Amanda Deutch

Amanda Deutch is a native New Yorker whose mother and grandparents lived in Coney Island. She has worked with the Coney Island History Project since 2008 and is also a teaching artist and poet.  Amanda is the author of four poetry chapbooks and her poems have been published widely in journals.  In 2009, she founded Parachute Literary Arts, which utilizes poetry as a catalyst for community engagement and youth empowerment.  Her passions include impressing bystanders with her Skee-Ball skills and riding the Wonder Wheel.

Interviews

Memories of growing up on West 33rd Street in Coney Island and working on the Boardwalk in the 1960s
Al Burgo, who grew up in Gravesend Houses in Coney Island's West End, shares memories of street games and streetwise hijinks in the 1960s. As a boy, he earned 15 cents per shine while apprenticing with a shoe shine pro on the Boardwalk, an...
Owner of Octopus Garden in Gravesend
Vincent Cutrone owns and operates Octopus Garden, which sells tenderized octopus and cuttlefish to restaurants in New York City and distributes the product across the country. Located on Avenue U in Gravesend, the shop was originally a mom-and-pop...
Memories of growing up in a Jewish household in Coney Island
Born in Coney Island, Susan Hochtman Creatura lived in Coney Island Houses when it was new and she was a little girl who enjoyed the novelty of riding the elevators. Her parents marveled that this New York City housing complex for working class...
Lifelong Coney Island resident and author of Living Life Like It's Golden
Dionne Brown, who has lived in Coney Island all her life, also works here.  She grew up in Surfside Gardens and attended Surfside School (PS 329), Bay Academy, Lincoln High School, and Kingsborough Community College.  A love of reading was instilled...
Memories of working as a police officer in Coney Island in the 1980s and '90s
Gravesend native Donna Bianco became a police officer at age 22 after a female cop, one of the few she knew, registered her for the test and she scored well. She was assigned to Coney Island from 1986 through 1993, when the neighborhood was crime-...
Girlhood memories of visiting Great-Aunt Molly who lived in the house under the roller coaster
Linda Kramer Evans shares fond memories of visiting her Great-Aunt Molly Moran who lived in the house under the Thunderbolt roller coaster. During the 1950s, Evans and her parents and brothers would visit Coney Island on Sundays from their home in...
Boyhood memories of visiting relatives at the house under the Thunderbolt roller coaster
Every summer during his boyhood, Harold J. Kramer would travel from Chicago with his family to visit his great-aunt and great-uncle in Coney Island. Molly and George Moran owned and operated the Thunderbolt and lived in the house under the roller...
Memories of working at a Coney Island beach chair and umbrella rental company as a teen in the 1970s
Steve Larkin's family lived in Coney Island and Brighton Beach from the time his Latvian-born grandfather David Latzkin immigrated here in 1903 until they moved in 1978. The family resided at 55 Railroad Avenue and later on Brighton 7th Street....
Visiting scholar whose research interests include theme park studies
A professor of American Studies at the University of Mainz in Germany, Florian Freitag recently spent a year as a visiting scholar at the New York City College of Technology. Officially here to do research on 19th-century magazines, his other main...
Coney Island carny kid and water race game operator on the Bowery
Candi Rafael, whose family operates games on Coney Island's Bowery, grew up here and started helping out as an eight-year-old. Now 22, she says "I have to say it's made me stronger." She says working here has taught her the value of hard work as...