Bowery, The

Memories of growing up in a Jones Walk rooming house in 1940s Coney Island
Gloria Nicholson was born in Coney Island in 1940 and grew up in a rooming house that her mother Josephine Boyce managed on Jones Walk and the Bowery. It overlooked the Virginia Reel and Wonder Wheel, which she often rode.  During the summer her...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island carny kid and water race game operator on the Bowery
Candi Rafael, whose family operates games on Coney Island's Bowery, grew up here and started helping out as an eight-year-old. Now 22, she says "I have to say it's made me stronger." She says working here has taught her the value of hard work as...
Content type: Oral History Item
Dalia Vazquez and Raymundo Bardomiano own Tacos Doña Zita on Coney Island's Bowery
This interview was conducted and recorded in Spanish. Read Leslee Dean's transcript and translation below. Dalia Vazquez and Raymundo Bardomiano live and work in Coney Island, where they are the owners of Tacos Doña Zita, a popular Mexican...
Content type: Oral History Item
Mary Hood came to Coney Island as a child and worked on the Bowery well into her 90s
95-year-old Mary Hood (a.k.a. Mary Fish) was a regular at the bar at Peggy O'Neill's. She was either working long hours as a ticket taker at the Eldorado Skooter or she was drinking into the wee hours. It was hard to pin her down or to keep up with...
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
Family of former Coney game and ride owner Jack Merr
Linda Merr, wife of former game and ride owner Jack Merr recalls the one and only time she acted in a sideshow alongside Iron Jaw Joe. Michael Merr, son of Jack and Linda, expresses his opinion about the future of Coney Island.
Content type: Oral History Item
Lived in Coney Island from 1938 thru early 1950's
Harry spent his formative years in Coney Island and has many memories of the sights and sounds from his youth. Before being drafted into the military during the Korean War, he had various part-time jobs including a stint at Silver's Bathhouse...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of Tunnels of Love ride operator John Kavakos
Neal recalls his father, John Kavakos, a "street urchin" from Greece who came to Coney Island and built the Tunnels of Love at the Bowery and 12th Street. The attraction consisted of a serene boat ride that took passengers past various...
Content type: Oral History Item
Radio broadcaster and Coney Island native
Freda Aron, née Umansky, was born in Brooklyn in 1915 and grew up in Coney Island in the 1920s and '30s as the child of Russian immigrant parents. After attending Bay Ridge Girls High School, she graduated from Lincoln High School's first...
Content type: Oral History Item
An adventuresome youth in Coney Island
Naomi Starss shares this story from her youth about getting in trouble with the police for panhandling with a girlfriend in Coney Island when they were fourteen years old. She describes how they made friends with a good-looking policeman who...
Content type: Oral History Item