1940 - 1949

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
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
Tai chi teacher at Coney Island's Seaside Innovative Senior Center shares her life story
This interview was conducted and recorded in Cantonese Chinese. Read Keenan Chen's transcript and translation below: Juanhua Zhao, 82, has taught Tai Chi at the Coney Island Seaside Innovative Senior Center on 37th Street and Surf Avenue in Coney...
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 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 growing up on West 29th Street in Coney Island in the 1940s and '50s
Sheldon Krimsky and his family lived in an apartment at 2995 West 29th Street from the time he was 4 until he graduated from college. He shares memories of growing up in the 1940s and '50s: playing stickball and street games like Ringelevio;...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of bus trips to Coney Island with the Good Will Family Club from the 1940's through 1961
From the 1940s through the 1970s, bus trips to Coney Island were so popular that concessionaires recall 50 to 100 buses arriving on Saturday mornings and staying till 6 or 7 at night.  Growing up in a close-knit family in Philadelphia, Alonzo...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up at Bensonhurst's Termini's Bakery and riding Coney Island's Astroland Rocket
Richard Termini's earliest memories are of playing under the El on New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst, where his family operated Termini's Bakery. Founded by his grandfather Giuseppe 'Joe' Termini in Manhattan in the early years of the 20th century,...
Content type: Oral History Item