Record your Coney Island Memories over the Phone or via Skype

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.



I spent very summer there. My grandparents had a Barbershop on Surf Ave & my dad rented out several concessions. My maiden name was Stober & my uncle was buggie Sam.

I grew up on Coney Island. My grandfather ran a tailor shop from the front of our home on Stilwell ave right off Mermaid,right next to the library and around the corner from Carolina’s restaurant . My mother went to the beauty parlor about the library. I walked to PS 80 on west 17th street. (Alas, it too is no longer). I remember Friscia, the pharmacy on the corner of W. 15th ,. the Venetian blind store on the opposite corner, the candy store in the middle of the block on Mermaid Avenue, the trolley cars on Stilwell and the ones that went to Seagate. Indelible memories of my childhood. Oh yes, I just remembered the chicken flicker on Mermaid, David’s clothing store, (we bought all my camp clothes there), the milliner( my mother bought all her hats there. The more I write, the more my memories become more vivid. Thank you for bringing them to life .

Growing up in Coney during the 70's & early 80's, was one of the best times in my life. I was born in Coney Island, and my fondest memories were made in Coney. I remember spending a lot of time at my godfather's house, Tony's Furnished Rooms, on W15th St.
John Alleva was my godfather, that place was like a castle. A kid's playground on rainy days, and a parking lot for tourist & visitors, going to the island to ride the rides. I know that the house no longer stands, thanks to the parking lot expansion for Gargiulos. But when you're a kid growing up in Coney Island, and your godfather owns an entire city block, there's always lots to do lol. Besides, it's Coney Island, & home to the Warriors lol.

Thank you for doing this project.

My father, Marvin A. Cohen is 88 years young and grew up on 30th St and attended ps 239, ps 188, Mark Twain, Lincoln and then Brooklyn College. He has many memories and even wrote a book about the Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Giants rivalry.

He doesn’t Skype, but he could do an audio version and I could send you a photo. He used to give lectures and is intelligent and funny.
I hope you will have him particiPate.

Please go through me and I will connect you.

Thank you,
Dina B. Cohen

I spent the summers in my grandmothers apartment in Coney Island. We stayed in the beach all day and grandma would go upstairs at noon and cook hot beef stew and bring it down in coffee jars so that my sister and I would have a hot meal in the hot summer heat. We went swimming but had to change out of our wet bathing suits because little children could not be in a wet bathing suit in the heat of summer. They could catch a cold.

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