Friday, December 18, 2009

Coney Island Dream

Coney Island Dream from Joshua Brown on Vimeo.

This is a visually beautiful short video of Coney Island in winter. Enjoy.

Brooklyn 1600s

This is a pretty cool picture (click on the picture for a larger view). More information here.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Coney Island Parachute Drop


Uploaded by Reggie_Lavoie on 12 Dec 09, 8.21PM PST.
I never get tired of looking at these shots but I prefer Jump to Drop.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

KINETIC CARNIVAL - The Coney Island Blog: Coney Vid: A Look Back...Before The Saga


A look back at a not-so-distant past summer in Coney Island. A summer that was yet untouched by greedy hands. A Coney Island that needed repair but was still alive and thriving without its future in peril or in question. A Childs Building that still had not let in the sun for decades, a thriving boardwalk, the Wonder Wheel still shimmering in the sunlight, the B&B Carousel whirling to the grind of the organ, an Astroland still alive and kicking, and the Top Spin and the Zipper still spinning with verve.

Coney Island- Summer, 2005

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from Switzerland!

































Hello to all of you who used to live in the Coney Island Projects.

This morning when I woke up in Switzerland, where Halloween is not much of a holiday, I thought about the way we used to go trick-or-treating in the projects. I remember that in the fourth building we used to knock on the doors and say "Trick or Treat from the buildings", so that people would give us extra special treats. Helene Greenbaum used to tell us to say "29" when we knocked on her door. I also remember scores of wonderful Halloween parties, among them a particularly memorable one at the Singer's house.

Many of my childhood friends from the projects vanished at the cusp of adolescence; I myself left Coney Island right before turning fourteen. However, since Joey started the Coney Island Houses site, I have reconnected with many old friends. Thank you Joey!

For those of you who don't know, I have lived in Switzerland for the past 24 years in a small village in the French-speaking part - about an hour south of Geneva and I became Swiss about ten years ago. Before moving to Switzerland, I had lived in Italy. I teach Linguistics and Italian at a Swiss University - HEP, which is not far from the French and Italian borders. I have two grown kids, Dante, who is a doctor working in oncology in Lausanne and Mercedes, who lives in Scotland and teaches Sociolinguistics at the University of Aberdeen.

Our closest holiday to Halloween is Carnevale and I usually go to Venice to celebrate it. Here are some photos of me in Venice taken in 2007 dressed in my Bianca Neve (Snow White) costume. The last photo is of me and my son Dante.

I love looking at all of the photos on the site and I'll try to add some more when I have a bit of time.

Let me know if any of you come to Europe. I'm going to make some pumpkin soup now. Happy Halloween! All the best.

Ciao,
Lisa Beth Schneider Durham (Apt. 12A - building four)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remember Clay Cole?

From The Beatles Examiner:

The name you'll certainly know, especially if you have East Coast roots, is disc jockey Clay Cole. Particularly in the New York area, his show was one of the best teenage dance shows around. Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits once said, "New York was home to 'The Ed Sullivan Show' and 'The Clay Cole Show' and when we first came to America, we were told we must do Clay Cole and Ed Sullivan. Trouble is, we didn't know which was which."

And Cole pulled off a historic feat on one particular show: He had the Rolling Stones, who were in the studio, and the Beatles (via satellite) on the same program called, interestingly enough, "The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Totonno's To Re-Open Mid October

















Image courtesy of timkang (Flickr.com)


KINETIC CARNIVAL - The Coney Island Blog: Coney Pizza Place To Re-Open Mid October



The Coney Island summer season this year still thrived considering the embarrassing mishaps of Thor Equities and the first time in almost four decades that Astroland was not here. Coney summer goers did do without another Coney iconic place: the pizza place..."Totonno's Pizza.



According to the owners of Totonno's Pizza which was damaged in a fire last March will reopen sometime around mid-October. Though the fire did cause some damage, the closure was for reasons of the building's structure as city inspection recognized. The building, located at 1524 Neptune Avenue, was found to be compromised to the degree that it couldn't support the weight of the oven it housed.

But renovations have been underway all summer so expect to grab yourself a warm slice this fall and winter.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life Lessons From Coney Island

My name is Mike Bruckner. Perhaps some of you reading this remember me or my brother Dave. Maybe you were one of the "kids" who beat me up. I was a skinny kid with glasses. Easy target. I lived in Coney Island from the year of my birth (1951) until 1964, when we moved to Bensonhurst. At the time that was the saddest day of my life. I went to PS 188, then in 5th grade they moved us to the brand new PS288. That seemed like we were in the lap of luxury compared to the old school. From there I went to Mark Twain for 7th grade and part of 8th. Then in November of 64, we moved. Although I never lived in the projects (as my dad referred to them), I (along with my brother) played in the Big Park from 1959 'til 1964. We got to know lots of kids there. Our best friend was Joey DePinto. Of course we have the same memories as the rest of you: punch ball, stick ball, Al the ice cream man, going under the boardwalk, etc. When I moved to Bensonhurst and enrolled in Bensonhurst JHS, the first thing I learned was everyone wanted a chance to beat up the new kid. Bensonhurst at the time seemed almost genteel compared to rough and tumble Coney. They looked down their noses at me like I was white trash from the wrong side of the tracks. Well if there was one thing I learned in the Big Park it was you gotta be tough. You've got to stand up like man and take your lumps and give some back. I was determined not to let these snobby kids get the better of me. Like life in general, I won some and I lost some. In the end though, after fighting my way through most of the class, I gained a certain amount of respect from them. Thanks Coney Island.

By the way, little did I know on that dismal day in November '64, I hadn't seen the last of the island. In the summers of '66 and '67, I worked at the "Corner Cigar Store". You may remember it. It was diagonally across from Nathan's on the corner of Surf and Stillwell. In '68 I worked briefly at Steve's clam bar which was on the boardwalk, then Eddie's Fascination.

My last visit to Coney was in March 2005, just before I moved to Texas. One last stop at Nathan's and the Aquarium. Ironically, here in Houston they refer to hot dogs as coneys.

--
Michael Bruckner
09/16/2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

What I have learned during this reconnection with all things Coney Island Houses

I am a proud graduate of the Coney Island Houses school of life, circa 1950's, 1960's, and early 1970's. My major was "Big Park", which was the most popular major of our day, and one that has fallen on hard times in the decades that followed us.

Our alumni numbers in the thousands, and our school has produced professors and doctors, writers and entertainers, educators and businesspeople, civil servants and entrepreneurs, house persons and homeless persons, law enforcement professionals and ex-cons, attorneys and and the disenfranchised, athletes and activists, writers and check kiters.

Though our universe once spread from 29th street to 32nd street, our alumni is now spread over the four corners of the globe, and that shall not be defined as Staten Island, Bensonhurst, Flatbush, and LONGIsland.

Though I once believed we all sprung from the same strand of DNA, our alumni numbers Liberal Democrats, Card-Carrying Fox News watchers, Libertarians, Anarchists, Communists, and Justdontcareists.

Contrary to popular opinion, we celebrate our religious holidays at synagogues, churches, mosques, Off-Track-Betting parlors, and wherever we wish.

We are happily married and never-married, divorced and cohabitating, proudly gay and heterosexual, charitable and inhospitable, in Olympian-shape and Globulous Mass-shaped, passive and argumentative, intuitive and clueless, inquisitive and uncaring, sensual and senseless.

Though we were not a virtual melting pot, we are a multi-cultural group; we are of a rainbow of colors, and we celebrate that.

Though not all of us loved one another as children, we have grown and evolved through the years, and we love one another deeply and passionately and feel forever connected. We believe that our school prepared us for life in a way that few others share and understand, and in a way that those that followed us in the decades since cannot understand.

We feel special and blessed to have had the opportunity to spend our childhood in such a school, and know that while we may have once been categorized as lower-middle income, our experiences were rich, and our lives privileged.

The world we grew up in has changed forever, and though so much of that world has become better, we believe that much of what we experienced exceeds anything our children and grandchildren will ever know about.

While many of us have regrets in our lives of things done or as yet undone, virtually all of us would love to have one last opportunity to run full speed into the ocean and dive in head-first before the cold water chases away our nerve.

We sometimes think about our beloved classmates who are not here to help celebrate our reunions, and we honor their memory.

We were not, as I once believed, one homogenous mass, with one mind-set and one set of opinions. We all came from the same place, and we have all evolved in ways unexpected, and in ways unimaginable.

We look at pictures of ourselves as kids, and we smile, we shed a tear or two when the intense memories are stirred.

We hug, we laugh, we embrace.

We are the graduates of The Coney Island Houses, and we will always be connected, and will always care about and for one another, and this makes us unique, and special, and GOOD.

Though many of us have traveled a long and hard road, we are the lucky ones. We are still here.

Celebrate it.

Steve Lattman

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jodie's Sweet 16 Party - August 1970

Jodie's Sweet 16 Party - August 1970 from Jodie Degen and Joey DePinto on Vimeo.


Jodie is also sharing this video from her Sweet 16. This is at least 3-4 years older than the Big Park video. Interesting to see the changing hair length on the guys. There are some shots of us throughout. Enjoy.

TIP: If you click on Vimeo in the lower right corner, the video is a little bigger.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Big Park - Coney Island Houses - 1960's

This video is an 8mm to VHS to digital transfer so the quality is a little washed out. It's also over 40 years old! If you watch it a few times, people become more recognizable. Please comment and share your thoughts about it. I thought the Little Rascals music was appropriate with all the horseplay. Man... we had fun! Please thank Jodie for sharing this wonderful footage. She shared the raw footage and I compiled the video and added the soundtrack.

TIP: If you click on YouTube in the lower right corner, the video is a little bigger.

Dusk On The Boardwalk In Summer



I don't know.... this picture just speaks to me. Anyone else?
dusk
Originally uploaded by me-myself-i

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Parachute Jump - Coney Island


Great b&w shot of the Parachute Jump. It's such an icon.
Parachute Jump - Coney Island
Originally uploaded by paulinakub
is

Monday, May 18, 2009

End Of The Line


KINETIC CARNIVAL - The Coney Island Blog: Coney Vid: End Of The Line
Description:
My first completed film, shot on Super 8 in July 2007, the last summer Coney Island's Astroland was going to be open. I had never visited the park before, but wanted to get there before it was closed forever so one summer while taking a course in NYC, I brought my Super 8 camera and spent the day filming there.

Posted by HOSHINOAOI [YouTube]

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Coney Island Opening Day















Coney Island Opening Day - 024-(L)
Originally uploaded by skabz666


Another great picture. Nothing says Coney Island like the Parachute Jump.

Coney Island Opening Day






Coney Island Opening Day - 022-(L)
Originally uploaded by skabz666



This is a great picture.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

1953 Rainy Day in Coney Island


KINETIC CARNIVAL - The Coney Island Blog: Coney Vintage Video: 1953 Rainy Day At Coney

This is a clip from the film "The Little Fugitive" which plays fairly regularly on Turner Classic Movies. Simpler times.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Visitor's View

To whom it may concern,

I didn't grow up in Coney Island but as a child I had always been fascinated by the place (especially Astroland). My aunt and uncle did live in one of those buildings until 1974 when they moved out to Shirley. My father and aunt grew up there but I didn't really know anything about their childhood.

I just recently did an assignment for a class I'm taking where I had to do a 30 minute presentation on any topic and I chose Coney Island. I got my presentation prepared but something was just missing to make the presentation alive. Then I stumbled on your site and I saw what makes Coney Island such a fascinating place. Yes, they did have all those interesting amusement attractions, Nathan's, the Wonder Wheel, etc. What made it exciting was the people that lived there to talk about it, such as Joey DePinto, Debbie Durso, Stu Berg, Elliot Popkin, Stu Goldberg and the many wonderful people I saw in the photos. I thought of all of you and my presentation came to life. I'm usually a very monotone person when I speak, but not when I did my presentation.

Thank you all for growing up in a place where you can speak fondly about it through good and sad times as people who don't know you can see what a fascinating life it was.

Sincerely,
Donald Katz
4/11/2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Retire in Coney Island










Hey Kids, it's me Kenny Boden, formerly of 3020. I live in Brooklyn and often film and walk the Coney trail in the "off season." Enjoy!

Kenny Boden
3/15/2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Journey Back Home

Many years ago, I had an older friend named Jack, who on the date of his fiftieth birthday, became very depressed. When I asked why, he remarked that he had come to the conclusion that half of his life was now over, and that he was on the downside of life.

Though I was a much younger man at the time, this stuck with me, and I waited until the date of my fiftieth, wondering if this same feeling of malaise would descend upon me, wondering if perhaps seeing more than half of my life in my rear view mirror would be a depressing concept.

Jack, I don't know if you're around anymore as we've traveled different paths, but I can say with full confidence that not only do I look forward to many more years of happiness and joy, but I can look back upon the "first half" of my life with so much happiness, and so many wonderful memories, that I feel as if I have been so blessed in this life. Unlike you, Jack, I have no dread of marching forward, as I'm very much looking forward to this next chapter.

Recently, so many of us have traveled back in time, either through this blog or Facebook (where we have raised the average age of users by at least five years), and through periodic dinners and get-togethers. It's obvious that dozens, and perhaps hundreds of us, have felt this need to reconnect, after so many years apart. It's been a blast.

As time has gone by since this connection, I think many of us have realized just how different our paths have been, and how different we all are, yet despite all this, we are part of a collective fabric.

We're not all Democrats or all Republicans, we are not all happily married, or world travelers, or thriving in this world, yet despite this, there is something that will forever tie us to one another.

We are that generation of Baby Boomers that is now middle aged (though many of us still look in a mirror and see a kid smiling back), and the oldest of us are now starting to qualify for Social Security. We grew up in a different world, with a different set of values and expectations than those that followed us in those five "Stalinist" buildings on Surf Avenue, and there seems to have been something different about our world back then, or there is no way that so many of us would be making that journey "back home".

There is something comforting about looking back at those pictures of many of us lying on chaise lounges holding sun reflectors, or Al The Ice Cream Man standing there beside his cart, and the joy of reconnecting and knowing that there are others out there that have this same love for our collective past gives us closure.

I have enjoyed reconnecting to so many of you, and learning of your experiences and trials and tribulations through these many years has given texture to my memories of you. Yes, many of us have suffered through tremendous personal losses or a debilitating health crisis, or other life issues, but at our core, we are still those same kids, still turning our jeans into shorts when the knees are torn, and the same kids with faces lit from the joy of running carefree through the sprinkler on the rare summer days when it was turned on (and working).

I see already that as time goes by, these days of checking Facebook for postings by our old, long-lost friends is fading away. The knowledge that we all still exist and we all still care about those times will cause me to smile, even if (as I expect), we are all coming to many new forks in the road, and we will all soon head on into the sunset chasing different paths.

To each of you, my friends, both old and new, whether we now remember each other or not, we are part of something that was special and you will ALWAYS mean much to me, whether we part now never to connect again.

I've learned (or perhaps remembered) that we weren't all alike, and that there are reasons why we were all connected in that "big" park, yet had different friends, and why we all traveled different paths.

But to me, you'll all still be kids there, running through the park, breathing in that salty summer air, or shoveling snow off the courts so we can play basketball or cold winter days.
To me, there will always be crowded pavilions on the boardwalk and working fountains, we'll all struggle figuring out how to wash the outside of the top windows of our apartments without falling out, and I'll always wonder what the two barbers are saying to one another in Italian in that barber shop on 29th street between Mermaid and Surf Avenues.

Let's each raise a glass of Merlot or Diet Coke to one another, and toast just how fortunate we were to have lived in our time, in that place, and with one another. We are the greatest generation, because we were lucky enough to have grown up in that last innocent era, where we could dream big, where we cared about one another, and where the world ahead of us was big and bold and somehow, SAFE.

To my dear friend Jack, now long lost (and most likely gone), may I say with all due respect that unlike you, I have too much left ahead of me to accomplish, too many new moments to enjoy, and too many happy memories to make. I am not going to sit here and dread the future, because perhaps unlike you, my future is too full for me to fear it.

To my old friends, many now reconnected, may I thank you for the wealth of memories you have given me. My life is full, both looking forward and behind me, and I owe much of that to you all.

As we march forward, and though we may lose sight of one another yet again, I am delighted to have made this journey back in time, as you have confirmed what I always believed, that our place was special, and our experiences unique.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

With love,
Steve Lattman
3/12/2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Music That Brings Me Back Home


If you're like me, it doesn't mater where you are but if I hear an old Doo Wop song from the 50s and early 60s, I am immediately transported back to the old neighborhood. This even happened to me in Yuma, AZ but that's another story. One of my vivid memories is listening to older guys singing a cappella on the boardwalk or a street corner. Well, another friend from the neighborhood has found the blog... Teddy Grable. If you didn't know, Teddy was the lead singer for The Concords. He has allowed me to post a link to two songs and yes, that's him singing lead vocal. If you right-click, you can save the songs too. Enjoy, and drop Teddy an email.

Here they are:
I Cry
On The Corner

Joey DePinto
03/08/209

Friday, March 6, 2009

KINETIC CARNIVAL - The Coney Island Blog: Casting Call For 'Astroland' Student Film

KINETIC CARNIVAL - The Coney Island Blog: Casting Call For 'Astroland' Student Film

Students at Hunter College have put out a casting call for their short film on Coney Island: "Ode to Astroland" which will shoot March 28th & March 29th in Coney Island. They seek a couple of seniors and a couple of children.

Breakdown:

Joe (Senior, 65+) :
Takes Margaret out on a date to Coney Island. However, it is no longer what he remembers it to be. He becomes devastated, not knowing how to handle the world changing.

Margaret (Senior, 65+) :
Accompanies Joe on a date to Coney Island. Once it is clear the day won’t go as planned, Margaret decides to salvage what is left of the day.

Young Joe (10) :
Sits with Margaret on a bench, tosses popcorn in his mouth.

Young Margaret (10) :
Sits with Joe on a bench, tosses popcorn into her mouth.

This short film is silent and therefore there are no lines for all of the characters.

Please submit any photos, resumes, and contact info to: aruiz@hunter.cuny.edu

There is no pay, but meals, credit and copy of the film will be provided.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Little Story

Having been a fan of the author Joseph Heller since I read CATCH 22, I knew he grew up in Coney Island. However, I wasn’t aware until I began reading his autobiography, NOW & THEN – FROM CONEY ISLAND TO HERE, that he lived on W.31st St. between Surf & Mermaid. Just down the block from the Coney Island Projects.

Joseph Heller grew up there in the 30’s. I lived at 3030 Surf Ave., Bldg 2, during the 50’s & 60’s. But in spite of the time difference, I remember very clearly so much of what he writes about in the first 3 chapters of his book. He writes a lot about the amusement area and the beach of course but he also writes in detail about Seagate and PS 188 and about little known Railroad Ave. Railroad Ave. was a “non-street” by the time I moved to Coney Island in 1957. The railroad/trolley tracks were barely visible beneath the high weeds. I got a chill down my spine when on Page 40 he describes in detail, Mr. Moses Candy Store on the West Side of 31st St. Moses’ Candy Store was still there when I lived there. I remember it well, as I’m sure many of you from the Projects and the side streets do. I remember grumpy old Mr. Moses with his trousers hitched way up high, coming out to serve us from between the curtains that separated his home from the candy store. I also remember that as I got older, grumpy old Mr. Moses was really wasn’t so bad if he was shown a little kindness.

I highly recommend at least the first 3 chapters to anyone out there from “the old neighborhood.” Especially if you lived between Seagate and W. 29th Street when “The brass ring on the carousel seemed as good as gold.”
Terry Goldstein
2/24/2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coney Island Now Has A New "Talking Historian"



Coney Island Now Has A New "Talking Historian"

The Coney Island History project proudly appoints Coney's 'landmark' meat market's proprietor, Jimmy Prince as Coney Island's "distinguished talking historian." After Prince retires from Major Meats store after more than fifty years, he will be working with the Coney Island History Project at their exhibit under the Cyclone roller coaster to share his Coney Island memories with visitors.

CIHP:
Jimmy Prince began working at Major Market as a young man in 1949 and became the shop's proprietor in the 1970's. The storefront is emblazoned with signs that say "Coney Island is Coming back Folks, Let's Watch it!" and "It's Major's for your Barbeque Specials." Founded in the 1930's, Coney Island's oldest butcher shop is a throwback to the days when the entire length of Mermaid Avenue, from Stillwell Avenue to Sea Gate, was a bustling retail strip serving a predominantly Jewish and Italian population. The shop was one of the few survivors the area's downturn in the 1960's and 70's, and, later, the incursion of supermarkets.

* * * * * * *
One of the audios in the History Project's online oral history archive is an interview with Jimmy. A second recording captures the sounds of a typical day at Major Markets.

Prince will also star in an upcoming documentary by Charles Denson, executive director of the Coney Island History Project. The documentary with premier this summer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nice Aerial View


Pretty cool aerial shot of Coney Island and the bridge on Google Earth. If you click on the picture, it will open to a larger size for a more detailed view.

The Big Park


There looks to be an upgrade of the Big Park underway, although I have no idea when it started. The entire east end of the park up to the park house looks new. Notice the entrance into the park is set at an angle, as opposed to previously when it was a straight shot in. If you click on the picture, it will open to a larger size for a more detailed view.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snowfall at Nathan's




I really like this picture. Remember the steamed windows?



Snowfall at Nathan's
Originally uploaded by Trish Mayo



Now For Something Completely Different


I wanted to post a little story about a part of my life that my friends in NY can also experience but I'm getting a little a head of myself.

This September will be 40 years since I left Coney Island to attend Arizona State University. 40 YEARS! Unbelievable. It really doesn't seem that long especially with all the reconnections as a result of our blog. When I first came here, there were very few Italian and Jewish delis. Italian food wasn't a problem once my family moved here in 1972 and now that Phoenix is our 5th largest city, there are really good delis and restaurants. When I was a freshman at ASU, I discovered Mexican food. I knew nothing about it except I had heard of tamales and tacos. I had the good fortune of having a roommate who was Mexican and was from a little mining town east of Phoenix. I used to go home with him on weekends sometimes and his family introduced me to authentic Mexican food and I was hooked. There are many different types of Mexican food and I experienced them in traveling extensively throughout Mexico over the years. The restaurants in Phoenix (think of all the pizza places and Italian restaurants in NY and you'll get an idea of how many Mexican places are here) run the gamut of regional styles: Sonoran, Tex-Mex, Southwest, Mexican Seafood, Mexico City style and New Mexican.

I only eat at one Mexican restaurant and I only eat at one take-out place. The take-out place is a little hole in the wall... cash only, limited menu and in a really bad neighborhood. Best Sonoran style anywhere... Rito's. The restaurant is Los Dos Molinos (The Two Grinders). It is New Mexico style cuisine and it is different. It is HOT. I mean like really hot, sweaty face and scalp hot. It is heavenly. Washed down with an ice cold Carta Blanca or Negra Modelo and there is literally a feeling of euphoria that overtakes your body. I eat there every couple of weeks with my son. I took him there when he was little and now he is a hooked like I am. The green is hot (Hatch chiles from New Mexico) and the red less so. Why am I waxing poetic about Los Dos Molinos? They are family owned and operated... no franchises and a blood relative is responsible for the food at each restaurant. There are 5 locations: two in Phoenix, one in Mesa (3 miles from my house, thank you very much), one in northeastern AZ in a little town near New Mexico, Springerville and the 5th one? 119 E 18th St in Manhattan! If you are adventurous, give it a try and you will know the heaven that we are blessed to experience in AZ. WARNING: I'm not kidding about the heat. Read the words of chef Victoria:

"When you read our menu and see the word "chili" keep in mind we use New Mexico Chiles and this means "Hot" with the best flavor this side of the Rio Grande. If you know "Hot" put us to a test but if you don't we suggest you try one of our other wonderful dishes that don't have any "Heat." I'm sorry we do not provide a mild sauce, I do not know how to make "Mild."

You'll thank me if you like real Mexican food. C'mon... don't be a baby.

Los Dos Molinos
119 E. 18th St (between Park Ave and Irving)
212-505-1574
Click here Los Dos Molinos

Joey DePinto
01/31/2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Filmmaker Wants Your Old Coney Island Home Movies


A New York based filmmaker is working with the Coney Island History Project on a documentary about the now defunct Astroland Amusement Park and they are in need of those old Coney Island home movies from the 1960's, 70's and 80's, especially film shot on 8mm and 16mm film. They're also looking for any outstanding pictures taken during the same period.

The Coney Island History Project says:
The History Project will shoulder the expenses of film transfers and return the original film along with a DVD transfer to anyone who donates their material. Donors will also receive credit in the film and two complimentary copies of the completed documentary. Contact the History Project at info@coneyislandhistory.org or 718-265-2100.

Filmmaker, JL Aronson, who cordially invited me to see his work in 2007, is a consummate New York filmmaker having crafted documentaries about pigeon fancying in Williamsburg and the underground karaoke scene on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He has also directed a series on the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s downtown New York music scene for Manhattan Neighborhood Network (in association with the New School) and created marketing videos for Central Park Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn, PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, the Siren Music Festival, River to River Festival and other New York institutions. In 2006, his “documentary musical” Danielson: a Family Movie won numerous film festival awards throughout the country before going to theaters in December of that year and DVD in April 2007.
Film clips at creativearson.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last Summer At Coney Island



A new documentary about the recent past, the confused present and the uncertain future of America's playground.

This is a new film that will be opening soon. It really gives a nice little overview over what is happening today. I will let everyone know when it is released. Look for Charlie Denson.

Just CLICK on the picture above.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Rather Surreal Night

It was a rather surreal night, with perhaps twenty of we Surf Project "Oldtimers" there, an eclectic mix, with several (including me) unrecognizeable to others.

Personally, I sat there much of the night transfixed, wondering how it was possible that many of us would get together after so many years, now older than our parents were when we lived in the projects, listing to stories about "back then," stories about our kids, our GRANDKIDS (for some of us), our 401K's, our assorted aches and pains, and relishing the stories and the memories of how wonderful we had it; a "resort" where we grew up.

Personally, I sat across from Howie Gresh, my elementary school classmate, a friend that had grown up two doors from me on the 4th floor of building four, and couldn't quite come to grips with looking at the same person, now older, and regaling in stories of back then, and amazed at the stories of what had become of us.

How is it possible to have been reunited with this group now, so many years removed, and somehow still connected, as if time itself had stopped, and as if we were suddenly thrust back in the cheesebox, waiting for the game to end because we had next, or wondering if tomorrow was a "beach day", because, well...just because!?!

Steve Lattman
1-19-2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm innocent























joey
Originally uploaded by Pablo57

I did not tag this wall, even though that is how I would've signed it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Coney Island New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim - 2009





Coney Island New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim - 2009
Originally uploaded by Barry Yanowitz



Anyone remember seeing the Polar Bears doing this? I remember seeing a few brave souls from my window but I don't believe it was the organized event that it is now. Maybe it was the pre-season training for Polar Bears. Happy New Year to all my friends from the projects.
Joey


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