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

Lifelong Coney Island resident
Betty has lived on 32nd Street between Mermaid and Neptune Avenues for 37 years. Before that she lived in a bungalow, from which she had to move when it was being torn down in 1963. The apartment building she lived in next was also torn down. She...
Has lived in Coney Island for 41 years
Marina has lived in Coney Island for 41 years and in same apartment for 32 years. She remembers the many second-hand stores, her first knackwurst at Rosenberg's deli, the truck with the swimming pool for kids at 30th Street, spending the night...
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.
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...
Moved to Coney Island in 1934
Minnie describes meeting her husband on Coney Island beach and her job at a frozen custard stand on the boardwalk.