Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Song About The Coney Island Houses

Here's a wonderful surprise for everyone. We all remember that Andy was a terrific drummer and we enjoyed seeing his band at the Y. He sent me a song that he wrote about the projects. Here is Andy in his own words:

I wrote the song in the late 1980's. After a night of recording new songs at the studio, I was driving home and I just started thinking of Coney Island and growing up in a special place. You came and you went, but you always came back. Safe and secure. You know? But when you left, other elements of life affected you. It was like stepping outside of Paradise. I think I wrote the song in about 20 minutes. Andy Adams

Here's a link for the song: Paradise. Click Here
Joey DePinto

The Poor Man's Paradise

The Coney Island Houses, for me anyway, was a magical place. My father called it the "poor man's paradise" and a paradise it was. It was a place where everyone had someone, a place where there were no strangers and a place that seemed to afford us all everything we ever needed. We were basically a self-contained unit. We had our own supermarket, pharmacy and four luncheonettes (remember Willie's, Jimmy's, Hy and Artie's and the HUBBA HUBBA!). Two Kosher deli's, Two excellent bakeries, Gittler's, Larry & Vinnie's and John's Pizza, Sam's Kinishes, a doughnut shop, a Chinese restaurant, Mary's Heros, a bowling alley, a poolroom, the 'Y', banks, schools, Stella's Italian Restaurant just to name a few. Remember Coopey's Corner?

But the most important factor of all of this is that we had each other. Mulitple age groups of children and adults melding together at times, unified in the feeling that we were all one family. We may not have realized it at the time but we were all part of a very special world that to this day and for lifetimes to come, no one will ever be able to experience. We are all very lucky to have lived it and very lucky to have each other to run through the memories with. We need to keep the flame burning.
Andy "Bat" Adams

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Night The Park House Blew Up

It was a warm summer night not unlike all the others before it. We all gathered in the big park ready to spend our time together laughing and sharing stories about the day that had just passed. Something was different that night, the guys were in a funny mood. All the girls sat on the benches wondering what was up. When it became pretty dark, one by one the guys drifted over to the park house. What were they going to do now? We wouldn't dare go over there so we just hung out and talked. All of a sudden we heard the biggest boom and over by the park house it was lit up like the fourth of July. Fire crackers, cherry bombs and maybe an M80 or two brought half the people to the windows of the buildings facing the park.

All our wonderful guys took off running in every direction and left us there saying, "OMG, we're in trouble now." Off in the distance we could hear the distinct screaming of the police sirens and before any of us could react, the police officers from the 60th Precinct were upon us. I remember looking around the park and realizing the girls were the only ones there. Yup, it was the girls who took the brunt of their questions. We would never give you guys up and we never did. Cindy was so nervous she couldn't stop laughing. The officer turned to her and said, "How would you like for me to take you up to your parents and let them know what kind of guys you're all hanging out with?" She just kept laughing. I was quite sure we were all going to jail that night. It really just became another one of the thousands of memories born in that park. The memories I never want to forget. The guys and girls I never want to forget. Thanks to all of you.
Carrie Garguilo Oliva