Last year at this time, we were mourning the loss of Coney Island’s Astroland Park and tending a little shrine on Astroland’s Boardwalk Gates. Here’s a look back at the Astroland Gate on New Year’s Day 2009 by Livvvvvvv via YouTube. The children’s voices are poignant…
The memorial began the day after Christmas with our handmade collage, a friend’s bouquet of flowers and a banner of a tightrope dancer. Two days later, we learned the collage had been stolen, its plastic fasteners cut. When the black ink on the banner bled in the rain, photographer Bruce Handy said the ballerina was weeping. But the shrine grew to include photos, banner painter Marie Roberts’ paintbrush (symbolizing a fresh start), beads, a paper mache mask, and a cane. The flowers remained in place through opening day of Coney Island’s 2009 season.
On January 1, 2010, we’ll be in Coney Island as usual to celebrate the New Year with the multitude of friends and strangers who come for the Polar Bear Club Swim. No, we’re not swimming, but we’re sponsoring a Bear who is Freezin’ for a Reason and you can, too. It’s for a good cause–they’re raising funds for Camp Sunshine.
We’d like to decorate the gate with a few photos, too. In addition to memorializing the good times at Astroland, we want to let visitors know that Coney Island is not closed! On Palm Sunday (March 28, 2010), the Cyclone Roller Coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, McCullough’s Kiddie Park, Eldorado Bumper Cars, Coney Island Sideshow and other Coney Island businesses open for the season. By Memorial Day Weekend, the former Astroland site will be home to a yet-to-be-designated amusement operator‘s rides and attractions. We anticipate nothing less than a spectacular summer season. Happy New Year Everyone! Happy New Year to Coney Island!
Related posts on ATZ…
November 23, 2009: The Contenders from A to Z: Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP
September 2, 2009: The Sad Anniversary of Coney Island’s Astroland Going Dark