1980 - 1989

Artist and Champion Break-Dancer
Coney Island artist and champion break-dancer Daniel Blake (aka Africasso) tells true-life tales of Coney Island's real "Warriors," the gangs that roamed the amusement parks in the 70's and 80's.
Content type: Oral History Item
Long-time manager of Astroland's Kiddieland
Walter "Shorty" Arsenault worked his whole career in the amusement business, starting in Coney Island at the Nellie Bly Amusement Park and then working for many years in Astroland. He managed the section of the park with children's...
Content type: Oral History Item
Began his career as a sign painter in Coney Island
John Rea is currently an advertising professional and adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, but he began his career as a young teenager working for his father, also John Rea, in the Peluso Machine and Iron Works shop in Coney...
Content type: Oral History Item
Owner of Williams Candy and past owner of Fascination Arcade
Peter Agrapides owns and operates the Williams Candy shop next door to Nathans. He began working in Coney Island in 1949 and also owned the Fascination game arcade on Surf Avenue next to the old Loew's (Shore) Theater.
Content type: Oral History Item
Model Maker and Music Producer
Roy grew up in Coney Island and, among many other ventures, makes exquisitely detailed scale models of rides like the Himalaya, at which he also worked when he was a child. He tried to get a job at Astroland when he was too young but, eventually,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Artistic Director of Thieves Theatre
Nick is the former artistic director of Thieves Theatre, a theater company that worked with Coney Island USA in the late 80's to mid-90's. One of Thieves Theatre's early projects after moving to New York was to stage an Anti-Mermaid...
Content type: Oral History Item
Worked at the B&B Carousell
Kevin speaks lovingly and sadly of the 49 years he lived in Coney Island, remembering his dear friends and employers at the The Bishoff & Brienstein Carousell (the B&B for short) and regretting what is to become of his home under the new...
Content type: Oral History Item
Life-long resident of Coney Island
Reginald, a life-long resident of Coney Island, revisits his childhood memories and shares his opinion on the current state of Coney Island's transition. He describes the racial tension that stemmed from fences and walls keeping people of color...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island businessman and neighborhood activist
Lou Powsner, a former Coney Island businessman and neighborhood activist remembers his fond and not so fond memories of working in Coney Island. Jennifer Snow, his grand-daughter, talks about the future of Coney Island and having a grandfather who...
Content type: Oral History Item