2000 - 2009

Rode the Cyclone at 4 years old
Marion is 75 years old and tells the story of first coming to Coney Island with her grandfather and riding the Cyclone when she was four years old. She subsequently took her children to Steeplechase regularly and then five years ago, she rode the...
Content type: Oral History Item
Devoted Cyclone Rider
At the time of this interview, Howie was in Coney Island on opening day to ride the Cyclone for the 50th year in a row. He was accompanied by his family, who have also been riding the Cyclone for years. Howie brought his wife to Coney Island shortly...
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
Arcade game repairman
Louis Beard grew up in Brooklyn and visited Coney Island with friends as a teenager in the 1980's. He joined the Army right out of high school and worked in immigration where he learned that new citizens had more questions about Coney Island...
Content type: Oral History Item
Fan of the Cyclone and the Cyclones
Rob explains why the Cyclone is the best roller coaster he's ever ridden. A regular visitor to Coney Island, he talks about coming out from his home in Long Island to concerts, amusements and Cyclones baseball games.
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
Oldest market in Coney Island
The sounds of a typical day at Major Markets on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island. Founded in the 1930's, Major Markets is a throwback to the days when the entire length of Mermaid Avenue, from Stillwell Avenue to Sea Gate, was a bustling retail...
Content type: Oral History Item