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Coney Island Fireworks

Electric Eden Revisited: Friday Night Fireworks with Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. Photo © Bruce Handy

With Memorial Day just two weeks away, readers are starting to ask about Coney Island’s fireworks schedule for the summer! The first Friday night fireworks show of the 2015 season will be on June 19, the eve of both the first day of summer and the Mermaid Parade. This free weekly event continues on Fridays through August 21. UPDATE: Thanks to Coney Island’s City Councilman Mark Treyger, the Friday night fireworks have been extended to include August 28 and September 4. There are Saturday night fireworks on August 29 and September 5 after the Cyclones games. Details below. 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 is Steeplechase Pier.

For the second year, the Alliance for Coney Island is presenting a special July 4th fireworks at 9:45pm. The Independence Day fireworks will be shot off from the beach adjacent to the Pier. Best viewing is from the Boardwalk and Steeplechase Plaza.

The Brooklyn Cyclones have also announced fireworks on the following eight Saturdays and one Thursday after their home games, including the team’s Home Opener on Saturday, June 20th. 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 West 16th and 19th Streets.

Saturday, June 20 – BROOKLYN CYCLONES HOME OPENER – vs. Staten Island Yankees – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, June 27 – vs. Connecticut – Toy Story 20th Anniversary Night, Boy Scout Sleepover – Post-Game Fireworks
Thursday, July 2 – vs. Hudson Valley – Back to the Future 30th Anniversary – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, July 11 – vs. Aberdeen – Star Wars Night – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, July 18 – vs. Vermont – Honeymooners 60th Anniversary Night, Princess & Pirate Night – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, August 1 – vs. Batavia – Honeymooners 60th Anniversary Night, Princess & Pirate Night – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, August 29 – vs. Aberdeen – Military Appreciation Night, Intern Boot Camp – Post-Game Fireworks
Saturday, September 5 – vs. Staten Island Yankees – Latin Music Night – 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 and resident Bruce Handy for his gorgeous photo of one of the Friday night fireworks shows of the past.

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November 18, 2014: ATZ’s Guide to Coney Island’s Honorary Walks and Places

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Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition

Rescued in Coney Island, Vivien is up for adoption at Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition

Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition has two adorable kittens rescued in Coney Island up for adoption. Now about 14 weeks old, the cats have been living in a foster home in Greenwich Village. Contact Brooklynbridgeanimals@yahoo.com to schedule a play date. Here are their résumés:

Vivien, aka Funny Face, has enough personality and energy for a dozen kittens. A typical calico, she is bright, very curious and has lots of attitude. She wants to be in the middle of any activity; plays and wrestles as if her life was depending on it, loves to groom her kitten friends and adores older cats. She purrs loudly when petted, although she’s not sure about being picked up (that will come when she’s in a real home).

Georgie was rescued with her sister Vivien in Coney Island. She has a gentle calm personality, especially compared to her manic calico sibling, and enjoys kitten activities like chasing, wrestling and eating. A favorite game is bathtub hockey with a coil spring toy. She has a reserved but confident personality and will probably grow up to be a quiet dignified (and gorgeous) cat.

Vivien and Georgie are FIV/FeLV negative, vaccinated appropriate to their age, and microchipped. The kittens must be adopted to a home with another cat or friendly dog. Please see this link for information about BBAWC’s adoption process: http://www.bbawc.org/adoptions/adoption-faq/.

Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition

Rescued in Coney Island, Georgie is up for adoption at Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition

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Coney Island Fireworks

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

[If you’re looking for info on Coney Island’s 2015 fireworks schedule, here you go.]

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.

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December 29, 2014: Parachute Jump ‘Ball Drop,’ Sideshow & Fireworks at Coney Island on New Year’s Eve

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

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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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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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'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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December 13, 2013: Photo Album: Gingerbread Coney Island in City Harvest Extravaganza

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September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

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