2000 - 2009

13-year-old side show worker and activist
Thirteen-year-old Coney Island activist Patrick Burns works at the Side Show, Astroland, and El Dorado. He speaks of his love for Coney Island, "one of the great world wonders," and his plans for saving the place he loves.
Content type: Oral History Item
Volunteer at Amethyst Women's Project
Priscilla has lived in Coney Island since the late 1990's. She loves her 17th floor apartment that overlooks the ocean and considers Coney Island her home. Priscilla describes the good work Amethyst does for the community and talks about her...
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
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
On a date with Coney Island
Lauren had a big day in Coney Island, riding the Cyclone for the first time and eating her first Nathan's hot dog since the trauma of witnessing a hot dog eating contest a few years ago. She recalls winning the sand sculpture contest in 2007...
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
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
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
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
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