Coney Island

Featured Story

Coney Island, Features, History

It’s not often that you’ll go to a New York restaurant and find “hot dog” on the menu. The meaty delight is typically reserved for baseball games (in the foot-long variety) and summertime jaunts on the boardwalk. And of course, when we say boardwalk in NYC, we’re talking about Coney Island, widely believed to be the birthplace of the modern American frankfurter.

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.

Find out how the Coney Island hot dog got its start

Bronx, Coney Island, Far Rockaway, Transportation

Photo via mamojo

Four outer-borough neighborhoods undeserved by Citi Bike will host dockless bike-share programs this summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. In July, the city’s pilot kicks off in the beach communities of Coney Island and the Rockaways. The Bronx and Staten Island will also have the bike-share program, a first for both boroughs, near Fordham University and on the North Shore. “We are bringing new, inexpensive transportation options to neighborhoods that need them,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Dockless public bike sharing starts this summer, and we’re excited to see how New Yorkers embrace this new service.”

Get the details

Coney Island, Landmarks Preservation Commission

coney island, boardwalk

Photo via Shinya Suzuki’s Flickr

Ninety-five years to the day since it first opened, the Coney Island boardwalk has been officially designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as NYC’s 11th scenic landmark. The historic designation includes 2.7 miles of public beachfront, stretching from Coney Island’s West 37th Street to Brighton 15th Street in Brighton Beach. Since 2014, Council Member Mark Treyger has pushed for the boardwalk to be landmarked, but the commission repeatedly rejected the proposal.

“The Coney Island Boardwalk is as much a part of the culture as it is a part of the history of New York City,” LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said in a press release Tuesday. “It is a beloved public space that embodies Coney Island’s democratic spirit and reflects our City’s values of tolerance, inclusivity and equity.”

More details here

Featured Story

Coney Island, Features, History

Steeplechase Park, Coney Island amusement parks, George Tilyou, historic Coney Island

Steeplechase Park circa 1930-45, via Digital Commonwealth

Steeplechase Park was the first of Coney Island‘s three original amusement parks (in addition to Luna Park and Dreamland) and its longest lasting, operating from 1897 to 1964. It had a Ferris Wheel modeled after that of Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition, a mechanical horse race course (from which the park got its name), scale models of world landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, “Canals of Venice,” the largest ballroom in the state, and the famous Parachute Jump, among other rides and attractions.

After World War II, Coney Island’s popularity began to fade, especially when Robert Moses made it his personal mission to replace the resort area’s amusements with low-income, high-rise residential developments. But ultimately, it was Fred Trump, Donald’s father, who sealed Steeplechase’s fate, going so far as to throw a demolition party when he razed the site in 1966 before it could receive landmark status.

Get the full history this way

Coney Island, New Developments, Rentals

3514 Surf Avenue, New developments, coney island, John Catsimatidis, Ocean Dreams

New renderings have been revealed showing real estate mogul John Catsimatidis‘ Coney Island rental project at 3514 Surf Avenue known as Ocean Dreams, shown here courtesy of CityRealty. The American Institute of Architecture (AIA), which is currently taking votes for their People’s Choice award in Brooklyn, has included the 425-unit rental complex among the contenders. The building is being developed by Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group. Catsimatidis, who has big dreams indeed for the development, proposed a trolley-like streetcar service to access the Stillwell Avenue subway station, and once said he wanted to make the development look like Miami Beach.

More renderings this way

Coney Island, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Coney Island boardwalk likely to be landmarked

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, March 16, 2018

coney island, boardwalk

Image:  Shinya Suzuki via Flickr

After repeatedly declining to protect the celebrated walkway–even as its wooden planks become increasingly replaced with concrete and plastic as a result of Superstorm Sandy repairs–the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has agreed to add the historic Coney Island Boardwalk to the agency’s list of properties to consider for protected status, according to remarks made at a LPC hearing Thursday, Crain’s reports. LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said the boardwalk–its official name is the Riegelmann Boardwalk–could be protected as early as this spring or summer.

It could happen in time for summer

Coney Island, New Developments

coney island north

Rendering of Coney Island North Venture via The Prusik Group

It’s slated to be a big year for Coney Island–and not just when it comes to new rides and attractions. A massive development will join the growing redevelopment of the beachfront locale, which will be home to at least four major projects totaling 2,151 units in the coming years. According to CityRealty, Taconic Investment Partners and The Prusik Group are planning to build a ground-up, mixed-use complex tentatively referred to as “Coney Island North Venture.” It’ll be comprised of 1,000 apartments, 80,000 square feet of office space, and 150,000 square feet of retail along Surf Avenue. The complex will join a new 42-story tower, plus a 440-unit development that will boast its very own trolley.

All the development details

Coney Island, Events, holidays

Deno’s Wonder Wheel courtesy of kzoop’s Flickr

Editor’s Note: Due to the extreme cold conditions, Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Stop the Zombies ride will NOT open on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The B&B Carousell will be open.

Overpriced clubs, surging Ubers, and Manhattan crowds not your thing? Check out the fourth annual New Year’s Eve party at Coney Island’s historic boardwalk instead. Four rides, including the iconic Wonder Wheel, will be free of charge beginning at 6 pm until 9:30 pm on December 31.  Nathan’s Famous, Coney Island Brewery, and Tom’s Restaurant will also stay open for the festivities.  As amNY learned, there will be live entertainment and the countdown to 2018 will feature a digital “burst” of lights from the Parachute jump at midnight.

Details on the event here

Coney Island, Major Developments, New Developments, Transportation

John Catsimatidis, Ocean Dreams, Coney Island, Major developments, new developments, condos, Brooklyn

A rendering of Ocean Dreams from January via Dattner Architects

As part of his “Ocean Dreams” development in Coney Island, billionaire real estate mogul John Catsimatidis plans to build a streetcar that would link the mixed-use project to the Stillwell Avenue subway station in Coney Island. Developed by Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group, the project at 3514 Surf Avenue includes three buildings between West 36th and West 37th Streets that will feature retail space, 440 market-rate apartments and a 254-car garage. As the Coney Island News first reported, Catsimatidis said the streetcar would be available to everyone, not just residents of his development.

Find out more

affordable housing, Coney Island, Policy

Trump Village, Trump Village West, trump village co-ops

Photo of Trump Village West via Trump 4 West

Built by Donald Trump’s father, Fred, in 1964, Trump Village in Coney Island features seven 23-story towers with 3,700 co-op and rental apartments. To pay for the $70 million project, which would total $564 million today, Fred Trump used Mitchell-Lama, a government program that granted financial incentives in exchange for setting aside affordable housing. The typical rental contract lasts 20 years, and after that, landlords can opt-out of the program. As Crain’s reported, Trump Village became one of the first co-ops to exit the Mitchell-Lama program in 2007, letting residents sell their apartments for whatever the market allowed. Owners of 38,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments, representing 28% of the program’s housing, have left in the past 20 years. But as the value of these apartments, which were once affordable, keeps rising, New Yorkers looking for affordable housing there, and other former Mitchell-Lama apartments, may be out of luck.

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