Tricia Vita

Tricia Vita spent the first 17 years of her life traveling with carnivals, where her first job was picking up darts and replacing busted balloons in her mother's dart game. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she has worked as a writer, translator and book scout in New York. As administrative director of the Coney Island History Project since 2007, she helps plan programming and manage a multilingual oral history project, year-round walking tours, and a free exhibit center. Tricia earned a Certificate in Reminiscence and Life Story from the University of Wisconsin--Superior and creates reminiscence activities at senior centers for the History Project.

Interviews

Brooklyn College history student grew up working in his family's bodega in Brighton Beach
Nasim Almantaser, 21, is a Brooklyn College student who grew up working in his Yemeni-American family's bodega in Brighton Beach. He recalls his father, who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s, working 12-hour shifts to support their family. As a...
The Roller Coaster Reverend shares stories of Cyclone weddings
After Reverend Cliff Herring married a couple on Coney Island’s Cyclone roller coaster, the NY Daily News called him “the Roller Coaster Reverend” and “a card carrying member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts.” Reverend Herring is member #18 in a...
Lifelong Brighton Beach resident shares stories of Brighton Beach then and now
Born in New York City, Amparo Garcia, 66, has lived in Brighton Beach all her life. Her parents emigrated from Spain in 1949 and because her father loved the beaches of his native Cádiz, he decided the place to live in New York was Brighton Beach. ...
Resident of Coney Island for 47 years and retired transit cleaner at Stillwell Terminal
Lorraine Ross recalls moving to Coney Island on April 1st, 1973,  never imagining she would stay so long. Now 72 and retired, she first lived in an apartment on West 36th Street, where she raised her sons, before moving to Gravesend Houses, where...
A voice actor's reflections on how growing up in Coney Island in the 1990s shaped her imagination
Tiana Camacho is a professional voice over actress for video games, anime, radio plays, and commercials who grew up in Coney Island in the 1990s.  When her family moved from Gravesend Houses to a house on West 19th Street next to the Coney Island...
Author of Dreamland Social Club, a novel set in Coney Island, who got engaged on the Wonder Wheel
Tara Altebrando is a native New Yorker who rediscovered what a magical place Coney Island was when she was in her 20's. The author of 11 novels, she says her favorite is Dreamland Social Club, which is set in Coney Island and was published in 2011...
Poet who grew up in Coney Island and was one of Dr. Couney's incubator babies
Poet Norman Stock grew up on West 24th Street in Coney Island. Born in 1940, he spent the first 1-1/2 months of his life as an incubator baby in Dr. Martin Couney's exhibit, which by that time had moved from Coney's Luna Park to the New York World's...
Greg Birbil's father, Paul, was a candy maker who owned the Paradise Ice Cream Parlor on Surf Avenue
Founded in 1928, the Paradise Ice Cream Parlor, also known as the Paradise Luncheonette, was a fixture at 1605 Surf Avenue across from Steeplechase Park for more than 30 years. Greg Birbil, who was born in 1937, shares memories of growing up in "Pop...
Memories of growing up on West 29th Street in Coney Island in the 1940s and '50s
Sheldon Krimsky and his family lived in an apartment at 2995 West 29th Street from the time he was 4 until he graduated from college. He shares memories of growing up in the 1940s and '50s: playing stickball and street games like Ringelevio;...
Memories of growing up on West 5th Street and grandfather's shoe repair shop on Ocean Parkway
Born in 1946, Robert Levrini shares boyhood memories of growing up on West 5th Street and a silhouette of himself cut on Surf Avenue. Left to roam on his own, Robert and his friends played in a field adjacent to Lincoln High School and Coney Island...