English

Memories of growing up on Coney Island's first block and working in the Cyclone photobooth's darkroom
Brooklynite Mindy Gress and her family moved to Coney Island when she was 3-1/2 years old and she has lived here ever since.  "I'm living in Coney Island till I die," says the resident of West 5th Street, who describes her street as the first block...
Content type: Oral History Item
Horses, hot type, tattoos, sideshows, and graphic design
Lisa Marie Pompilio loves horses, Coney Island, tattoos, and book design. Born and raised in Sheepshead Bay, Pompilio is a fixture at CIUSA's Sideshows by the Seashore, creating magnificent posters and artwork for the organization. Her current...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of working on the Coney Island Parachute Jump's operation crew at age 16
Ralph Avella was the youngest member of the Coney Island Parachute Jump's operation crew. Bensonhurst native Avella was sixteen years old when he began working on the landmark ride in 1961 after graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School. This...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lifelong stickball player and Coney Island lifeguard for 48 years
Born in 1949, Ron Vernon grew up on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island playing stickball and since his retirement to Florida has played in the Palm Beach County Stickball League, which has eight teams. For him and 120 other guys, it's like being 15...
Content type: Oral History Item
Growing up Latina in Brighton Beach with a special connection to nature and the ocean
Abby Jordan is a Brighton Beach native whose Salvadorean immigrant parents have been homeowners in the community for over 35 years.  After graduating from CUNY Hunter, she worked as a paralegal for an immigration project in the Bronx, a long commute...
Content type: Oral History Item
Homeowner in Coney Island's West End for almost 30 years and first member of his family to settle here
This interview was conducted and recorded in Cantonese Chinese. Read Sylvia Ching Man Wong's transcript and translation below.  Kai Fung, a homeowner on West 35th Street in Coney Island’s West End, was born in 1956 in Macau and immigrated with his...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on Brighton First Court and a summer job renting beach chairs in Coney Island
Bill Zeidenberg grew up in the 1950s and 1960s at 212 Brighton First Court, just east of Ocean Parkway, the dividing line of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. He shares vivid memories of his summer job working for the M. & C. Chair Operating...
Content type: Oral History Item
Mechanical display creator who redid the tricks for Astroland's Dante's Inferno dark ride in the 1990s
Brooklynite Lou Nasti, the owner of Mechanical Displays in Flatbush, refers to himself as an "artistic mechanical engineer." He has designed, manufactured and installed one-of-a-kind, custom animated characters and displays both locally and around...
Content type: Oral History Item
Sea Gate artist, writer, educator and year-round swimmer
Hawley Hussey recounts "getting in the Gate," moving to a beach mansion in Sea Gate in 2001, her Coney Island-inspired art and writings, and swimming year-round.  A member of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club as well as an ephemeral upstart group...
Content type: Oral History Item
Harry Delgado, "Stretch," and Larye Mcsheppard share fishing stories
Three fishermen on Coney Island's Steeplechase Pier were interviewed on a sunny day in June. Harry Delgado and "Stretch" live in Coney Island and frequently fish from the pier as well as other local spots. Larye Mcsheppard lives in Queens, and...
Content type: Oral History Item