English

A poet and storyteller on growing up in Coney Island at Gravesend Houses, the beach and Astroland
Coney Island native Shavon Meyers is a photographer, visual artist, and storyteller who began writing poetry in 8th grade and realized her gift for rhyme with a poem about riding the D train.  Shavon shares childhood memories of growing up in...
Content type: Oral History Item
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...
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
Founder and principal of Coney Island's Liberation Diploma Plus High School
April Leong is the award-winning founder and principal of Coney Island's Liberation Diploma Plus High School. The small alternative high school on West 19th Street serves 200 transfer students, many of whom describe it as their home or family. They...
Content type: Oral History Item
Community activist and resident of Coney Island for more than 50 years
When this interview was recorded in 2007, Ron Stewart had lived in Coney Island for exactly half a century. He has worked as the director of a youth program and a parole officer, owned a local bookstore and barber shop, and is active in the...
Content type: Oral History Item
Calligrapher recounts his artistic journey from China's Guangdong Province to Brooklyn's Bensonhurst
This interview was conducted and recorded in Cantonese Chinese by (Sylvia) Ching Man Wong. Transcription by Ching Man Wong and Keenan Yutai Chen with English translation by Keenan Yutai Chen. Read the transcript and translation below:...
Content type: Oral History Item
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...
Content type: Oral History Item
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...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of Washington Baths Annex in the 1950s and meeting his wife there when they were children
Alan Fine, who grew up in Flatbush, shares memories of summers spent at Washington Baths Annex with his family as a boy in the 1950s. "I knew everybody," he says of the popular bathhouse, which was located on the boardwalk next to the Childs...
Content type: Oral History Item
Brooklynite who was a lifeguard in the 1950s and met his wife of 60 years on Coney Island Beach
Born in 1938 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Martin Abrams learned to swim at Washington Baths pool and worked as a lifeguard for six summers at Coney Island Beach. It was there that he met his wife Ellen.  "My first time working at Bay 21, I noticed...
Content type: Oral History Item