Diana Wiener

Growing up in Sea Gate and Coney Island in the 1940s and '50s and moving back in the mid-1960s

Diana Wiener shares memories of growing up in Sea Gate and Coney Island in the 1940s and '50s, where she first learned to swim as a "water baby" on Beach 2  AKA "The Lagoon." Wiener remembers World War II blackouts, lookout towers for U-boats, artillery turrets, Quonset huts for Army personnel, and the celebration the day the Germans surrendered. She says the most memorable thing that happened to her as a teenage "Sea Gate girl" was discovering the Coney Island kids. "We really were very isolated in our thinking growing up in Coney Island and Sea Gate," she says. "We were just happy to be who we were and that exuberance, I think, carried me for my whole life." In the mid-1960s, Wiener moved back to Sea Gate with her husband and young children, and then lived upstate for the next fifty-five years. She currently lives in New York City and has published essays about her Coney Island girlhood.