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Memories of having a season locker at Ravenhall and Washington Baths Annex in the 1950s and '60s
Raised in Bay Ridge, Natalie Johnson has memories of going to Ravenhall Baths and Washington Baths Annex in the 1950's and 60s. From the time she was eight, her family had a season locker at Ravenhall until it closed after a 1963 fire. As a teen,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Horace and Ita Bullard's attempt to transform Coney Island
Artist Ita Bullard worked for years with her husband Horace to build a world-class amusement park in Coney Island, only to have the project destroyed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Horace Bullard obtained a 99-year lease on the Steeplechase site and...
Content type: Oral History Item
Poet who grew up in Coney Island and was one of Dr. Couney's incubator babies
Poet Norman Stock grew up on West 24th Street in Coney Island. Born in 1940, he spent the first 1-1/2 months of his life as an incubator baby in Dr. Martin Couney's exhibit, which by that time had moved from Coney's Luna Park to the New York World's...
Content type: Oral History Item
David Louie's family owned the popular Wah Mee Restaurant on Mermaid Avenue
David Louie's family owned the Wah Mee, a Chinese restaurant on Mermaid Avenue at 24th Street. The establishment opened in the 1940s and was an extremely popular destination for generations of Coney Island residents. David's father emigrated from...
Content type: Oral History Item
Bungalows and fires in the West End in the 1960s
Theresa Veldez grew up in the bungalows of Coney Island and experienced the best and the worst of neighborhood during a turbulent decade. During the 1960s, the once popular summer bungalows of Coney were transformed into year-round residences by...
Content type: Oral History Item
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
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
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