1980 - 1989

Chairman of Coney Island Prep on growing up in Coney Island and the charter school's first 15 years
Josh Wolfe shares memories of growing up in Coney Island in the 1980s and early '90s, including passing under the boardwalk to go to the beach, getting fired from his first job as a teen, attending Mark Twain for junior high, and riding the Cyclone...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of World War II in Ukraine and immigrating to Southern Brooklyn
This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Julia Kanin's Russian transcript and English translation below. Интервью проведено и записано на русском языке. Вы можете ознакомиться с траснскриптом и переводом Юлии Ханиной ниже. Betya...
Content type: Oral History Item
Filmmaker and archivist whose parents collaborated on the film Little Fugitive in Coney Island
Mary Engel is an award winning filmmaker and runs the Orkin/Engel Film and Photo Archive. She is the daughter of Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin, who co-wrote and directed Little Fugitive, which was filmed in Coney Island and released in 1953. The...
Content type: Oral History Item
Growing up in Greece and living in Coney Island's Luna Park Houses since the 1970s
Born in 1941 in Greece, Stella Bacolas shares memories of growing up there during World War II. "I tell my grandchild now, I didn't have my own bed until after I was 15, when I got to the United States." After settling in Bensonhurst, she moved to...
Content type: Oral History Item
At age 103, Coney Island resident shares her memories and secrets to a long and happy life
Born in 1920, Jeanette Bigelson grew up at 62 Cannon Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan when it was a neighborhood of working-class immigrants. She shares memories of her mother's homemade challah and noodles; friendly neighbors who kept...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in Coney Island and the family business, Shatzkin's Famous Knishes
Mort Shatzkin’s family owned one of Coney Island’s most beloved eateries, Shatzkin’s Famous Knishes. They operated stores at various locations in Coney Island from the 1940s through the 1970s, and Shatzkin's Coney Island Knishes at Kings Plaza ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Twenty years at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park's Karaoke on the Boardwalk
Ronald Kannatt, who is affectionately known as "The Prince of Coney Island," has been singing and dancing at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park's Karaoke on the Boardwalk for the past 20 years. His signature song is Prince's "Jungle Love." Kannatt shares...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of living in Luna Park Houses and going to Coney Island bathhouses in the 1960s
Karen Wilcox and her family were among the original tenants of Luna Park Houses, moving there from the East New York section of Brooklyn in 1962. "We were the first family to live in Apt 15M in Building 4," says Wilcox, who was 11 at the time. "Then...
Content type: Oral History Item
Tattoo artist who grew up in Coney Island's West End
Samantha Robles, a tattoo artist who is known as "Cake," shares childhood memories of growing up in Coney Island's West End and describes her artistic influences. Three generations of Robles' extended family have lived in Coney's "Coconuts Building...
Content type: Oral History Item
Teen memories of Coney Island's Polar Express and Breakdance in the 2000s
As a teenager in the 2000s, Alicia Angello lived in Marlboro Houses in Gravesend, which was walking distance to Coney Island. She shares memories of coming here with her friends every Friday night and sometimes every day in the summer. The Polar...
Content type: Oral History Item