Tricia Vita

Tricia Vita spent the first 18 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 and a free exhibit center. Tricia earned a Certificate in Reminiscence and Life Story from the University of Wisconsin--Superior and creates reminiscence and storytelling workshops for older adult centers in New York.

Interviews

Sharon Tera's family operated Ethel's Restaurant on the Boardwalk in the 1940s and '50s
Born in 1947, Sharon Tera lived in Coney Island for the first 14 years of her life. Her parents, Ethel and Ise Tera, owned Ethel's Restaurant  on the Boardwalk at West 19th Street. "Between my mother being Jewish and my father Japanese, we had a...
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...
Memories of living in Luna Park Houses in the 1960s and '70s
Arlene Oken Straus shares memories of living in Luna Park Houses as a teen in the 1960s and as a young wife and mother in the 1970s. Her family moved to the Mitchell Lama co-op from the Bronx and was among the original tenants in 1962. The complex...
Family memories of Nat Faber's Fascination arcade and amusement business empire
Sam Person shares family memories of Nat Faber's Fascination arcade and amusement business empire. Person worked in Coney Island as a manager at his father-in-law's Faber’s Fascination in 1953 and 1954 when he was in college studying to be a CPA. ...
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
This oral history was recorded in 2021 when Nasim Almantaser was 21-year-old Brooklyn College student. Nasim grew up working in his Yemeni American family's bodega in Brighton Beach and began helping out in the store as a young boy to be with his...
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...