More than 450 oral histories are available for listening in the Coney Island History Project’s multilingual online archive. Among the additions in May are the following interviews recorded for us by Daniel Gomez and Tricia Vita.
Ronald Kannatt, who is affectionately known as "The Prince of Coney Island," has been singing and dancing at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park's Karaoke on the Boardwalk for the past 20 years. He shares stories of his Coney Island karaoke "family," the most popular songs over the years, off-season Coney Island, and memories of the Jumbo Jet coaster and Lincoln High School.
Angela Kravtchenko, an architect who is a Coney Island resident and a community activist, describes how she and her family chose to live in Coney Island after emigrating from Ukraine in the 1990s and and how she became active in her community. She is a co-founder of the Friends of Asser Levy Park and a new member of Community Board 13.
JR Lopez shares memories of growing up in the 1990s in Coney's West End in the "Coconuts Building." He recalls playing football on the beach and basketball with block-specific teams, amusement rides such as the Enterprise and the Polar Express that are now history, and a summer job selling cold drinks on the beach as a teen.
Diana Wiener remembers growing up in Sea Gate and Coney Island in the 1940s and '50s, where she first learned to swim as a "water baby" on Beach 2 AKA "The Lagoon." Wiener remembers World War II blackouts, lookout towers for U-boats, artillery turrets, Quonset huts for Army personnel, and the celebration the day the Germans surrendered.
Please listen, share, and if you or someone you know would like to record a story remotely via phone or Zoom, sign up here. We record interviews in English, Russian, Chinese, and other languages with people who have lived or worked in Coney Island and adjacent neighborhoods or have a special connection to these places.
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