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Posts Tagged ‘eviction’

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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Coney Island Boardwalk at Dusk

Coney Island Boardwalk at Dusk. November 13, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita

ATZ learned that the result of this morning’s Coney Island 8 eviction hearing was another postponement. The case has been postponed till February 16 at the request of Zamperla’s attorneys, who need more time to prepare. At the December 10th hearing, it was the Coney Island 8’s attorney who needed more time to prepare and requested the postponement. It means they need more time to study and respond to the papers served by the other side, so don’t expect to see what today’s NY Post calls a “surf turf war” ending anytime soon.

PS: Did we mention that we have a terrible cold and do not really feel like doing anything except napping? Please send over some homemade chicken soup!

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November 4, 2010: Exclusive: Surrender the Premises Letter Sent to Coney Island Boardwalk Veterans

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

September 17, 2010: On Coney Island Boardwalk, Ruby’s & Cha Cha’s Rock This Fall

April 23, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk Businesses Open for 2010

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Outside Ruby's Bar on New Year's Day 2010 in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Outside Ruby's Bar on New Year's Day 2010 in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The judge adjourned this morning’s 10 a.m. court hearing for CAI Luna Park’s eviction of the “Coney Island Eight” till January 10, 2011. The postponement was at the request of the CI 8’s attorney Marc Aronson. ATZ was told that a postponement is common at the beginning of a case. We’re not reading anything into it. Not yet.

Does this mean Ruby’s will be open for the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim? We hope so. Otherwise it could be a BYOF (flask AND food) situation. Take a look at our Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010. It just won’t be a “Happy New Year!” on the Coney Island Boardwalk if Ruby’s is closed on the first day of 2011.

The eight businesses being booted from the Boardwalk are Ruby’s, Cha Cha’s, Paul’s Daughter, Grill House, Gyro Corner, Shoot the Freak, Beer Island and Coney Island Souvenir Shop. Only two of eleven existing Boardwalk businesses –Lola Star Boutique and Nathan’s — were invited back by CAI Luna Park for the 2011 season.

UPDATE… December 13, 2010

Forget Last Call! We hear RUBY’S IS OPENING NEW YEARS DAY 10:30 am till 6 pm to toast in 2011with the Coney Island Polar Bears and you!

UPDATE… December 23, 2010

The Coney Island 8 launched a new website to tell their story. The url is www.coneyisland8.com.

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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
November 23, 2010: Meet Sodexo: Luna Park Coney Island’s Partner for “On-Site Service Solutions”

November 1, 2010: Out With the Old in Coney Island: Only 2 of 11 Boardwalk Businesses Invited Back

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“Predatory developer Thor Equities is evicting small businesses while preparing to demolish the historic Henderson Building…” In this video, you’ll meet two business owners who after 3 decades of operating year-round businesses in the Henderson Building have lost their leases and have to move out.

On Saturday we took a few lousy pix of Popeye’s knowing it would be our last chance. After 27 years in Coney Island, Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits was expected to serve its last supper to customers on Sunday. Today we’re hearing Popeye’s may have gotten a few days reprieve, if you want to head over for a last snack. The Henderson Building at the corner of Surf and Stillwell is one of four lots in Coney Island rezoned last summer for 30-story high rise hotels, which set the stage for the current evictions and demolitions.

Thor-Owned Henderson Building sits on a Parcel Rezoned for a High-Rise Hotel. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

Thor-Owned Henderson Building sits on a Parcel Rezoned for a High-Rise Hotel. Photo © Tricia Vita//me-myself-i via flickr

The historic building once known as the Henderson Music Hall is slated to be demolished next month.  In the video, the business owners comments are punctuated by the drill of machinery.  You’ll see workers carrying out asbestos abatement/demolition on the building’s roof without any protection for the people below.  (But that’s another story,  which ATZ has been reporting.)

Maritza, who has operated the souvenir stand on the Stillwell Ave side of the Henderson building for 30 years,  began packing up and moving out on August 11.  In the video, she says she got one week’s notice. “When [Thor Equities] makes the new building he promised to give me a 10 year lease, but I don’t know. They’re supposed to talk to me about it, but I’m still here waiting,” Maritza says in the video. After Thor announced demolition plans in April, a rendering was released of a cheesy looking temporary one-story building occupied by hamburger and taco food joints. At the time we thought it was a ploy to get demo permits from the City and put an end to preservationists’ efforts to get approval for an historic district in Coney Island.

Will Popeye’s and Maritza find a spot in Joe Sitt’s future Mall of Coney Island? That depends on whether you think such a thing will ever be built. From where we stand, Joe Sitt is just creating another empty lot in Coney Island to add to his collection of empty lots. If you’re skeptical, we suggest you take a look at what the now decimated Stillwell Avenue looked like before Joe Sitt.

Evicted by Thor Equities, Popeye's Chicken in Coney Island Closes after 27 Years. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

UPDATE April 10, 2012:

Popeyes Chicken reopened today at 1220 Surf Avenue, a new doors down from their original location, in a building owned by another landlord. The popular fast-food restaurant’s new home is in the Popper Building, which has a distinctive old copper sign that says “Herman Popper & Bro.” and a colorful history.
“Relocated Popeyes Set to Open Today in Coney Island,” ATZ, April 10, 2010

UPDATE August 24, 2010:

Popeye’s last chicken dinner will be served tonight! After 27 years at this location, the restaurant will close at midnight. Thirty people, including 20 year-round employees, are now out of work. The owner has until the end of the month to move out his equipment. He hopes to stay in Coney Island and is looking at two locations- one on the south side of Surf Avenue and another on the north side. We wish him luck and hope to see Popeye’s back soon!

Save Coney Island is giving free walking tours every Sunday through the end of September. The tours highlight the four soon-to-be demolished buildings owned by Thor Equities along Surf Avenue as well as some of Coney’s existing landmarks. This Sunday’s guest tour guide will be historian Charles Denson, author of Coney Island: Lost and Found.

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Related posts on ATZ…

August 19, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Crack of Dawn Demo Work Attracts Scrutiny

April 29, 2010: Photo of the Day: Interior of Coney Island’s Doomed Henderson Music Hall

April 21, 2010: Thor’s Coney Island: Tattered Tents, Deathwatch for Historic Buildings

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

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