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Manny Cohen and Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat

Manny Cohen and Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat. April 18, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

We’re sad to report that our friend Manny Cohen, longtime owner of Coney Island Arcade, and his beloved and much photographed cat Target are about to leave Coney Island forever. As ATZ reported previously, they’re moving to Vegas. Last week we took a few farewell photos but put off saying goodbye. After 22 years, Manny was evicted by the landlord (no, not Thor Equities) and has until the end of the month to leave his spot on Coney Island’s Bowery. The car with Target’s roomy traveling cage and a harness for walks in rest areas along the way is packed. Manny’s boxer machines have already been shipped West. “It’s time for me to move on. I don’t have the arcade anymore,” Manny told ATZ in February.

Burned-out lot

Arcade machines damaged by Sandy on the burned out lot where Coney Island Arcade stood until the May 2010 fire. April 18, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Since May of 2010, when a terrible fire destroyed his amusement arcade on the day that workers sent by the landlord tarred the roof, Manny’s business has focused on selling new arcade machines and parts, which he will continue to do in Vegas. He has also operated a few games on the Bowery. ATZ’s very first post, on April 9, 2009, featured a favorite photo of Target on the counter of the Balloon Dart. Goodbyes are hard. Instead, we’ll look back at some of what we’ve written over the years.

When we started working in Coney Island, Target the Cat was already sitting on the counter of Jimmy’s Balloon Dart on the Bowery calling the people in to play. Some girls can’t walk by without stopping to pet him and ask his name. Next thing you know they’re busting balloons and winning prizes. The gregarious cat is world-famous thanks to having posed for many photographs including one that appeared in the New York Times.

Target and his late sister Targeretty were born at Spook-A-Rama in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. When a worker heard mewing and went to investigate, he found the motherless kittens. They were kept warm with a portable heater and fed with a dropper. Two weeks later, Manny Cohen adopted them and raised them at the arcade.
—from “Landlord Evicting Famous Coney Island Cat and His Humans,” ATZ, January 14, 2013

Manny Cohen and Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat

Manny Cohen and Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat. April 18, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Will Coney Island Arcade be rebuilt and back in business anytime soon? We hope so. It’s painful to see a burned out building where a thriving business was just last weekend. It will be painful to see this corner become an empty lot. The fire is a huge loss, not only for Manny Cohen, but for the entire amusement community in Coney Island. We hope the building owner takes a cue from the activity just down the street, where workers are laboring round the clock to finish the new Luna Park in time for the May 29th grand opening. — “Photo Album: Coney Island Arcade Fire’s Awful Aftermath,” ATZ, May 7, 2010

In Coney Island, Target has used at least two of his nine lives. He escaped the arcade fire when the firemen cut the gates. They found his sister Targeretty in the office where she probably died of smoke inhalation. Target and his feline friend Pretty survived the flood waters of Sandy by climbing up to the rafters where they were marooned for days until the electric lock could be picked. We wish Manny Cohen and his lucky cat all the best in their new home. We’ll especially miss taking photos of Target working the Balloon Dart with Jimmy, asking to be petted and rubbing his face against the lens. Will the famous Coney Island Cat miss Coney? In Las Vegas, Target will prowl the casinos on a leash and hunt chipmunk, says Manny.

Target the Cat

Last Lens Nuzzle from Target the Cat. April 18, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

September 4, 2012: Exclusive: McCullough’s Kiddie Park Closing After 50 Years in Coney Island

May 7, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Arcade Fire’s Awful Aftermath

May 6, 2010: Suspicious Fire at Coney Island Arcade Building

July 21, 2009: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Introduces His Sister Targeretty

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Target the Coney Island Cat

Japanese Tourists Line Up to Photograph Target the Coney Island Cat. Photo © Coney Island Arcade

Nathan’s Famous is still closed post-Sandy and Coney Island’s rides don’t open till Palm Sunday but this group of Japanese tourists was undaunted. They lined up in front of the Balloon Dart on the Bowery to photograph Target the world-famous Coney Island Cat. On Tuesday, the cat’s human, Manny Cohen of Coney Island Arcade, along with neighboring game and food operators, appeared in court to respond to eviction notices from their landlord. The good news is everybody including Target is getting a one-month reprieve. The judge postponed the case till February. Let’s hope the reprieve stretches into the season.

Coney Island Cat

Manny Cohen and Target the Coney Island Cat. Photo © Coney Island Arcade

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Related Posts on ATZ…

January 14, 2013: Landlord Evicting Famous Coney Island Cat and His Humans

February 21, 2011: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty

January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

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Target the Coney Island Cat

Target the Cat & Jimmy Balloons Calling in Customers. April 5, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

When we started working in Coney Island, Target the Cat was already sitting on the counter of Jimmy’s Balloon Dart on the Bowery calling the people in to play. Some girls can’t walk by without stopping to pet him and ask his name. Next thing you know they’re busting balloons and winning prizes. The gregarious cat is world-famous thanks to having posed for many photographs including one that appeared in the New York Times.

Now the six-year-old cat, who has born and raised in Coney Island’s amusement area, is about to be evicted along with his humans, who own and operate games at 1105 Bowery. Eviction notices were served on four concessionaires who run games and a food stand at 1105 Bowery. All are set to be in court on Tuesday, though it’s doubtful the cat will show up.

Target

Target the Coney Island Cat at work. May 14, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Rumors of the evictions have been the talk of the Coney Island Rumor Mill for weeks. Whatever story you hear or read, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

The building is owned by Shore Leave LLC and Rabbit Beach LLC and Cyclone Holdings LLC and 3019 W 12TH St LLC. Property owner Jeff Persily did not reply to ATZ’s request for comment on the evictions.

Will the judge decide the tenants can stay for another season? The east side of the Bowery just won’t be the same without Target the Cat patrolling the area. This part of the Bowery is his territory. Just to be clear, although Target and his kitty companion Pretty are losing the only home they’ve ever known, they’re not up for adoption. The cats are the beloved pets of Manny Cohen, the owner of Coney Island Arcade, who has been a tenant here for 22 years.

Target the Coney Island Cat

On the Bowery with Target the Coney Island Cat, March 23, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target and his late sister Targeretty were born at Spook-A-Rama in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. When a worker heard mewing and went to investigate, he found the motherless kittens. They were kept warm with a portable heater and fed with a dropper. Two weeks later, Manny Cohen adopted them and raised them at the arcade.

In May of 2010, a terrible fire destroyed the arcade on a day that workers sent by the landlord tarred the roof. Target escaped when the firemen battling the blaze cut the gates but his shy sister Targeretty died in the fire. The firemen found her in the office where she felt safe and had probably died from smoke inhalation. For weeks, Target kept searching for her in the ruins of the building and crying.

The arcade was never rebuilt and the site remains an empty lot at the corner of West 12th Street and the Bowery. The building at 1105 Bowery is adjacent to the lot and extends to Jones Walk.

Target

Target the Coney Island Cat. February 11, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Related Posts on ATZ…

February 21, 2011: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty

January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

May 6, 2010: Suspicious Fire at Coney Island Arcade Building

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Update November 19th: Over the weekend, For Animals reported that Mermaid the Cat needs an MRI and asked supporters to chip in to help fund the expensive diagnostic procedure: “Sadly the biopsy results from Mermaid’s ear polyp came back as ceruminous adenocarcinoma — a locally invasive, aggressive cancer. There is a chance that the TECA surgery (total ear canal ablation) could prove curative if it hasn’t spread. Please help us continue to raise funds for this sweet cat whose new life is just beginning.”

Among the stories of animals being rescued post-Hurricane Sandy, this one caught our eye. A cat named Mermaid rescued in Coney Island! On Friday, a Queens animal rescue group saved the sick cat left behind in Coney Island when its elderly owner was evacuated to a nursing home after Hurricane Sandy. Rescuers from For Animals, Inc. climbed to the 14th floor of a Coney housing project that has no power or heat to get the cat since its guardian will not be returning home. The group has started a chip-in to raise funds for the cat’s medical bills. Mermaid needs a procedure called Total Ear Canal Ablation on her left ear as well as dental work. The cat is now in foster care, where she is eating and even purring, say her rescuers. For Animals posted news and videos of the lucky Mermaid on their Facebook page.

When her rescuer went in to save her she was found hiding in an empty cabinet, completely terrified. She was covered in a towel to keep her calm, placed in a carrier, and brought to the vet. Weighing just 4.4 lbs, she was treated for:
– pyometra (an infected uterus)
– an ear polyp that was plucked and sent for biopsy
– ear mites
– shave down due to severely matted fur
– nail trim due to overgrown claws

A full blood panel revealed her WBC were through the roof which could be related to the pyometra or ear polyp. However, the rest of her bloodwork was normal and she is FIV/FeLV negative. Mermaid only has 2 teeth left and they need to be removed but there are a ton of roots so it’s going to be a big dental. We are holding off on this procedure until her overall health improves.

You can sponsor a shelter cat by making a donation at For Animals website. The private animal shelter in Ozone Park, Queens also has volunteer opportunities for animal lovers to help socialize and care for rescued cats and kittens. Duties include petting, holding and bonding with cats; socializing kittens; brushing and nail trimming; scooping litter boxes and playing with interactive toys.

Mermaid the Coney Island Cat

Mermaid enjoying lunch her first full day in foster care. Photo via For Animals Inc Facebook

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Pretty the Cat

Pretty the Cat, Coney Island. April 1, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

Pretty is the skittish companion of the friendly Target, the world-famous Coney Island Arcade cat. The precincts of the Thunderbolt are a favorite place for them to sit in the sun. The cats make their home in Manny’s carnival games across the Bowery from Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park.

Pretty is not to be confused with Tiger, a tortoiseshell who lives on the west end of the Bowery and was recently spotted in “An Eerie Tour Of Coney Island Before It Opens.”

Related Posts on ATZ…

March 25, 2012: Photo of the Day: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat

February 21, 2011: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty

January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

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Coney Island Cat

Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat. March 23, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

POW! Target the world-famous Coney Island Arcade Cat agreed to a photo session atop the freshly painted tables on the Bowery. His human is Manny, the owner of the arcade and the games. During the season, Target can be found lounging on the counter calling in customers.

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Related Posts on ATZ…

February 21, 2011: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty

January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

January 27, 2010: I Love NYC Pets Month Preview: Coney Island Cat Rescue

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ATZ’s “Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2011″ was based on page views, but our fave posts didn’t make the cut. “Sometimes really great posts fall through the cracks, are too esoteric to be popular, or at least deserve another visit,” writes blogger Visualingual, whose exquisite “Looking Back: Best VL Posts of 2010,” (and 2011) inspired us to put together this round-up of ATZ faves. In Part 1 and 2 (tomorrow), you’ll find videos, photos, and an antique image or two to while away the last hours of 2011…

cat

Target the Cat, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In February we dropped by the Bowery to visit Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty. When the games are open for business, the gregarious Target is likely to be found sitting on the counter of the Balloon Dart. Even in the winter, he can be seen making his rounds.

Also in February, ATZ paid tribute to a legendary Coney Island ride inventor in “Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels.” But if you want to ride the Whip, you’ll have to take a trip to Rye Playland, Knoebels, Kennywood, Trimper’s or any one of the other parks or carnivals listed on ATZ’s Whip Census in the post. Coney Island, where this classic was invented in 1914, doesn’t have an operating Whip! In this video by sodadaze, you can see the ride in action at Knoebels set to the tune of Devo’s “Whip It.”

In March, ATZ posted historian and Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson’s latest video “Cyclone Roller Coaster: Four Seasons.” This behind-the-scenes look at Coney Island’s landmark roller coaster lets you walk the tracks – summer and winter – and get up close to the machinery in the motor room.

In March, ATZ learned via twitter that Coney Island’s Inexhaustible Cow, a 19th century attraction which dispensed milk for 5 cents a cup, had apparently survived. A Pennsylvania dealer of Americana was selling the wooden cow (milk not included) for $78,000. In Inexhaustible Cows & Bottomless Cups of Chocolate Milk, we looked into the history of the Coney Island cows –there was more than one–and reminisced about bottomless cups of chocolate milk for a quarter at the Michigan State Fair.

Cow, Coney Island from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. New York Public Library, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

If you’re adept at reading letters backwards you’ll like this Flickr Slide Show: DNALSI YENOC –> CONEY ISLAND. The letters frame the view from Stillwell Terminal as visitors exit onto Surf Avenue. DNALSI YENOC is also the name of a flickr group started by Coney Island photographer Barry Yanowitz. The collection of photos document the view, which changed irrevocably in 2010 when the Henderson Building and Shore Hotel across the avenue were demolished by Thor Equities. A new building –touted as “The Retail Ride of a Lifetime” by Thor– is now rising on the empty lot.

One of our favorite photos of the summer of 2011 is this Photo of the Day: Umbrellas on Coney Island Beach. On the Fourth of July, photographer Jim McDonnell took this amazing shot of Coney Island’s beach brimming with colorful umbrellas. “The 4th itself started out hazy but turned hot, humid and incredibly crowded!” he said.

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island. July 4, 2011. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 31, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Fave 11 Posts of 2011 – Part 2

December 27, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2011

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

January 1, 2011: Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010

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