English

Model builder of roller coasters and amusement rides including the Cyclone and Deno's Wonder Wheel
Roller coaster enthusiast John Hunt has been building scale models of coasters and amusement park attractions since he was a boy and has turned his hobby into a business. More than 50 different custom-built rides are on view and may be ordered via...
Content type: Oral History Item
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. ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Longtime Sea Gate resident and watercolor artist who teaches at Seaside Innovative Senior Center
Jeffrey Berman, 77, is a Coney Island native who has lived in Sea Gate since establishing his first artist's studio here when he was in his 30s. He recounts how he got interested in art and studied drawing at the Art Students League for 2-1/2 years...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of visiting Uncle Pete, who ran a food concession at Steeplechase Pool in the 1930s-50s
Born in 1926, Nancy Gabriel grew up in Staten Island and visited Coney Island frequently with her parents throughout her childhood. Her great uncle, Peter Lazaris, ran a food concession under the Boardwalk and later at the Steeplechase Pool, from...
Content type: Oral History Item
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...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of working at the Tornado roller coaster and other Coney Island rides and games in the 1970s
Michael Liff recalls growing up in Coney Island across the street from the New York Aquarium and working in the amusement area as a teen in the 1970's.  His first job was taking plush animals by handcart from the Surf Avenue warehouse of Harry ...
Content type: Oral History Item
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...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of being one of the first families to move into Gravesend Houses in 1954 and growing up there
Born in Brooklyn in 1949, Barbara Unterman Jones remembers moving to Coney Island's Gravesend Houses with her family in 1954 when the public housing project was brand new. Her first memory is of the road still being under construction and resembling...
Content type: Oral History Item
Her father, Anthony Cosmo Pomaro, owned Cosmo Topper's Beauty Parlor on Mermaid Avenue
Carole Scheer grew up in Coney Island and tells the story of her father, Anthony Cosmo Pomaro, who owned and operated Cosmo Topper's Beauty Parlor on Mermaid Avenue. After serving in the Air Force during WW II, he attended beauty school and opened...
Content type: Oral History Item
An actor's memories of growing up in Sea Rise apartments and a souvenir of the Wonder Wheel
Born in Brooklyn in 1988, Emmanuel Elpenord is an actor who grew up in the Sea Rise apartments in Coney Island's West End. He describes the unique design of the high rise building, where he played games with boys from his floor on the terrace...
Content type: Oral History Item