1980 - 1989

Model builder of roller coasters and amusement rides including the Cyclone and Deno's Wonder Wheel
Roller coaster enthusiast John Hunt has been building scale models of coasters and amusement park attractions since he was a boy and has turned his hobby into a business. More than 50 different custom-built rides are on view and may be ordered via...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lifelong Brighton Beach resident shares stories of Brighton Beach then and now
Born in New York City, Amparo Garcia, 66, has lived in Brighton Beach all her life. Her parents emigrated from Spain in 1949 and because her father loved the beaches of his native Cádiz, he decided the place to live in New York was Brighton Beach. ...
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
Twenty-five years at Gregory & Paul's and Paul's Daughter on the Coney Island Boardwalk
This interview was conducted and recorded in Spanish by Mónica Cordero Sancho. Read Mary Conlon's transcript and English translation below. Gabriel Valencia lives in Coney Island, where he has worked at Gregory & Paul's eatery, now called Paul...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island native and longtime independent game operator on Jones Walk
Monica Ghee is a Coney Island native who has operated games at various locations in the amusement district on and off for the past 52 years.  She recalls some of the games she has worked in the past, including the dime pitch, glass pitch, goldfish...
Content type: Oral History Item
Brooklyn artist who emigrated from Russia as a child is drawn to Ocean Parkway and Brighton Beach
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1975, artist Alisa Minyukova immigrated to New York City with her mother and grandmother in 1981 and grew up on the Lower East Side. In a 2016 essay titled "Food Stamps and Caviar: How I moved to Brighton Beach,"...
Content type: Oral History Item
Reflections on running Wilensky Hardware, a 100-year-old family business on Mermaid Avenue
Wilensky Hardware on Mermaid Avenue is an anchor of the community and the oldest family-owned business in Coney Island. The store survived a century of urban renewal, arson, hurricanes, crime waves, and the civic neglect that led to the closing of...
Content type: Oral History Item
Resident of Coney Island for 47 years and retired transit cleaner at Stillwell Terminal
Lorraine Ross recalls moving to Coney Island on April 1st, 1973,  never imagining she would stay so long. Now 72 and retired, she first lived in an apartment on West 36th Street, where she raised her sons, before moving to Gravesend Houses, where...
Content type: Oral History Item
Collector of 1950's and '60s memorabilia whose Bensonhurst home is known as the Statue House
Steve Campanella is the owner of what's known as "The Bensonhurst Statue House" on 85th Street in Brooklyn.  The private home is locally famous for his collection of "life size personalities" outside as well as collectibles inside the home and...
Content type: Oral History Item