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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

On Christmas Eve Day in New York City, it’s a balmy 42 degrees with nary a snowflake in the 10-day forecast. On YouTube, the animated Winter Wonderlands of Christmases Past and Present are in full swing. German collector Coasterkalle’s video of his 2009 Wonderland features Bobsleds and Carousels as well as miniature moving Santas and skaters, lights and music. Oh and there’s snow too! This year’s vid from Coasterkalle is more of a fun fair midway with toy Bumper Cars, Wave Swinger and a Zipper-like ride called a Zinger spinning to the tune of Jingle Bells. Merry Christmas from Amusing the Zillion!

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December 18, 2011: Playing Santa at the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

December 12, 2011: Holiday Album: Coney Island in the Bronx

October 31, 2011: Photo Album: Snowtober in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

December 24, 2010: Happy Holidays from Amusing the Zillion

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New Year's Day Swim

Unwinding after a Busy Holiday...Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year's Day Swim 2011. Photo © Barry Yanowitz

On New Year’s Day 2011, when Santa should have been back at the North Pole after a busy Christmas, photographer Barry Yanowitz spotted him at the Coney Island Polar Bear Swim! The annual event is zany fun as well as a fundraiser for a very good cause. You can play Santa on New Year’s Day 2012 by pledging a donation to this year’s plunge or helping participants meet their fundraising goals. The funds make it possible for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to enjoy a holiday at Camp Sunshine in Maine.

“Last year we raised over $50,000 for Camp Sunshine, and hope to exceed that this year,” Coney Island Polar Bear Club President Dennis Thomas told ATZ. “Approximately 1,200 swimmers registered last year. People can make donations on site on New Year’s Day or pledge at Freezin’ for a Reason.” (If you’re reading this after New Year’s Day, it’s not too late to mail a check.)

There’s no fee for observers or participants at the increasingly popular annual event, but the Coney Island Polar Bear Club encourages participants to make a donation to Camp Sunshine. They will receive a free breakfast, all-day admission to the New York Aquarium and the official “I Did It!” certificate. Swim time is at 1 pm sharp. Registration begins at 11 am on the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Before and After Party at Ruby’s Bar from 11am till 2:30pm!

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Related posts on ATZ…

January 1, 2013: Videos of the Day: Coney Island Polar Bear New Year’s Day Plunge 2013

November 10, 2011: Video: First Plunge of Season for Coney Island Polar Bears

January 7, 2011: Photo of the Day: Greetings from Ruby’s Snow Mountain Resort!

February 23, 2011: Double Exposure: Photographer Barry Yanowitz & Coney Island on BCAT TV

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Luna Park Arch, 1903

Luna Park Arch, 1903. Holiday Train Show at NY Botanical Garden. Photo © Jim Levine. All Rights Reserved

Every Christmas, exquisite models of long-vanished Coney Island landmarks are part of a holiday tradition at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Thanks to ATZ reader Jim Levine, who sent us his photos of the 20th annual Holiday Train Show.

Among the replicas are the original entrance and a ticket booth from Coney Island’s first Luna Park, which opened in 1903 on the north side of Surf Avenue. There’s also a Coney Island bound trolley and the Galveston Flood Building, where a cyclorama of the 1900 catastrophe was a popular attraction.

Galveston Flood Building

Galveston Flood Building, 1908 and Luna Park Ticket booth, 1903. Holiday Train Show at NY Botanical Garden. Photo © Jim Levine. All Rights Reserved

According to the Botanical Garden’s release, “Natural materials such as bark, twigs, stems, fruits, seeds, and pine cones are used to create more than 140 scaled iconic buildings, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Radio City Music Hall, and the original Yankee Stadium. More than a dozen large-scale model railway trains—from late-1800s American steam engines and streetcars to modern freight and high-speed passenger trains and trolleys—traverse nearly a quarter-mile of track across rustic bridges, along overhead trestles, through tunnels, and past waterfalls that cascade into flowing creeks.”

Jim shared a bit of trivia about the trolley in the picture below, which he says is a model of car number 1001. “It was one of the last trolleys to run in Coney Island. My father, who was just starting with the Transit Authority in the 1940s, drove that trolley in Coney Island. That car, 1001, is now at the Shore Line Trolley Museum up in Connecticut and has been fully restored.”

The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show runs through January 16, 2012. Tickets are available online.

Coney Island Bound Trolley

Coney Island Bound Trolley. Holiday Train Show at NY Botanical Garden. Photo © Jim Levine. All Rights Reserved

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 2, 2011: Photo of the Day: Children’s Eye-View of Coney Island

October 31, 2011: Photo Album: Snowtober in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

December 24, 2010: Happy Holidays from Amusing the Zillion

February 26, 2010: Photo of the Day: Snow Mermaid on Coney Island Beach

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