History Project during these challenging times.

 

Coney Island Stories Coney Island History Project

On Memorial Day Weekend, lifeguards will once again be perched in their towers and New York City will celebrate the reopening of Coney Island's beach for swimming. Our new podcast episode "Beach Days" has dropped! Listen and subscribe to Coney Island Stories on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Episode 8 shares stories of days at the beach from the 1920s through the 1990s taken from the Coney Island History Project's Oral History Archive.

The stories include childhood memories of family outings, a hidden playground under the boardwalk, a lava hot spot on the sand, the knish man, teenage memories of daring swimsuits, summer jobs renting beach chairs and umbrellas, and working as a lifeguard. Memories span the 1920s, when beach goers were fined as much $5 each - the equivalent of $75 today - for walking on the boardwalk in bathing suits, to the 1990s, when “under the boardwalk” was filled in with sand and a way of life changed forever.

The oral histories in the podcast are with Joseph Albanese, Connie Scacciaferro, Richard Termini, Ron Vernon, Steve Larkin, and Crystal Isley. The interviews were conducted from 2009 to 2019 by Charles Denson, Amanda Deutch, Samira Tazari, and Tricia Vita. This episode was produced by Charles Denson, Ali Lemer and Tricia Vita.

Listen to previous episodes about Coney Island's legendary roller coasters and bathhouses, Mermaid Avenue, and family-owned restaurants and other businesses via your fave podcast app or the podcast page on the Coney Island History Project's website.

Photo credits: Top right, bottom left: Courtesy of Connie Scacciaferro. Bottom right: Coney Island History Project Collection.

posted May 24th, 2021 in Events and tagged with podcast, oral history, history,...

Coney Island Creek

Last Saturday the Coney Island History project joined sponsors City Parks Foundation, NYSMEA and Partnerships for Parks for the sixth annual It’s My Estuary Day on the Kaiser Park shoreline. We tabled with our partners to present the history and ecology of Coney Island natural ecosystems. Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse and the Kayak Foundation brought two dozen kayaks and invited local children and adults to learn to kayak and then paddle over to visit the yellow submarine on Coney Island Creek. It was an amazing day but was bittersweet because it could be the final time they can launch at Kaiser Park, where the city plans to build a massive ferry dock at Coney Island's only public access point on Coney Island Creek.

posted May 24th, 2021 in Events and tagged with Coney Island Creek, kayaking, It's My Estuary Day

Coney Island Stories Podcast Episode 7 Staying in the Game

Our new episode "Staying in the Game" has dropped! Listen and subscribe to Coney Island Stories on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Episode 7 features the stories of independent game operators, past and present, from the Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive. Among the games that Peter Agrapides, Monica Ghee, Candi Rafael, and Eliot Wofse have operated are Fascination, Balloon Dart, Glass and Dime Pitches, Milk Toss, Basketball, Fish Bowl, High Striker and Water Races. The last of the independent game operators are now concentrated on a small strip of Coney Island’s eclectic Bowery, once the boisterous home of hundreds of unusual games and attractions.

The interviews were conducted by Kaara Baptiste, Charles Denson, Amanda Deutch, and Mark Markov between 2009 and 2019. The podcast is produced by Charles Denson, Ali Lemer and Tricia Vita. Listen to previous episodes about Coney Island's legendary roller coasters and bathhouses, Mermaid Avenue, and family-owned restaurants and other businesses via your fave podcast app or the podcast page on the Coney Island History Project's website.

posted Apr 15th, 2021 in Events and tagged with podcast, oral history, history,...

Coney Island History Project Show and Tell Event 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 22. 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 22 or at a future event by emailing events@coneyislandhistory.org

This 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. This will be our last Show and Tell via Zoom before we take a break during the warm weather months and resume in the fall.

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 22 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 Apr 14th, 2021 in Events and tagged with Coney Island, Coney Island History Project, history,...

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.