Coney Island Beach

Memories of bus trips to Coney Island with the Good Will Family Club from the 1940's through 1961
From the 1940s through the 1970s, bus trips to Coney Island were so popular that concessionaires recall 50 to 100 buses arriving on Saturday mornings and staying till 6 or 7 at night.  Growing up in a close-knit family in Philadelphia, Alonzo...
Content type: Oral History Item
"Hot Dog Queen" and Winner of the 1972 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
For more than 40 years, Melody Andorfer worked as a registered nurse on the front lines at Elmhurst Hospital. She worked in the neo-natal intensive care unit, drug and alcohol rehab, the acute brain trauma unit, and also spent ten years as an...
Content type: Oral History Item
A lifelong resident's memories of growing up in Coney Island's Gravesend Houses and Kaiser Park
Born and raised in Coney Island, Maria Navarro says her family came here from Morovis, Puerto Rico in 1957 and lived on West 36th, 27th, 21st, 28th and 29th Streets before settling in Gravesend Houses in 1970.  "Everybody knows each other," says...
Content type: Oral History Item
Brooklynite who posed for a now iconic 1950's NY Daily News pin-up photo on Coney Island Beach
In 1954, Lois McLohon posed for a Daily News photographer as a bathing beauty against the backdrop of Coney Island beach and its famous skyline.  When the photo appeared as a "cheesecake photo" in the paper's centerfold,  she and her friends thought...
Content type: Oral History Item
Brooklyn-born playwright on her plays set in Coney Island and a marriage proposal on the beach
Brooklyn born and based playwright Gina Femia has written 32 full-length plays, including three set in various locations in Coney Island, from the playgrounds of the projects to the Wonder Wheel. Among them are The Mermaids' Parade (2015-2016) and...
Content type: Oral History Item
President of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club for the past 12 years and a member since the 1980s
Dennis Thomas, the president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club for the past 12 years, shares memories of his first swim with the club - "That's crazy, I want to do it!"- and feeling drawn to the desolate yet haunting atmosphere of Coney Island in...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Islander, musician/songwriter in alt-rock band Newborn, lifeguard
Allen James grew up on West 5th Street in Coney Island, which he describes as near the border of Brighton Beach and "the best of both worlds," noting that "it was the perfect place to grow up as a kid in Brooklyn." He still lives in the neighborhood...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in Coney Island Houses in the 1980s and '90s
Crystal Isley recalls the excitement of moving to Coney Island Houses from Williamsburg with her family on the day before her fifth birthday. With her bedroom window overlooking the beach and the sounds of the ocean lulling her to sleep, "I felt it...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of going to Coney Island Beach as a child in the 1930's and a teenager in the '40s
Born in 1932, Connie Scacciaferro grew up in Ridgewood and enjoyed outings to Coney Island Beach as a young girl. "Anybody that could carry a shopping bag when we were little, carried a shopping bag on the train to the beach," she says of taking the...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up on Brighton First Court and a summer job renting beach chairs in Coney Island
Bill Zeidenberg grew up in the 1950s and 1960s at 212 Brighton First Court, just east of Ocean Parkway, the dividing line of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. He shares vivid memories of his summer job working for the M. & C. Chair Operating...
Content type: Oral History Item