Jan Brown

A Brooklyn native's boyhood memories of Washington Baths and Steeplechase Park

Jan Brown
Interview Date:
September 3, 2016


Jan Brown grew up in Brooklyn where his family spent summers at Washington Baths in Coney Island. His parents, who had met at Washington Baths, played handball and his father was a professional model and bodybuilder. Brown describes the atmosphere of Coney Island during his teenage years and working at Faber's Sportsland Arcade as a 17-year-old.  He reflects on Coney Island of the past and looks to its future. "Coney Island today is certainly not like the Coney Island of my youth and the Coney Island of my parents' youth," he says. "But that doesn't mean that there's still not a lot of raw material here to keep it as a vibrant and iconoclastic location for all sorts of entertainment and thrills for people. And I hope it just doesn't get developed into apartment buildings and chain stores."