2010 - 2019

New Year's Day greetings and Coney Island memories recorded at Deno's Wonder Wheel
On January 1st, 2016, the Vourderis family opened Deno's Wonder Wheel on New Year's Day for the first time in the landmark's 95 year history. The Coney Island History Project was on hand to record New Year's greetings from the Wonder Wheel for our...
Content type: Oral History Item
A Coney Island Polar Bear talks about the health benefits and natural high of winter swimming
"Trust me, try it one day, you're going to like it," says Abiodun "Abi" Bello, who has been swimming in cold water as a member of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club since 2010.  A native of Lagos, Nigeria, he first came to the U.S to study accounting...
Content type: Oral History Item
Jamaican-born chef at Footprints Caribbean Cafe in Coney Island and originator of Rasta Pasta
Basil Jones is the chef at Footprints Cafe in Coney Island, which specializes in Caribbean cuisine, and is the originator of their famed Rasta Pasta. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in St. Ann's Bay, Jones first learned to cook as a boy...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island resident who moved here as a high school student talks about her neighborhood
Coney Island resident Theresa Giovinni moved here from Williamsburg as a high school student. When a class assignment to research the history of  her neighborhood came up, she chose Coney and learned about Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park...
Content type: Oral History Item
5D Cinema entrepreneur on Coney Island's Bowery
For the Coney Island History Project's first-ever "on-ride" oral history, interviewer Samira Tazari mixed recordings of her ride on the Bowery's 5D Cinema and an interview with the indie attraction's owner Terry Zheng. Known as  "Tommy" to his...
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. A native of Kiev, Boris Kotlyar is one of the owners of Mermaid Spa, a Russian banya on Mermaid Avenue just outside of Sea Gate in Coney...
Content type: Oral History Item
Luna Park pinwheel
Pinwheel about to be installed on the entrance to the new Luna Park, May, 2010.
Content type: Collection Item
Collection type: Documentary photograph
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.  Among the more than 800,000 refugees who fled Vietnam in the years after the fall of Hanoi and safely arrived in another country ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Getting engaged on the Wonder Wheel, the most romantic ride in the world
One Saturday in May when we arrived to open up the Coney Island History Project exhibit center, a group of people holding signs that spelled out WILL YOU MARRY ME??????? caught our eye. A couple was getting engaged on the Wonder Wheel! A popular...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of family picnics under the Boardwalk and making new memories at Spook-A-Rama
For Carmen Arcendiaga, a trip to Coney Island with her granddaughter Zoe evokes memories of family picnics under the boardwalk, riding the Cyclone, and the Laughing Lady. They came to Coney Island after Carmen won an essay contest for a behind-the-...
Content type: Oral History Item