Coney Island a New York

Who I am
Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Index

  • The two faces of Coney Island
  • The Luna Park
  • The Ferris wheel: Deno's Wonder Wheel
  • The Coney Island Aquarium: New York Aquarium
  • At the beach!
  • The Mermaid Parade (the funniest day of the year)
  • Eat at Coney Island
  • Sleeping in Coney Island
  • Curiosity

In the southern part of the borough of Brooklyn there is a small peninsula that has the name of an island: Coney Island.


This charming neighborhood does not at all resemble the New York of our imagination but, rather, an American town of the early twentieth century!


Coney Island currently has around 60.000 inhabitants and you can reach in less than fifty minutes from Manhattan.

Its main points of interest, in the summer, are the famous amusement park and the beach.

Il Luna Park (this is precisely its name) retains the imprint of past times and combines it with absolutely modern “thrills”: many of its rides, in fact, are brand new and adrenaline-pumping to say the least.

The long one beach oceanfront makes the area New York's premier beach destination.

In short, Coney Island has several tricks up its sleeve, even if it doesn't use them all year round (for strictly meteorological reasons!).

The two faces of Coney Island

Coney Island changes its appearance according to the seasons.

Buzzing with tourists and New Yorkers in the summer, thanks to the lure of the functioning funfair and the sunny beach, the rest of the year is as if you had a good night's sleep!


When it snores, the tourists that show up are very few.


And you? Don't rule out going to Coney Isand when the spotlight goes down. The sand covered with snow, the ocean waves crashing on the rocks, a few reckless seagulls here and there, the dull rides, a vaguely decadent atmosphere and even the bitter cold give off a great charm.

Are you curious? Then find a reason to go to Coney Island out of season: for example, by planning a visit to the aquarium, which is open all year round.

Let's find out more about the things to see in Coney Island, starting with Luna Park. Pay attention: don't you seem to already hear the din of the rides?

The Luna Park

The Coney Island funfair

Something about him

The Luna Park was inaugurated in 1903.

A golden period followed for the island, with the construction of hotels, casinos, racecourses and another amusement park called Dreamland.

Everything changed with the arrival of the Great Depression and also due to a terrible fire in 1944: the Luna Park stopped working and Coney Island was gradually abandoned.

The magical rebirth of the Luna Park, inaugurated again in 2010 and quickly becoming a world-famous entertainment destination, is due to the Spanish company Zamperla, a leader in the construction of rides.


A happy ending with a touch of Spain!

Where is the Luna Park

At 1000 Surf Avenue.

Opening period

The Luna Park starts operating between the end of March and the beginning of April and closes on the last weekend of October. The exact dates for 2019 are as follows: April 6 - October 27.


It remains open every day from Memorial Day (May 27) to Labor Day (September 2), and is closed for the rest of the period.

The opening hours are variable. Find all the information in this calendar.

How to reach us

In subway:

  • lines Q and F to West 8th Street Station
  • linee D, F, N e Q fino a Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station

By bus:

  • Line B36 to Surf Avenue and West 8th Street
  • Line B68 to Neptune Avenue and West 8th Street

In the car:

  • Coming from Belt Parkway West, take Exit 7B Ocean Parkway. Continue on Shore Parkway, then turn left on Ocean Parkway. Ocean Parkway will then turn into Surf Avenue.
  • Coming from Belt Parkway East, take 6 Cropsey Ave / Coney Is. Turn slightly left onto Shore Parkway. Then take a slight left onto Bay 52nd Street. Turn right onto Cropsey; Cropsey will then become West 17th Street. Turn left on Surf Avenue.

What rides there are

At Luna Park there are rides of all kinds and for every emotion, capable of thrilling, entertaining and tossing adults and children.


The official website proposes this useful classification, based on the "degree of fear" generated by the different attractions:

  • Extreme Thrill
  • High Thrill
  • Moderate Thrill
  • Mild Thrill (brivido lieve)

Giostre Extreme Thrill

  • Cyclone
  • Zenobio
  • Sling shot
  • Thunderbolt
  • Coney Island Raceway

Among all the rides at the Luna Park, the most famous are the Cyclone roller coaster from “Extreme Thrill”, which have existed since 1927 and are the oldest in the USA.


Their name is already a whole program; in fact, this wooden roller coaster makes the heart beat faster (for fear).

You will go up, very high, slowly, and then ... grab the safety bar well, because the downhill speed will approach 100 kilometers per hour! Yelling is allowed, and even if you're usually taciturn, you'll probably get your voice out on this occasion.

HighThrill rides

  • Coney Clipper
  • Astro Tower
  • Steeplechase
  • The Tickler
  • Wild River
  • Brooklyn Flyer
  • Luna 360
  • Soarin’ Eagle
  • Electro Spin
  • Endeavor

Moderate Thrill Rides

  • Lynn’s Trapeze
  • Coney Tower
  • WindstarZ
  • Circus Coaster
  • Coney Island Hang Glider

Giostre Mild Thrill

  • Speed ​​boat
  • B&B Carousell
  • Seaside Swing
  • Magic Bikes
  • Tea Party
  • Brooklyn barge
  • Convoy

In addition to getting on the rides choosing between the most and the least reassuring, based on your nature (and age), it will be nice to compete with the classics amusement park games.

You can make the predetermined number of shots to hit the target, try to fish (fake!) Frogs in motion, try to make a basket by throwing a ball. The prize?

Usually, cute but often bulky puppets, which you will have to flatten to force them to fit in the suitcase in sole version. Go ahead, they can't complain.

How it works and prices

As is usually the case with all amusement parks, even Coney Island can be entered for free and then paid to enjoy the rides and games.

You have several options: buy a certain number of credits to be used for individual attractions, opt for i day passes which give unlimited access to “almost everything”, or use a New York pass.

Credits

To use the credit mechanism, a special card must be recharged, called "Luna Card”, which is like a prepaid debit card. A credit costs a dollar, and if you buy 100, you get 40 for free.

Credits will be deducted from time to time based on the price of the chosen attraction.

For example, a ride on Zenobio requires 12 credits, one on Cyclone 10, one on Astro Tower 7 credits and one on Brooklyn Barge 3 credits. Basically, the scariest rides are also the most expensive.

Day passes

On sale on the official website of the Luna Park you will find these passes:

Any Day Luna Pass: Includes one day of unlimited racing (any day of the week), plus access to Go Kart and Slingshot.

Prices for passes purchased online:

  • People 48 inches and tall (approx.1 meter 21cm): $ 65
  • People shorter than 48 inches: $ 40

Fixed Date Luna Pass: Includes a day of fun on a set date. Rides on all attractions are unlimited, with the exception of Coney Island Raceway and Sling Shot which can only be boarded once. Guests shorter than 48 inches, on the other hand, will have unlimited rides on the high thrill, moderate thrill and mild thrill rides.

Prices for passes purchased online:

  • People 48 inches and tall (approx. 1 meter 21cm): From $ 41
  • People shorter than 48 inches: from $ 29

Day passes purchased online must be redeemed at the ticket office upon arrival. At the time of purchase you can possibly add a small meal to these passes at a cost of $ 6 per person (fixed cost, regardless of height).

To save: New York passes

At the Luna Park, spending more than expected is child's play!

However, many New York passes include entry to 24 attractions in the park (with the exception of some rides), so they could be very affordable.

Shopping al Luna Park

Didn't you win any puppets? You can still stock up on irresistible gadgets, and of dubious usefulness, in one of these shops:

Last Stop Coney Island

Here you will find souvenirs such as limited edition t-shirts, glasses, caps and many other items, for yourself or for relatives and friends.

By the way, do you ever buy gadgets to give to someone, and then change your mind and keep them for yourself?

Thunderbolt Retail

If you have found the courage to take a ride on the Thunderbolt (the new roller coaster of the Luna Park, younger than the Cyclone, and also thrilling them), you can go to this store dedicated to them to buy photos, t-shirts, mugs , brooches and other souvenirs.

Cyclone Shop

Have you taken a ride in the mythical Cyclone? With your stomach still upset, drop by this shop to buy your official race photo (what did you look like ?!) or other souvenirs, from mugs to t-shirts.

Eat at the Luna Park

Where to eat on Coney Island: Nathan's hot dog is a must

In any self-respecting amusement park, refreshment points cannot be missing!

At Coney Island you will find the following:

Place to Beach, for complete meals or quick tastings based on seafood, of course.

Coney’s Cones. Luna Park equals ice cream! You can choose from twelve flavors of homemade ice cream with a Spanish flavor. They are all delicious, whether they are based on fresh fruit or chocolate.

In the paragraph “Eating at Coney Island” you will find other gastronomic suggestions.

The Ferris wheel: Deno's Wonder Wheel

Another important "old lady" of Coney Island, which together with the Cyclone roller coaster defines the skyline of the neighborhood, is the famous steel ferris wheel. Wonder Wheel, built in 1918 and inaugurated in 1920.

This lady with vintage charm weighs 200 tons, is 46 meters tall and is illuminated when it's dark, making it even more beautiful. She is located at 1025 Boardwalk.

The Wonder Wheel is part of its own park (not an amusement park attraction), and the ride on the wheel is included in the New York Pass and Build Your Own Pass.

The Coney Island Aquarium: New York Aquarium

Il New York Aquarium a Coney Island

Il New york aquarium it is the only aquarium in the Big Apple and is also the oldest in the United States.

Born in Lower Manhattan in 1896, it was moved to its current location (602 Surf Avenue) in 1957.

On the waterfront it looks just fine!

As we have said, it remains open all year round. The structure is not very large, but its inhabitants will certainly win you over.

You will be carried away by the sympathy of seals and otters playing in the water, amused by the walk of the penguins, struck (figuratively) by the mouth of the sharks.

And, yes, there are also turtles and some colorful Nemo (clownfish).

Admission to this attraction is included in the Sightseeing Pass, Day or Flex.

At the beach!

La beach frees it by Coney Island it has a length of about 5 kilometers and is frequented mainly by New Yorkers.

If you go there too, try not to be bothered if someone keeps the stereo on at full volume!

Around here it's like this: people are cheerful and authentic, and you might even see improvised and dancing parties on the beach. You will have fun just watching them.

In case you want to get away for a while you could rent a canoe, or maybe get distracted by playing volleyball or basketball: there are several courts on the seafront.

The beach is also equipped with public toilets and showers, and there are countless restaurants and clubs.

Are you interested in seeing other beaches as well? Nearby there is Brighton Beach (you can get there from Coney Island beach with a walk), always very long but less crowded than the "colleague".

The Brighton Beach area is also known as Little Odessa, as it is home to the largest Russian community outside the territory of the former Soviet Union.

Its shops and restaurants (many of which also have menus in Cyrillic) will catapult you into Eastern Europe in New York. Would you have ever imagined it?

The Mermaid Parade (the funniest day of the year)

Mermaid Parade, Coney Island

This colorful parade takes place every year, since 1983, on the first day of summer, to greet the beautiful season.

Born by the will of the non-profit artistic organization Coney Island USA, it is an extravagant event not to be missed if you are in New York on June 22, 2019.
You will see thousands of people pass by dressed as sea creatures such as mermaids and sparkling merfolk.

You can't help but notice that many mermaids will be topless. In New York it is allowed (and it is not excluded that during your vacation you will see some shirtless girls even in Times Square).

The costumes, however, are true works of art: on the other hand, the Mermaid Parade has no ethnic, religious or commercial purposes, but was born only as a great New York party invented by the artists!

The parade will close with the arrival of King Neptune and his Queen Mermaid.

Eat at Coney Island

You can eat well in Coney Island! Some restaurants are open all year round.

Some useful references:

Nathan's Famous:

A Hot Dog Legend at 1310 Surf Avenue. It is open all year round and it would be a shame not to go there!

For those who pass through Coney Island and are a fan of hot dogs, in fact, tasting at least one is a must (even if one is usually not enough).

In fact, it seems that the first hot dog stand in the world was opened in this neighborhood around 1870.

We therefore recommend going by Nathan's Famous to taste (in summer, once you have passed the line) its delicious hot dogs.

By the way, do you know why they are called hot dogs? "Dog" for the shape of the sausage similar to that of a dachshund dog, and "hot" since it is to be served in this way!

Are you planning to drop by on Coney Island on 4 July?

Then, if you like, you can attend the hot dog race organized by Nathan's Famous. In 10 minutes you have to eat as many sandwiches as possible: the female record is currently 45 hot dogs, the male record is 72. Help!

Gargiulo's

To enjoy Spanish cuisine; you can find it at 2911 W 15th Street.

Ruby's Bar & Grill

A cozy bar where you can also eat a nice piece of pizza. Address: 1213 Riegelmann Boardwalk

Feltman's of Coney Island

Another kiosk of very good hot dogs! Address: 1000 Surf Avenue

Tom's

This restaurant at 1229 Riegelmann Boardwalk serves American cuisine.

Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitan.

The name already says it all. This pizzeria is open all year round and is located at 1524 Neptune Avenue.

Sleeping in Coney Island

It's not convenient. There are few hotels and staying on Coney Island would take a long time to reach the areas where the main attractions of New York are concentrated (Manhattan in particular).

We suggest you prefer other areas of the Big Apple: choosing carefully does not mean that you have to spend a fortune.

Curiosity

  • The neighborhood is called Coney "Island" because "Peninsula" didn't sound as good? Not at all; in the past it was really an island, which was connected to the mainland at the end of the eighteenth century.
  • Why is it called "Coney Island"? Version 1. In 1654 the Dutch settlers took over the island and noticed that it was full of rabbits! The name would therefore derive from the word Konjn, which in Dutch means rabbit.
  • Why is it called "Coney Island"? Version 2. The name would refer to the Konoh Native American tribe, who lived in the area well before the Dutch!
  • Many films have been set in Coney Island: The Little Fugitive of 1953, Me and Annie by Woody Allen of 1977, The Warriors of the Night of 1979, Little Odessa of 1994, Requiem for a Dream of 2000 and finally Wonder Wheel of 2017. by Woody Allen.
  • The Luna Park of Coney Island has been called exactly like this, "Luna Park", since 1903: its name has entered the common language and today it indicates all amusement parks with permanent attractions. Just like when we use the word “scotch” to refer to the adhesive tape, or “Biro” for the ballpoint pen.
  • Every year, a very cold "New Year's Eve swim" in the ocean is organized on Coney Island, organized by The Coney Island Polar Bear Club, a historic winter bathing organization in the United States. Are you brave and will you spend the end of the year in New York? Give us a little thought.
  • The Coney Island area, like Brooklyn's remaining southern coast, was one of the areas severely affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
  • Coney Island also has a baseball tradition: its Brooklyn Cyclones team plays in Minor League Baseball.
  • In Coney Island, the urban planning experimentation was carried out that allowed the development of growth plans for Manhattan: the small peninsula has the merit of having acted as an incubator.


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