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Posts Tagged ‘Coney Island Arcade’

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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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

Target the Cat & Jimmy Working the Balloon Dart, Coney Island Opening Day, April 5, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

We’re sorry to report that our friends Target the Coney Island Cat and his human, Manny Cohen of Coney Island Arcade, are leaving Coney Island’s Bowery forever. Evicted by the landlord, they’re moving to Las Vegas, where Target will prowl the casinos on a leash and hunt chipmunk, says Manny. We’ll especially miss taking photos of the cat working the Balloon Dart with Jimmy. Cohen, who has been a tenant on the Bowery for 22 years, has until May 1 to vacate the premises, according to a court ruling on Monday. “It’s time for me to move on. I don’t have the arcade anymore,” said Cohen, whose business now primarily consists of selling arcade machines and parts. In May of 2010, a terrible fire destroyed his amusement arcade on a day that workers sent by the landlord tarred the roof.

Coney Island Cat

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

The future of Target’s feline friend Pretty is uncertain. After Target’s sister perished in the arcade fire, Manny took in the feral calico cat to keep Target company. Pretty’s territory is more wide ranging than Target’s and includes Wonder Wheel Park as well as 12th Street. Though she runs inside the arcade’s warehouse at mealtime and bedtime, neither Manny nor his friends have been able to pet her or get within several inches of her over the past three years. Getting the cat into a carrier and taking her on a road trip would be daunting, so she will remain in Coney Island. The two game concessions that Manny still operates on the Bowery will open on Coney Island’s Opening Day and Easter Sunday. We hope that Jimmy Balloons is able to rent the game for the remainder of this season and that Pretty doesn’t become another homeless Coney cat. She’s had a pretty sweet deal for the past few years.

Pretty the Cat

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

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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: Suspicious Fire at Coney Island Arcade Building

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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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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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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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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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Target

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

Nobody makes calling in customers look easier than Target, the world-famous Coney Island Cat. All he has to do is sit in his spot on the counter of Jimmy’s Balloon Dart. 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.

When Target the Cat is not working, he likes to patrol the Bowery or hang out across the way at Deno’s Super Shot. Of course, Target and his owner, Manny Cohen of Coney Island Arcade, plan to ride the Wonder Wheel at the Coney Island park’s first annual Pet Day on June 11. The cat declined to enter the pet costume contest though. “He’s natural, ” Manny says.

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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

February 7, 2010: Coney Island Valentine: Get a Sea Lion Kiss at New York Aquarium!

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

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CIA Cobra

Say Hello to the Coney Island Arcade's Cobra! April 2, 2011. 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

You’ve heard of the Bronx Zoo’s Cobra aka Missing In Action, the twitter sensation and New York’s most celebrated snake. Say hello to the Coney Island Arcade Cobra! Though it’s gone unreported till now, Brooklyn has a cobra too and you can safely interact with her because she’s an arcade game. The cobra-themed “Boxer” is the newest model manufactured and distributed under the Coney Island Boxer brand by Coney arcade owner Manny Cohen and his partner Stanley Fox.

Cohen and Fox have already introduced the 300-pound machine to the amusement industry at trade shows from Vegas to China, but last week the game made its debut on Coney Island’s Bowery. You’ll find the Cobra in front of a tiny stand with a handful of other games.

As you can see in the above photo, the sign for the Coney Island Arcade was resurrected. Unfortunately the arcade on 12th Street will not be rising from the ashes of the fire that destroyed it last May. ATZ has learned that the burned ruins of the building, which are a blight on the Bowery, may finally be demolished in the next few months weeks.

The Coney Island Arcade Cobra and Pretty the Cat Hang Out . April 2, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island Arcade is the name of the arcade that Cohen has operated for more than three decades at 12th Street and the Bowery in the heart of Brooklyn’s world-famous amusement area. Since the fire, he has continued to operate games on the Bowery, but there’s space for only a handful of arcade machines. Alas, the Coney Island Rumor Mill is saying the owner of the building has no plans to rebuild.

What’s more, penalties for “Class 1 – Immediately Hazardous” and “Class 2 – Major” ECB (Environmental Control Board) violations relating to fencing and failure to maintain the building are pending and must be resolved before a demolition permit can proceed. The Coney Island Arcade fire was our number one story of “Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2010,” ATZ, January 1, 2011.

We’re sad to report that if Cohen is unable to find another location, his 12th Street arcade will join the ranks of Coney’s lost arcades. Among the arcades that have closed due to the redevelopment of the past few years are Astroland’s three arcades and the Fascination arcade in the now-demolished Henderson Building. Coney Island’s last remaining arcades are located in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and the Eldorado on the Bowery.

Cobra Art

Cobra Art. April 2, 2011. 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Nobody was around to feed money to the cobra when we took these photos. She’s hungry! Stop by and play on Coney Island’s opening weekend. The boxer game is a 21st century version of the classic bag-punching machine. The concept is a classic—many manufacturers such as Sega (1960) and Zamperla (1980) have produced similar machines since the heyday of the penny and nickel bag punchers.

“This is a new and better form. We knew it would make money,” Fox told me when I wrote a story about their then-new business for IAAPA’s Funworld Magazine in 2005. “If you get a good score you’ll hear cheering. But if you do poorly, it’ll say something like ‘that was a chicken blow.'”

The Coney Island Arcade Boxer is available in eight languages and features three types of games play, speed measurement, power measurement, tournament mode and high score display. The game is popular at amusement parks, bowling alleys, pool halls, sports bars and nightclubs. Hey, you can even buy one of these babies for your home rec room.

Coney Island Arcade and Games, 30-19 West 12th Street, Coney Island, 718-372-8811

Cat and Cobra

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Target the Cat

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

Last week ATZ dropped by to visit Coney Island Arcade & Game operator Manny Cohen and his world-famous cat. Even during the off-season, Target the Coney Island Cat can be seen making his rounds on the Bowery. We found him sitting on the hood of Manny’s car.

Pretty and Target

Pretty and Target, Coney Island Arcade Cats. February 11, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last May, Target’s shy sister Targette aka Targeretty died in the terrible fire that destroyed the Coney Island Arcade. For weeks, Target kept searching for her in the ruins of the building and crying. A few months ago, Manny took in another cat to keep Target company. Pretty is a calico who roamed the amusement area. She’s not shy like Targette, but she is skittish. No one has been able to pet her yet, though we’re going to keep trying. In these photos, Pretty reminds us of our calicos Lola and Nadja, who are in cat heaven.

Pretty the Cat

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

When the games are open for business, the gregarious Target is most likely to be found sitting on the counter of the Balloon Dart helping out Jimmy. Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken enough pix of our favorite Coney Island cat to make a flickr set called Target the World Famous Coney Island Arcade Cat. His photo has also been featured in a New York Times slide show about Coney Island and magazines all over the world.

Target

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

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

September 6, 2010: Cutie & Patootie: Coney Island Kittens Up for Adoption!

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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