2000 - 2009

Osaka-born artist creates sideshow curiosities in his Coney Island home
Born in 1960, Takeshi Yamada is an artist from Osaka, Japan, who moved to Coney Island in 2002. "I didn't choose Coney Island. It chose me," he says. He is frequently seen in a black tuxedo strolling around the neighborhood with his sea rabbit Seara...
Content type: Oral History Item
Longtime resident of Coney Island and former President of the Polar Bear Club
Scarcella grew up in Coney Island during the 1950s and 1960s. His father was a beat cop, and he later became a cop and detective in the homicide unit. He moonlighted as a barker for Spookarama and El Dorado and was the President of the Coney Island...
Content type: Oral History Item
Sideshow Proprietor
John Strong operated a sideshow in the summer of 2009 in Coney Island. He describes the animals in his show... all of which have unusual features such as extra eyes, heads or legs. John tells the story of a five-legged dog that caused a controversy...
Content type: Oral History Item
The King of Jones Walk
Wally Roberts has been operating amusements in Coney Island since the 1940’s. He rented space in the Feltman’s Building for storage and for a candy shop that sold salt water taffy, popcorn, and jelly apples. He remembers Feltman’s hotdogs, the first...
Content type: Oral History Item
Visiting Coney Island his whole life
Allen Ashby started coming to Coney Island as a boy in the late 1950's. In the 60's, he came with high school friends and spent most of his time trying to meet girls. Later, he brought his daughters for visits as they grew up in the 70...
Content type: Oral History Item
Bringing the 1960's back to Coney Island
Ron recalls going with both friends and family to Coney Island back in the 1960's. His family always took the same spot on the beach in front of the Wonder Wheel. He remembers amusement rides from that time in great detail, but waited until his...
Content type: Oral History Item
First in line for a ride on the Cyclone
Erik Knapp of the rock band Mystical Children arrives in the middle of the night to be the first person in line to ride the Cyclone on opening day. He shows off his fresh tattoo of the ride's top hill.
Content type: Oral History Item
Business Owner and Founder of the Coney Island Sports Foundation
The owner of three businesses on Mermaid Avenue, Edwin Cosme discusses the uncertain future of Coney Island. He is committed to staying in his hometown and promoting the development of more amusements and fewer condominium projects. He describes...
Content type: Oral History Item
Ran penny arcades in Coney Island for over 20 years
Stanley relates a fifty-year history of penny arcades in Coney Island. He and his brother ran a few of them, including Playland, and knew the locations and owners of many others.
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