1970 - 1979

Environmental justice organizer who was born in Coney Island and raised here in the 1960s and '70s
Born in Coney Island in 1963, Karen Dawn Blondel shares memories of the 1960's, '70s and '80s. Family members, including both sets of grandparents, aunts, and cousins lived in the community in bungalows, apartments, and public housing, and after her...
Content type: Oral History Item
Three-time International Jugglers Association champion and resident of Southern Brooklyn
Gerald Greenberg, whose professional name is Jay Green, was born in 1937 and lives in Southern Brooklyn. A three-time International Jugglers Association champion, he is best known for the innovative props he has created, including the first modern,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artist whose Coney Island-themed work includes solo and community murals at Coney Art Walls
Brooklyn-born Chris "Daze" Ellis is an internationally known artist who began his career painting subway trains as a high school student and successfully transitioned to canvas in the early 1980s. His series of Coney Island-themed paintings created...
Content type: Oral History Item
Sea Gate resident on her girlhood memories of Coney Island and passing them on to her daughter
Currently a resident of Sea Gate, Irene Karas was born in Belgium and grew up in Bensonhurst and on Ocean Parkway. She recalls excursions to Coney Island beach with her family.  As a young girl, Irene would "roam all of the nooks and crannies of...
Content type: Oral History Item
Architect who grew up in Coney Island in the 1980s and designed the renovated Ruby's Bar & Grill
Eric Safyan grew up in Coney Island's Brightwater Towers overlooking the Aquarium. His parents were political refugees who emigrated from Odessa in Ukraine when he was 3-1/2 years old. After graduating from Brooklyn Tech and architecture school in...
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
Memories of growing up in Coney Island during the Great Depression and 55 years practicing law
Charles Berkman, who was 88 when this interview was recorded and turned 90 on July 2, 2018, grew up on West 29th Street in Coney Island during the Great Depression.  The youngest of nine children of a hard-working orphan immigrant from Poland,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in a Jewish household in Coney Island
Born in Coney Island, Susan Hochtman Creatura lived in Coney Island Houses when it was new and she was a little girl who enjoyed the novelty of riding the elevators. Her parents marveled that this New York City housing complex for working class...
Content type: Oral History Item
A Coney Island native's memories of running amusement games
Eliot Wofse grew up in Luna Park Houses across the street from the amusement area, which he calls his playground. His elder brothers worked as game agents and regularly sent him off to play, for free, at Steeplechase Park and Playland Arcade. At...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lifelong Coney Island resident and author of Living Life Like It's Golden
Dionne Brown, who has lived in Coney Island all her life, also works here.  She grew up in Surfside Gardens and attended Surfside School (PS 329), Bay Academy, Lincoln High School, and Kingsborough Community College.  A love of reading was instilled...
Content type: Oral History Item