1980 - 1989

Louise Milano's mother, Carolina, operated Carolina Restaurant on Mermaid Avenue for 60 years
Founded in 1928, Carolina Restaurant on Mermaid Avenue was a fixture for over 60 years. Carolina, known as Carrie, prepared traditional home style cooking that remains memorable to generations of Coney Island residents. Carrie's daughter Louise and...
Content type: Oral History Item
Twenty years as part of the family at Gregory & Paul's and Paul's Daughter on the Coney Island Boardwalk
Gabriel Valencia has worked on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Gregory & Paul's eatery, now called Paul's Daughter, for 20 years. He came to New York from Puebla, Mexico when he was just 18 to join his brother. Valencia learned English little by...
Content type: Oral History Item
Mermaid Spa founder talks about bringing the Russian banya tradition to Coney Island
This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Mark Markov's transcript and translation below. Интервью было проведено и записано на русском языке. Читайте транскрипт и перевод Марка Маркова которые расположены ниже. A native of Kyiv,...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island homeowner recalls fleeing Vietnam with his family in 1981 and settling in New York City
This interview was conducted and recorded in Cantonese Chinese. Read Audrey Tam's transcript and translation below. 本采访以粤语进行并记录。阅读下面的Audrey Tam的笔录和翻译。 Among the more than 800,000 refugees who fled Vietnam in the years after the fall of Hanoi and...
Content type: Oral History Item
"The Elvis of the East" and founder of Brooklyn Chinese-American Assn. Chorus
Cornel Chan (陳均能) immigrated to the US in 1972 from Hong Kong, where he enjoyed a successful career as “The Elvis of the East” singing American songs on radio, TV and in clubs. With younger singers from abroad gaining popularity and his young sons’...
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