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Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Coney Island Fireworks

Fireworks on Coney Island Beach, July 19, 2013. Photo © Jim McDonnell

Readers are already starting to ask about this year’s fireworks, so here you go: The first Friday night fireworks show of Coney Island’s 2014 season will be on June 20, the eve of both the first day of summer and the Mermaid Parade. Sponsored by the Alliance for Coney Island, this free weekly event continues on Fridays through August 27. Friday night fireworks start at 9:30pm and are shot off from the beach. Best viewing is on the Boardwalk from West 10th to West 12th Streets or from the Wonder Wheel. Another popular viewing spot, Steeplechase Pier, reopened in October after being rebuilt post-Sandy.

UPDATE: On June 27th, the Mayor’s Offices announced that there will be a special Fourth of July Fireworks show in Coney Island at 9:45pm on the Beach and Boardwalk near West 21st Street. July 4th is on a Friday this year and a special permit was required due to the holiday.

The Brooklyn Cyclones also have fireworks inside MCU Park on the following six Saturdays after their home games as well four other days, including the team’s Opening Day, Saturday, June 14th, and June 16 and June 17. This year every Saturday night fireworks show will have a special musical theme. Fireworks at MCU Park start when the game is over, so the time varies and is sometimes later than 9:30. Since the Brooklyn Cyclones’ Fireworks are shot from inside their park, best viewing is within and close to the stadium, which is between W 16th and 19th Streets.

Saturday, June 14 – BROOKLYN CYCLONES HOME OPENER – vs. Staten Island Yankees – Post-Game Fireworks
Monday, June 16 – vs. Staten Island Yankees – Post-Game Fireworks
Tuesday, June 17 – vs. Hudson Valley Renegades – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, July 5 – vs. Aberdeen IronBirds – Seinfeld 25th Anniversary Celebration – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, July 19 – vs Williamsport Crosscutters – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, July 26 – vs. Vermont Lake Monsters – Elvis Presley Night – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, August 2 – vs. Connecticut Tigers – Star Wars Night – Post-Game Fireworks
Wednesday, August 13 – vs. Lowell Spinners – Kosher Kaboom Fireworks
Saturday, August 23 – vs. Tri-City Valley Cats – Princess Night – Post-Game Fireworks
Sunday, August 31 – vs. Staten Island Yankees – Fan Appreciation Day -Post-Game Fireworks

When the weather is iffy on a day when fireworks are scheduled, or if the show is delayed, check the Coney Island tweeters on Coney Island Fun’s list for updates. Thanks to People’s Playground photographer Jim McDonnell for his splendid photo of one of last summer’s fireworks shows.

Related posts on ATZ…

May 26, 2014: Photo Album: Opening Day for 5 New Businesses & Exhibits in Coney Island

May 19, 2014: New Thunderbolt Loops the Loop Again in Coney Island

December 31, 2013: Amusing the Zillion’s Coney Island 2013 Year in Review

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Parrots Ride Wonder Wheel

Parrots Ride the Wonder Wheel, Coney Island. May 18, 2014. Photo via Facebook.com/SonnyMushy

On Sunday, ATZ chanced to meet these four Brooklyn parrots and their humans boarding Deno’s Wonder Wheel. Ronen, who is seen in the above photo posing with Sonny Mushy, a 12-year-old Amazon parrot, and Sky Mushy, gave us his card: “Exotic Birds — Training and Consultations.” He’s taken his birds to Coney Island before but it was their first time riding the Wheel. “Sky was a bit skittish. Sonny was okay, but all in all it was a good experience for them,” said Ronen, who brings the parrots outdoors to socialize them. “They’re pretty intelligent animals. They have the mind capacity of a five-year-old.”

Ronen and his friends are part of a new group called NYC Parrot Adventures. A video of their Sunday adventure, “Parrots Visit Coney Island,” is posted on YouTube by Michael Sazhin, who writes the Trained Parrot Blog. Sazhin brought Truman, a Cape parrot, and Kili, a Senegal parrot, to Coney Island for their second visit.

Truman made headlines last month when he went missing for 48 hours. The parrot was found in Canarsie, where he’d flown from Bensonhurst, a distance of six miles. In Coney Island, the parrots fly in avian harnesses. “They flew at the beach, ate at Nathan’s, played with loads of people, and took a ride on the historic Wonder Wheel, a Ferris Wheel landmark built in 1920,” Sazhin writes on his blog. “The birds had a fantastic time. Not only did they get sun and fresh air, but also an incredible socialization experience.”

As for parrots riding the Wheel, it’s not unusual to see dogs and other pets riding the stationary cars accompanied by their owners, usually on the park’s annual Pet Day, which is June 14th this year and includes a pet costume contest. In the contest’s first year, one of the winners was Miss Columbia’s parrot Rosita, who clasped the prize-winning season pass to the Wonder Wheel in her beak.

Rosita the Parrot

Rosita the Parrot and Miss Columbia, Pet Day at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, June 11, 2011. Photo via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

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January 27, 2014: AC Boardwalk, Disneyland Have Model Programs for Feral Cats–Why Not Coney Island?

September 19, 2013: Photo of the Day: Coney Island Parakeets Go for a Walk

June 17, 2013: Photo of the Day: Paquito the Chihuahua in Coney Island

May 8, 2013: Traveler: The Cats of Rimini’s Italia in Miniatura Park

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Reithoffer Shows

Art for Reithoffer Shows Indy 500 ‘Flitzer’ Coaster at Coney Island, May 26, 2008. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Reithoffer Shows, one of America’s oldest carnivals, is heading to Brooklyn after 11 days at the Staten Island Mall with more than 25 rides. The carnival’s Blue Unit is partnering with Aviator Sports at Floyd Bennett Field for the fifth year of the Kings County Fair, which runs from May 15 through 26. The family-run carnival billed as “The Aristocrat of Show Business” began in 1896 with a steam-driven carousel and is now operated by the 4th and 5th generations.

Meanwhile, over the weekend in Coney Island, the “Rumor Mill” was saying that Reithoffer is bringing rides to Thor Equities long-vacant lots on Stillwell from May 15-26 with the option of staying longer if business was good. The source of this “news” was said to be “very reliable.” The rumor began back in March (“Will Rides Return to Thor Equities Vacant Lots in Coney Island?” ATZ), though no specific carnival was mentioned at the time.

We’re still skeptical because no one we talked with from Reithoffer’s management knows anything about rides going to Coney Island and it’s the same date as the Kings County Fair. Blue Unit Manager Gary Alberry did allow that since Reithoffer has more than 115 rides, it’s possible some are being sent to Coney, though he’s not aware of it. The Blue Unit also has rides at the Northeast Fair in Pennsylvania and a Virginia K-Mart, while the Orange Unit is playing spots in New Jersey and Maryland, according to Reithoffer’s route list. With Memorial Day Weekend less than two weeks away, if rides are indeed coming to Coney they should be arriving any day.

On Memorial Day Weekend 2008, Thor CEO Joe Sitt proclaimed “The Summer of Hope” and filled his vacant lots on Stillwell with carnival rides from Reithoffer Shows for a limited two-week run and Geren Rides till Labor Day. Contrary to the PR campaign, the lots were vacant again by July, when Geren left for his fairs. Will this be Thor’s Summer of Hope, Part 2?

funhouse showfront

Art for Crusty Crab funhouse front, Reithoffer Shows in Coney Island. May 26, 2008. Photo © Tricia Vita

UPDATE May 20, 2014

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March 3, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: What Stillwell Looked Like Before Joe Sitt

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'Mic Check" by RAE in Coney Island

‘Mic Check” by RAE in Coney Island, March 25, 2014

It wouldn’t be spring in Coney Island without street art by RAE popping up across from the Cyclone roller coaster. One of his Instagram followers calls it “Rae’s block.” This imposing and folksy character was created from scrap metal, handlebars, a BMW hubcap, Mardi Gras beads and of course a microphone. “All parts are found. I believe the hands are from a Bart Simpson doll,” RAE tells ATZ.

The last time we saw the Brooklyn-based artist’s work in Coney was around this time last year on the same block. “Rae practices good placement, which is one of the most important considerations for exciting street art,” says RJ Rushmore of street art blog Vandalog, who named RAE one of the “10 Street Artists to Watch in 2013.″

And watch him we did. Last year, RAE’s drawings, paintings and sculpture transformed an East Village bodega into a pop-up show titled “Word of Mouth” and his first solo show in London opened at the Signal Gallery.

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March 18, 2013: Art of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

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Boro Taxi

Seen on the B Train: Poster Promoting the Boro Taxi Program. January 29, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

“ONE’S A THRILL RIDE, THE OTHER IS A RIDE YOU’LL BE THRILLED WITH. #BOROTAXI,” according to this clever ad promoting Boro Taxi. Launched two months ago, the ads feature the new green taxis in front of iconic locations throughout the five boroughs, but the first time we spotted this one with the Coney Island Cyclone was yesterday on the B train. The Taxi & Limousine Commission says “The ads are designed to enhance public awareness of the program, while letting people know how and where they can most conveniently catch a Boro Taxi.”

However, a market analysis published in December showed 0 <1 drop offs and pickups per day in Coney Island. The study says that 11% of Boro Taxi drop-offs were in the Bronx, 22% were in Northern Manhattan, 32% were in Queens, 11% were in Brooklyn, and less than 1% were in Staten Island. The other 23% of drop-offs were in Manhattan’s Hail Exclusionary Zone. The Commission has licensed 6,000 green Boro Taxis, also known as the Street Hail Livery program, to serve areas of the city not commonly served by yellow medallion cabs. Have you hailed a Boro Taxi?

The Cyclone and the rest of Coney Island’s rides open for the season on Sunday, April 13th.

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November 28, 2013: Photo Album: Parachute Jump Lights Way to Year-Round Coney Island

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Today's Banksy is in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photos via banksyny.com

Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photos via banksyny.com

WOW! Ask and you shall receive. On Friday, ATZ posted “Banksy Does Bumper Car, Has Yet to Do Coney Island” entreating the famed artist to visit Coney during his month-long “Better Out Than In” tour of New York City streets. Today he made it and our wish came true! Thank you so much, #banksyny. Banksy left this endearing robot spray-painting a barcode on a wall at Stillwell and Neptune. If you’re wondering about the significance of the number, it’s a nucleotide sequence for homo sapiens, according to Street Art News.

Banksy Coney Island

New Banksy on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Edward Muniz

The artwork is located at 1402 Neptune Avenue on the Stillwell side of a building that once housed a sign shop called Sign-O-Rama–how appropriate! Since Sandy devastated the neighborhood a year ago, it’s a former convenience store. This morning, ATZ messaged building owner Anthony Ruocco, a cousin to the Russo brothers of Gargiulo’s Restaurant, to give him a heads up about his good fortune and ask him to protect it. Since one of Banksy’s murals has sold for over $1 million, New York building owners who become the “accidental owner of a Banksy” have been hiring security guards and installing rolldown gates.

Banksy in Coney Island

Photographing the photographers taking photos of Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Edward Muniz

Ruocco had been asked by the NYPD if he wanted to file a complaint against Banksy. Photographer Edward Muniz interviewed the building’s co-owner who said “I’m happy he chose us” and ordered a rolldown gate after his brother almost painted over the mural by mistake. Muniz had bicycled over to Neptune Avenue to take photos of people who had gathered to admire the Banksy. He noted that no one had tagged or defaced the artwork. “I’m so proud of Coney Island today! Everyone is respecting the piece and each other, everyone is getting their shots and having a good time,” he said in a post on a Facebook group. “I talked to people from all five boros, New Jersey, France and London! And after they got their shots they all walked down to the Boardwalk and Nathan’s to enjoy the sun.”

Banksy Coney Island

Rolldown Gate Installed to Protect Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy

By 5PM, when photographer Bruce Handy arrived, the gate had been installed and the Banksy show was about to close for the day. A pregnant woman persuaded a worker to open the gate so she could pose for picture. Who knows, maybe she’ll name her baby Banksy? Jay Dow of WPIX also showed up, so you can see Coney Island’s Banksy on the 10 o’clock news.

We’ll update this post on Tuesday with info about viewing hours. The work, which is two blocks north of Surf Avenue, has the potential to draw tourists north of Stillwell Terminal.

Banksy Coney Island

Selfie with Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy

As noted in our previous post, Coney Island has a rich tradition of street art. Os Gemeos, the Brazilian twins whom Banksy collaborated with on 24th Street in Chelsea have a 130-foot mural on Coney’s Stillwell Avenue across from the terminal that dates back to 2005. Work by Steve Powers, whose Dreamland Artists Club in collaboration with Creative Time brought new signage to Coney Island, can be seen on the staircase at Coney Island USA, the facade of West 12th Street’s Miss Coney Island and Skin the Wire, and the Eldorado Bumper Cars on Surf Ave. Sideshow banners by Marie Roberts have emblazoned the facade of Coney Island USA’s headquarters since 1997.

Banksy Coney Island

The Banksy artwork in Coney Island is two blocks north of Stillwell Terminal. October 28, 2013. Photo © Edward Muniz

UPDATE October 30, 2013:

The rolldown gate has been closed since it was installed on Monday evening. Pix of the gate and graffiti added to the wall are being posted on social media by people who came out to Coney to see the Banksy and were disappointed. The building owner needs to have a viewing schedule like the one in Williamsburg!

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October 26, 2013: Banksy Does Bumper Car, Has Yet to Do Coney Island

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The news that Nashville-based string band Old Crow Medicine Show is coming to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on March 7 reminded us how much we like their carnival-themed music vid for “Wagon Wheel.” Played more than 20 million times on YouTube since its debut in 2006, the video has the band on the bally stage of an old-timey carny girl show, with the girls shimmying up to the musicians as the ticket-seller counts his cash and the Rock-O-Plane whirls on the midway. It was shot in Smyrna, Tennessee, next to Snyder & Metts Amusements, which was owned by Hill Snyder and is now part of carnival history, says a poster on Matt’s Carnival Warehouse.

The band members have roots in Virginia and upstate New York, where fiddle player and vocalist Ketch Secor wrote “Wagon Wheel” as a teen. The song took its inspiration from bootleg tapes of Bob Dylan’s “Rock Me Mama” to which Secor added lyrics about hitchhiking to North Carolina.

According to music writer Peter Cooper, when Secor sought to copyright the song with Dylan for use on an album, he learned that Dylan credited the “Rock me, mama” chorus to bluesman Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, and Crudup probably borrowed his idea from an early 20th century recording by Big Bill Broonzy. “That song drags a heavy chain,” Secor told Cooper. “In a way, it’s taken something like 85 years to get completed.” Released in 2004, the song went platinum this year and the band was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

Tickets for the March 7, 2014 concert at Barclays go on sale Friday, October 18, with pre-sale to fans via OCMS’s website now available. The band’s 2014 tour dates in support of the Avett Brothers also include Boston, Pittsburgh and Fairfax, VA. On December 30 and New Year’s Eve, OCMS will play Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium.

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