Coney Island Blog - Events

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.

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,...

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,...

Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive

During these days of social distancing, you're invited to share and preserve your Coney Island memories by recording an oral history via phone or Skype.

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 375 interviews in our online archive.

posted May 1st, 2020 in Events and tagged with oral history, Oral History Archive

Book Coney Island's Wonder Wheel Park

We're thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of Charles Denson's book Coney Island's Wonder Wheel Park on August 3 (postponed from May 18).  This year the landmark Wonder Wheel celebrates its 100th birthday, and to mark the occasion the Coney Island History Project director and author of Coney Island: Lost and Found has written a new book to coincide with this historic event. While researching the fascinating history of the Wonder Wheel he was surprised to discover so much that was lost to history about the Wheel and its origins. "It was a joy to write," Denson said, "the Vourderis family, owners of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, truly represent the essence of Coney Island and are incredible to work with."

Coney Island's Wonder Wheel Park is all primary source research, gleaned from numerous interviews with surviving members of all of the families involved in the design, construction, and operation of this venerable ride, from original concept in 1914, construction in 1920, and salvation by the Vourderis family who purchased and restored the ride in 1983. 

The theme of the book is immigrant initiative. Charles Hermann, the Wonder Wheel's designer was Romanian; original owner Herman Garms was German; and Denos Vourderis, who bought the ride in 1983, was Greek. The construction crew was made up of Italian, Irish, and Russian immigrants, who were given stock in the Wheel and made part owners. The book tells the story of a former eel fisherman and cheese maker teaming up with a machinist/building superintendent to finance and build a fantastic ride based on Leonardo da Vinci's 15th century sketch of a perpetual motion machine. The Wonder Wheel is now Coney Island's oldest continuously operating ride; a survivor of urban renewal, hurricanes, and fires; and an official New York City landmark. It has a perfect safety record.

Published by Arcadia's Images of America series, Coney Island's Wonder Wheel Park contains hundreds of never-before-seen photographs, plans, and ephemera, including rare images from the Vourderis family archive and the Coney Island History Project archive, and interviews with the family of the original designer and builder of the Wonder Wheel. The Coney Island History Project exhibition center had scheduled an accompanying Wonder Wheel exhibit curated by Charles Denson to open Memorial Day Weekend.  The exhibition center remains closed due to state executive order and our opening date has yet to be determined.

This blog post was updated on May 19, 2020 with information about the rescheduled book publication and postponement of the exhibition.

posted Mar 24th, 2020 in Events and tagged with Book, Wonder Wheel, Deno's Wonder Wheel Park,...

Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive

Share and preserve your memories by recording an oral history with the Coney Island History Project. We are recording audio interviews 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. For inspiration, listen to some of the oral histories in our online archive. Interviews are recorded year-round in-person or via phone or Skype. You may schedule an appointment via our website.

posted Sep 4th, 2019 in Events and tagged with Oral History Archive, oral history, Oral Histories,...


Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive

Summer always goes by too fast! With only four more weekends till Labor Day, the Coney Island History Project announces a series of themed history weekends at our exhibition center to pique your interest in sharing your Coney Island stories. For inspiration, listen to some of the oral histories in our online archive before you visit. You may also listen to excerpts from the History Project's oral history archive at the exhibition center via our new SoundStik audio handset. 

Interviews are recorded in person during exhibition center hours- Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays thru Labor Day, 1-7 PM - or by appointment year-round. We have recorded interviews in English, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Turkish and Italian!

SCHEDULE AN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW:

August 10 and 11, Under the Boardwalk and On the Beach... Favorite memories, outings with family & friends, first trip to Coney Island--even if it's today--because memories are in the making.

August 17 and 18, Childhood Days... Carousel and kiddie ride memories, being tall enough to ride the Cyclone or Parachute Jump for the first time, your very first memory of Coney Island.

August 24 and 25, Neighborhood Coney Island... Did you grow up or live here? Visit family or friends who live here? Have a summer job in the amusement area or work in the neighborhood?

August 31 and September 1-2, Romantic Coney Island! Did you meet your true love in Coney Island, go on your first date or fall in love here?

The Coney Island History Project is located at 3059 West 12th Street at the entrance to Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, just a few steps off the Boardwalk. View historic artifacts, photographs, maps, ephemera and films, and this season's special exhibit "Salvation by the Sea." Admission is free of charge.

Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive
Listen to excerpts from the Coney Island History Project's oral history archive at the exhibition center via our new SoundStik audio handset.

Lead photo: Jiangxin Jin recording an oral history for the Coney Island History Project with Yi Xin Tong, an artist from China's Mount Lushan who has lived in Gravesend for six years. He describes Coney Island Creek as "the place that I can feel closest to home in New York."  Photo: Coney Island History Project

National Night Out

This Tuesday, August 6th, is National Night Out, an annual event that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. Coney Island's 60th Precinct, PSA #1, and Transit District 34 are hosting this year's block party on our block - West 12th Street between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk. Enjoy music, free food, bounce houses, vendors, giveaways and more from 5-8 PM. The Coney Island History Project will open our exhibition center for the event and give away souvenir buttons while supplies last. The 60th Precinct National Night Out is sponsored by Deno's Wonder Wheel and Investors Bank.

posted Aug 5th, 2019 in Events and tagged with National Night Out, Night Out New York, Night Out,...