Growing up in Coney Island in the '1950s and '60s, Charles Denson experienced legendary amusements and attractions like the Cyclone and Thunderbolt roller coasters, the Parachute Jump, and Steeplechase Park. In CONEY ISLAND: LOST AND FOUND, Denson gives us an insider's look at one of New York's best-known neighborhoods, weaving together memories of his childhood adventures with colorful stories of the area's past and interviews with local personalities, all brought to life by hundreds of photographs, detailed maps, and authentic memorabilia. CONEY ISLAND: LOST AND FOUND is a heartfelt chronicle that stretches from colonial times to the island's heyday in the early 20th century and through its subsequent decline and revival, culminating in the 2001 opening of the new ballpark that brought baseball back to Brooklyn. Named 2002 New York Book of the Year by the New York Society Library, it was called "the king of Coney Island books" by juror Christopher Gray.
Coney Island & Astroland
CONEY ISLAND AND ASTROLAND tells the story of Coney Island's evolution by exploring its changing architectural streetscape through never before seen images from the Astroland Archive, the Coney Island History Project Archive, and the personal collection of author Charles Denson. The book is part of Arcadia's Images of America series and was released on June 13, 2011.
According to the publisher's description, "Coney Island is a unique New York City neighborhood and a place of exciting innovation, where the roller coaster and the hot dog were introduced to the world, the glow of a million bare lightbulbs at Luna Park dazzled early visitors, and rocket rides at Astroland fueled intergalactic fantasies. Coney Island served as the pressure valve for New York, drawing millions to its famous beach on sweltering weekends. Astroland Park, created at the dawn of the space age, was the vision of Dewey and Jerome Albert. They transformed the 3-acre Feltman's Restaurant property, one of Coney Island's oldest attractions, into a futuristic amusement park that would anchor the amusement zone for the next half century. The park's ambitious opening in 1962 mirrored the wide-eyed optimism of the early 1960s and helped Coney Island survive the closure of the venerable Steeplechase Park."
Wild Ride! A Coney Island Roller Coaster Family
In its heyday, Coney Island was a neighborhood of close-knit immigrant communities. German, Italian, Greek, Jewish, and Irish families came seeking a better life in the burgeoning amusement industry. Sicilian-born Joseph Bonsignore made his way to Coney in the 1920s. He saw that ambitious individual entrepreneurs owned the lucrative rides and bathhouses that drew tens of thousands of visitors. Starting small, Joe opened a penny arcade, then, one by one, acquired some of Coney's renowned landmarks - the Bobsled, Tornado, and L. A. Thompson roller coasters, and Stauch's Baths.
For his Coney Island businesses to succeed, Joe had to rely on his son, John, who put his loyalty to his family ahead of his own aspirations. Father and son worked alongside each other for four decades, sharing a dedication to their endeavors while enduring professional challenges and personal conflicts. Award-winning author Charles Denson tells the Bonsignore family story against the backdrop of exciting and turbulent times in Coney Island, "America's Playground."
Hardcover, 220 pages, 100 photographs and illustrations.