Coney Island’s beloved Mermaid Parade returns this weekend with a twist. The annual event will be live-streamed online Saturday, August 29 as a “Tail-a-Thon,” a parody of a telethon that will raise real money for charity. Marchers, dancers, and musical groups will be performing live from remote locations and available to view online, starting at 1:30 p.m.
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On Monday, bowling alleys were allowed to reopen, and as of this Monday, gyms and fitness studios, as well as museums and indoor cultural institutions can also reopen at a reduced capacity. So why are Coney Island’s amusements still closed? As reported by NY1, Coney Island’s amusement operators have joined the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) to advocate for a reopening before the end of the summer.
Feltman’s via Boston Public Library
The name Nathan’s has become synonymous with Coney Island, whether it be for the annual hot dog-eating contest or the childhood nostalgia of the boardwalk. It’s also become arguably the biggest name in the hot dog world in general. But, believe it or not, Nathan’s was not the first place to serve up franks in the seaside neighborhood. That distinction goes to Feltman’s, which was begun in 1867 as a pushcart by German immigrant Charles Feltman, considered the inventor of the hot dog on a bun.
While most of New York City’s annual summer activities and celebrations have been canceled or postponed this year because of the coronavirus, one event will still take place. Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest will forge ahead in Coney Island on July 4, but with no fans, fewer eaters, and social distancing measures in place.
Sea Breeze Hospital in Coney Island via Library of Congress
At a press conference on Monday about the recent coronavirus cases confirmed in New York City and State, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio emphasized that this is not New York’s “first rodeo” when it comes to pandemics. They pointed to the recent Ebola scare, as well as the 1968 Hong Kong flu and the 2009 Swine Flu, which closed 200 schools across the state. But even long before that, New York has had a gold standard for handling outbreaks of contagious diseases. From managing the flu pandemic of 1918 to the tuberculosis surge at the turn of the 19th century, the city’s public health officials have been containing outbreaks for well over a century. Ahead, we look at some of the ways this done, from quarantines to sea hospitals.
Owners of six small businesses in Coney Island, Lola Star Boutique, Nathan’s Famous, Ruby’s Bar & Grill, Paul’s Daughter, Tom’s Restaurant, and the Coney Island Beach Shop, are currently negotiating new 10-year lease agreements with amusement park operator Zamperla. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the boardwalk businesses are facing rent increases of between 50 and 400 percent each. “We care about Coney Island and its future, and we are dedicated to making it as strong a community as possible,” Alessandro Zamperla, the president of the company, told the Times. “This is why we’ve been working with our tenants to ensure their success and preserve the character of Coney Island.” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has not come forward with a plan to mediate; according to the newspaper, the rent increases do not violate the agreement between Zamperla and the city.
Plans filed for large apartment building on parking lot of classic Coney Island restaurant Gargiulo’s, Thu, January 9, 2020
View of 1517 Surf Avenue; Photo courtesy of Ace Aerial
The owner of a 100-year-old Italian restaurant in Coney Island has agreed to lease the establishment’s neighboring parking lot to a luxury real estate developer. Gargiulo’s Restaurant owner Louis Russo filed a 99-year ground lease for the lot at 1517 Surf Avenue, located about one block from the boardwalk, with developer LCOR, as first reported by the Brooklyn Paper. According to the developer, plans will likely involve a mixed-income residential development and ground-floor retail.
Image via Wikimedia cc.
As of today, the MTA has added four express trains to the F line during morning and evening rush hours. Two F trains will run express between the Church Avenue and Jay Street-MetroTech stations, stopping only at Seventh Avenue, during the morning and evening rush hours. Additionally, two Manhattan-bound trains will run express from Church Avenue between 7 and 7:30 a.m. and two Coney Island-bound trains will run the express route between 5 and 5:40 p.m. Previously, as the Daily News reports, the F train’s route was the longest in the whole subway system without an express option.
The new log flume ride. Photo Credit: NYCEDC
Luna Park, home of the Coney Island Cyclone and Steeplechase, will welcome three new attractions–a ropes course, a log flume ride and a roller coaster–next year. The iconic seaside amusement park has turned to the public to name the new additions, which are set to open in 2020, AM New York reports.
Photos via the New York Transit Museum
This weekend, both history buffs and New Yorkers looking to hit the beach can ride on one of the NY Transit Museum’s vintage subway cars. Part of the museum’s “Nostalgia Rides,” on Saturday, passengers can board 1910s BMT B-Type Standards and 1930s IND R1-9 cars and ride them from the 96th Street/2nd Avenue station in Manhattan all the way to Coney Island. Find out more