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

Bensonhurst native recalls riding Spook-A-Rama and playing Fascination in the 1970s
For Bensonhurst native Marie Montanaro, 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...
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...
Mother and son remember the Laughing Lady at Coney's Magic Carpet Fun House
Taty Alicea and her son Ralph Alicea share fond memories of Coney Island's famous Laughing Lady, a popular mechanical attraction that was part of the Magic Carpet Fun House and is greatly missed. "Wherever Matilda is, she's not home," says Ralph....
Twenty years as part of the family at Gregory & Paul's and Paul's Daughter on the Coney Island Boardwalk
Gabriel Valencia has worked on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Gregory & Paul's eatery, now called Paul's Daughter, for 20 years. He came to New York from Puebla, Mexico when he was just 18 to join his brother. Valencia learned English little by...
Coney Island resident who moved here as a high school student talks about her neighborhood
Coney Island resident Theresa Giovinni moved here from Williamsburg as a high school student. When a class assignment to research the history of  her neighborhood came up, she chose Coney and learned about Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park...
Memories of a Yiddish literary household in 1940's and 1950's Coney Island and Sea Gate
Eva Zucker grew up in Coney and Sea Gate in the 1940s and 1950s in a literary household. Yiddish was her first language.  She recounts memories of her father, the Yiddish poet A. Lutzky, who made a living writing Saturday poems for the newspaper Der...
Osaka-born artist creates sideshow curiosities in his Coney Island home
Born in 1960, Takeshi Yamada is an artist from Osaka, Japan, who moved to Coney Island in 2002. "I didn't choose Coney Island. It chose me," he says. He is frequently seen in a black tuxedo strolling around the neighborhood with his sea rabbit Seara...
First visit since 1961
Dennis brought his wife Carol for her first visit to Coney Island in the summer of 2009 when they recorded this interview. He recalls his one previous visit to Coney Island during the summer of 1961 when he was a boy. A friend's family brought...