By Cait Etherington, Thu, March 5, 2020
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.
By Devin Gannon, Wed, January 15, 2020
Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr
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.
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By Devin Gannon, 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.
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By Michelle Cohen, Mon, September 16, 2019
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.
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By Michelle Cohen, Wed, August 14, 2019
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.
Taking names, this way
By Nicole Mondrus, Thu, July 18, 2019
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
By Alexandra Alexa, Wed, July 10, 2019
Image via Wiki Commons
Since taking over operations of Luna Park in 2010, Central Amuseument International (CAI) has had a big hand in the transformation of the neighborhood, and that will continue to increase. Following a Request for Proposals (RFP) last June, the MTA has just announced that CAI Foods—a subsidiary of CAI—will lead a retail conversion of Coney Island’s iconic Stillwell Avenue Terminal Complex. CAI will take over nine of the 11 retail units in the Complex, turning the largest into “Rcade,” an arcade with a restaurant, bar, and coffee shop that will be open year-round. The remaining units will be subleased on a seasonal basis.
By Alexandra Alexa, Fri, June 21, 2019
Image via Flickr
The 37th annual Mermaid Parade kicks off in Coney Island this Saturday, signaling the official start of the summer season. Celebrated as the largest “art parade” in the country, the festive lineup features marching bands, drill teams, floats, antique cars and some 1,500 participants dressed in handmade costumes of mermaids, sea creatures, and mythical figures. This year, Coney Island natives Arlo Guthrie & Nora Guthrie—who both grew up on Mermaid Avenue—will lead the way as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune. Per tradition, they’ll be wheeled through in an antique wicker Boardwalk Rolling Chair dating back to 1923.
By James and Karla Murray, Tue, April 9, 2019
The Wonder Wheel with no cars installed; photos © James and Karla Murray
Honoring a 60-year tradition of opening on Palm Sunday, Coney Island Amusement Park will be back in business this Sunday, April 14th. One of the many activities will be the annual blessing of the rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel. The 150-foot-tall, 100-year-old structure is one of the most iconic pieces remaining at Coney Island. But there’s a lot that goes into this seasonal opening than even the most well-versed New Yorker may not know. Each winter, the 200-ton ride is repainted, and all of its 24 cars are removed. But come spring, second-generation co-owner Steve Vourderis goes through the process of precisely reinstalling and aligning the cars. We were lucky enough to visit Steve and his brother Dennis on a recent frigid Sunday to watch the magic happen.
Go behind-the-scenes at the Wonder Wheel
By Devin Gannon, Thu, March 28, 2019
Photo by Jim McDonnell
Keeping with more than 60 years of tradition, the Coney Island Amusement Park will open for the season next month on Palm Sunday. To kicks things off on April 14, historian Charles Denson will lead a tour of the Riegelmann Boardwalk, which was designated a scenic landmark last year. The opening day celebration continues the following weekend with an Immigrant Heritage Tour of Coney Island, with stops at Nathan’s Famous, founded by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, purchased by Greek immigrant Denos D. Vouderis as a wedding ring for his wife.
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