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

Australian circus historian whose family performed at Coney Island's Luna Park in the early 1900s
Mark St. Leon is an Australian circus historian whose family performed in Coney Island at Thompson and Dundy's Luna Park in the early 1900s.  The St. Leon troupe of bareback riders, acrobats and tightwire artists who came to the U.S. was led by his...
Memories of growing up in Brighton Beach in the 1950s and 60s
Rena Stutman Rice shares stories of growing up in Brighton Beach in the 1950s and 60s. Born in 1946, she lived on Brightwater Court and later on Ocean Parkway. A clip from her father's home movie of her as a baby appears in the documentary The Boys...
Children's book author's memories of Steeplechase, the Animal Nursery, and Brighton Beach Baths
Laura Numeroff is an author and illustrator of best-selling children's books who grew up in Brooklyn in the 1950s and 60s. She shares memories of being taken to Steeplechase Park by her father, who worked for the World Telegram and got press passes...
Film director and screenwriter who grew up in Coney Island in the 1990s
"Coney Island made me who I am," says film director and screenwriter Stefon Bristol, who grew up in the 1990s on West 27th Street. His family moved from East Flatbush to Coney after buying one of the new townhouses built by Astella Development. He...
Poet and writer from Afghanistan who grew up in Southern Brooklyn
Zohra Saed is a poet, editor and translator who was born in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and immigrated to Brooklyn with her family as a child in the 1980s. She grew up in the close-knit Uzbek-Turkestani community on Ocean Avenue in Sheepshead Bay and...
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...