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

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...
Bensonhurst native recalls riding Spook-A-Rama and playing Fascination in the 1970s
For Bensonhurst native Marie Martorano, a trip to Coney Island with her brother for Nathan's and Spook-A-Rama evokes childhood memories of riding the classic dark ride and the Wonder Wheel's swinging cars. "I'm so glad it's still here, It just...
Revisiting the Spook-A-Rama and Wonder Wheel of his boyhood
Michael Borruto shared his memories of riding Spook-A-Rama and the Wonder Wheel as a 10-year-old. On an August 2016 visit to Coney Island with his wife and friends, he wanted to revisit and ride Spook-A-Rama. "I didn't even know it was still there...
Girlhood memories of summering in a Coney Island bungalow in the 1950s
On her first day back to Coney Island since 1959, Kathy Duke O'Melia shares memories of joyful summers spent with her family at a bungalow colony in Coney Island.  Located on West 31st Street near Coney Island Creek, the bungalows provided an...
UK illustrator based in Australia who created her own summer-long artist residency in Coney Island
In summer 2014, Australia-based illustrator  and artist Sarah Beetson created her own three month long artist residency in Coney Island, which she calls her "favorite place of inspiration." Beetson recounts short visits here -- the first was in 2002...
Husband-and-wife music duo Federico Ausbury and Maira Vergara of A Flying Dodo Society
Federico Ausbury and Maira Vergara are a husband-and-wife music and animation duo whose band is called A Flying Dodo Society. During the summer of 2015, they busked on the Q train and in Coney Island on the boardwalk and the pier. They talk about...