Charles Denson

Charles Denson is executive director of the nonprofit Coney Island History Project, which has created an oral history archive and sponsors educational exhibits, school programs and performances. He is the author of Coney Island: Lost and Found, named 2002 New York Book of the Year by the New York Society Library. Mr. Denson grew up in Coney Island and began documenting his neighborhood as a boy, a passion that continues to this day. A writer, photographer and art director, he began his career in 1971 as a photographer for New York magazine and has since worked as art director for numerous publications. In 1999 he was awarded a Chronicle journalism fellowship at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2013 the New York State Marine Education Association presented the Herman Melville Award to him for his environmental advocacy on behalf of Coney Island Creek.

Interviews

Retired teacher
Wendolyn, who lives in Haber House Senior Center, is a recently retired teacher from PS 288. When she moved to Coney Island, Nathan's French fries were a quarter. She is a Brooklyn Cyclones fan and takes long walks to Sea Gate. About Coney...
Former president of the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce
Charles was a former president of the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce, a formidable organization until the mid-90's. At the height of its power, it had about 150 members and its various committees were responsible for tasks like keeping the...
Longtime Head of Coney Island Chamber of Commerce
Long the executive secretary of the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce, 100-year-old Matt Kennedy was one of Coney Island's biggest champions. Of Irish, Italian and Russian descent, his grandfather was a lighthouse keeper and his grandmother a...
Biographer of the Mighty Atom
Ed, screenwriter and creator of the 1970's television series "Kung Fu" starring David Carradine, is also the author of "The Mighty Atom: The Life and Times of Joseph L. Greenstein" (The Viking Press, 1979). Ed's family...
Author and key figure in the counterculture of the 1960's shares his Coney Island memories
Legendary Paul Krassner reads an excerpt from his autobiography, "Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counter-Culture" about his experience at Steeplechase Park. Paul Krassner passed away on July 21, 2019 at the...
A lifetime resident of Coney Island
Barbara was born in Coney Island and has lived there are her life. She describes riding the Parachute Jump in the early 60's and remembers other rides and attractions.
Maintained Astroland Park's Astrotower for 25 years
Frank has maintained the Astrotower at Astroland since 1982. In this 2007 interview he describes his job and tells the story of a raccoon in the Tower which became a news story. The park closed at the end of the 2008 season and the Astrotower was...
American carousel designer and artist
Marvin Sylvor, founder of Fabricon Carousel Company, designed more than 60 carousels worldwide. His work can be found in Bolivia, Brazil, New Zealand and Singapore. In this interview, he explains the artistry behind merry-go-rounds and why the B...
Describes living on Coney Island Creek
Binky C. is a self-described authentic Coney Island character "the way they don't make em anymore." He grew up in the 60's and 70's and has an enduring love affair with Coney, its people and its history as a true New York...
Lifelong Coney and Sea Gate resident
Anne has lived in Coney Island or Sea Gate all her life, except for six years in Sheepshead Bay. She remembers many details from the past, including the social clubs, the Mardi Gras parade, the baby parade, Mermaid Avenue, the Yiddish theater, Coney...