1950 - 1959

Growing up on West 16th Street between Mermaid and Neptune in a cold water flat in the 1940s and '50s
Carmela recalls growing up in Coney Island on West 16th Street between Mermaid and Neptune Avenues in a cold water flat with a coal belly stove and an ice box.  She lived there until 1959, when she got married and moved to her husband's neighborhood...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lifelong stickball player and Coney Island lifeguard for 48 years
Born in 1949, Ron Vernon grew up on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island playing stickball and since his retirement to Florida has played in the Palm Beach County Stickball League, which has eight teams. For him and 120 other guys, it's like being 15...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on Brighton First Court and a summer job renting beach chairs in Coney Island
Bill Zeidenberg grew up in the 1950s and 1960s at 212 Brighton First Court, just east of Ocean Parkway, the dividing line of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. He shares vivid memories of his summer job working for the M. & C. Chair Operating...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on West 36th Street in Coney Island's West End
Edith Storch, 90, grew up in the West End of Coney Island at 2762 West 36th Street near Canal Avenue. She shares memories of her immigrant parents, shops and street vendors, a nickelodeon on the pier at West 37th Street on the Bay, and Coney Island...
Content type: Oral History Item
Grandson of sword swallower Joseph "Ajax" Milana and DeWise Purdin "The Handless Sharpshooter"
Van Milana, 65, was born on Dewey Place in the area of Coney Island called "The Gut" before Trump Village and Warbasse. He shares memories of both of his grandfathers, who were famous sideshow performers in Coney Island. Milana recalls his paternal...
Content type: Oral History Item
Resident of senior housing in Coney Island was born in Shanghai and survived the Cultural Revolution
This interview was conducted and recorded in Mandarin Chinese. Read Xiaoyan Li's transcript and translation below.  Anthony Wang, a resident of senior housing in Coney Island's West End, was born in 1947 into a wealthy family in Shanghai. When he...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of riding the Parachute Jump and Steeplechase horse race ride in the 1950s
Marian Carbone and Anna Jackson, twin sisters who grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, share their memories of 1950's Coney Island. "It didn't cost much. It was a nice day out. What was it? 15 cents on the train," says Marian.  "Coney Island was our...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in Coney Island Houses and on Mermaid Avenue in the 1950s and '60s
Musician Andy Fuhrman grew up in Coney Island Houses and on Mermaid Avenue and remembers every store in the neighborhood. Andy was on the football team at Lincoln High School in the 1960s, worked games on the Bowery, and was a pioneering surfer at...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in the 1940s and '50s in a tight-knit Jewish community in Coney Island
Susan Meyer (a.k.a Dalbir Khalsa) grew up on Sea Breeze Avenue across from Seaside Park, in what she describes as a tight-knit Jewish community of East European origins. She recalls going to Washington Baths and Steeplechase Park every summer with...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on Mermaid Avenue and working games in Coney Island from age twelve
Michael Goldstein,  known as "Looch," worked games in Coney Island for over half a century. He started out in 1954 at age twelve, earning 75 cents an hour, and by his fourth year was a partner in the game. "It was a different era, a different...
Content type: Oral History Item