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Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy’

Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB)

Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB) on Coney Island Beach. September 22, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

It was a gorgeous Sunday for walking on the Coney Island Boardwalk but what in the world was that tripod-like vehicle on the beach? We knew it had something to do with the US Army Corps of Engineers Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project currently underway, so we phoned their Public Affairs Department. Press Officer Chris Gardner says it is a CRAB aka Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy. This unique 18,000 lb. vehicle has a top speed of 2 mph on land and somewhat less in the water. Power is supplied by a 53-hp Volkswagen engine on the deck which drives a hydraulic pump. In the photo below that Gardner took on Friday, the CRAB is surveying a profile of the beach. You can see more photos from the set here.

Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB)

A Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB) heads into the water by the Steeplechase Pier at Coney Island to gather data on the beach profile. September 20, 2013. Photo by Chris Gardener via New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

As ATZ reported earlier this month, the $7.2 million project to pump 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island’s shore began the weekend after Labor Day. Approximately 272,000 cubic yards of sand is replacing sand lost during Hurricane Sandy and the remaining amount of sand is to restore the project area to its original design after 20 years of erosion. According to the USACE, the engineered beach is designed to act as a buffer and reduce risks to homes and businesses from coastal storms like Hurricane Sandy. The crews will be working non-stop for another 2 to 3 weeks in order to be finished before the hurricane season.

Coney Island Post-Sandy Beach Restoration

Coney Island Post-Sandy Beach Restoration, September 20, 2013. Photo by Chris Gardener via New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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Related posts on ATZ…

September 9, 2013: Photo Album: Post-Sandy Beach Replenishment Project in Coney Island

March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

February 1, 2013: Last Chance to See Coney Island’s 15th Street Sand Dunes

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Temporary lights on the Boardwalk

Temporary lights are currently in use on the Boardwalk in Coney Island’s amusement district. April 22, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Let there be light at night on the Boardwalk! On Wednesday, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced over $1 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for Superstorm Sandy-related repairs to lighting along the Coney Island Boardwalk. The Boardwalk’s distinctive twin cast iron light poles, which were installed with $1.2 million allocated in 2004, have not been operational since Sandy. Portable trailer-mounted lighting units were brought in earlier this year.

According to a news release, FEMA will provide $1,220,599 in federal funding to the NYC Department of Transportation for the repairs of the street lighting system serving the Coney Island Boardwalk’s 122 ornamental light poles.

Senator Charles Schumer at Coney Island Opening Day

Senator Charles Schumer at Coney Island Opening Day Ceremonies, March 24, 2013. Photo via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park flickr

“Coney Island’s much-loved boardwalk was seriously damaged by Superstorm Sandy, including its lighting system,” said Schumer. “This federal funding will get the lights back on, just in time for summer, and make sure that New York City residents are not on the hook entirely for these expenses.”

“The iconic Coney Island boardwalk was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, with its street lighting completely destroyed,” Gillibrand said. “This necessary reimbursement is an important step as we continue to meet New York’s needs to recover and rebuild.”

Coney Island’s rides and the majority of the businesses in the amusement area opened for the season on Palm Sunday. Nathan’s on Surf Avenue, Coney Island USA and the New York Aquarium reopened on Memorial Day Weekend. New construction and post-Sandy renovations are still underway. In April’s photo album, ATZ focused on Steeplechase Pier, Steeplechase Plaza and the Boardwalk, and the Applebee’s on the north side of Surf Avenue. In May’s construction update, we looked at the south side of Surf Avenue and Jones Walk.

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May 24, 2013: Photo Album: B&B Carousell’s Showy Letters Go Up

May 16, 2013: Shooting Gallery Revival in Post-Sandy Coney Island

April 17, 2013: Sandy-Damaged Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Coney Island to Reopen in 2 Weeks

March 4, 2013: Nathan’s on Coney Island Boardwalk to Open Mid-March, Surf Ave by May

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Takeshi Yamada with Baby Mermaid in his Coney Island Studio. Photo via AMC Immortalized

Before Sandy: Takeshi Yamada with Baby Mermaid in his Coney Island Studio. Photo via AMC Immortalized

Tonight at 11 PM, Coney Island artist and rogue taxidermist Takeshi Yamada competes against a challenger in a “Heaven and Hell”-themed taxidermy contest on the 8th and final episode of AMC’s reality series “Immortalized.”

“I really don’t care about the others, Takeshi is the only one I want to watch,” says one of his fans on the series’ Facebook page. We agree, but he is one of our Coney Island friends. Yamada and his sea rabbit Seara are often seen strolling on the Boardwalk and we missed their usual promenade on New Year’s Day and Opening Day. The pair have been on an odyssey since Sandy. Says Yamada:

One of the themes of the show was “Odyssey.” It was exactly what happened. I faced Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy tried to kill me. It actually destroyed my house with over five feet of water lashing into my sculpture room, bedroom, and living room. And I saw it before — that is why I shipped my first art work [for Immortalized] a week before. If I hadn’t sent it, it would have been completely destroyed.

In Episode 3, “Odyssey,” which aired in February, Yamada displayed a bat-winged, dragon-tailed five-headed goat/fox monster with dragons circling above it and a hand-painted backdrop depicting hell. The “Heaven and Hell”-themed taxidermy art will be revealed in tonight’s episode.

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November 29, 2012: Coney Island Taxidermist Takeshi Yamada in AMC Reality Show

December 8, 2011: Takeshi Yamada’s Jersey Devil Set for Bell House Taxidermy Contest

December 7, 2010: Art of the Day: Freak Taxidermy Skull by Takeshi Yamada

September 18, 2010: Photo of the Day: Takeshi Yamada’s Freak Baby Museum at San Gennaro

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MERCY

MERCY. February 9, 2012, Photo © Bruce Handy via Coney Island Photo Diary

After Sandy, we began noticing the word “MERCY” stenciled on lamp posts and empty signboards in Coney Island. It felt like a call for compassion from a neighborhood devastated by the storm. During last week’s snowstorm, Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy came across three of these graffiti messages. The one above was on a white wall at Paul’s Daughter on the Boardwalk.

No Mercy

POƧT –ИO–MERCY February 7, 2012, Photo © Bruce Handy via Coney Island Photo Diary

On Stillwell Avenue, the “Post No Bills” message on the plywood covering Thor Equities vacant new building was replaced by graffiti saying “POƧT — ИO — MERCY.” Person(s) unknown also pasted MERCY bumper stickers on poles in the amusement area. Have you seen any others? Scroll down for readers’ comments and theories about the graffiti and additional photos. Bruce Handy’s flickr set can be viewed here.

MERCY

MERCY. February 10, 2012, Photo © Bruce Handy via Coney Island Photo Diary

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February 5, 2012: Botched Job: Coney Island Art Exiled by Thor Equities

June 1, 2011: Photo Album: Street Art Down by the Coney Island Bowery

May 3, 2011: Photo of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

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Cha Cha's

Cha Cha’s Surf Avenue Bar and Grill, Coney Island. April 2012

Cha Cha’s of Coney Island, which relocated to Surf Avenue last spring after losing their lease on the Boardwalk, is closing for good. The announcement was made last night via the bar and restaurant’s Facebook and twitter:

Reactions from fans and followers ranged from “NOOOO!” and “I’ll miss those gogo times we had!!” to “Thanks for the good times over the years.”

As recently as January, the plan was to fix the place up after flood damage from Sandy and make a go of it. “OK! we had our meeting and the game plan is being set in motion to rebuild and open the old Cha Chas space on Surf Ave by spring. As info comes in we’ll keep everyone informed with the new and improved space on Surf Ave.”

Yesterday’s announcement did not give a reason for the closing. Given the challenges faced by businesses in their rebuilding efforts, we’d have to guess that Sandy is responsible for shuttering this Coney Island mainstay, which had survived the death of its manager “JT” and eviction by Zamperla. Cha Cha’s former Boardwalk location was the site of the original Club Atlantis and is now Tom’s Restaurant.

Cha Cha's Coney Island

Coney Island After Sandy: Cleanup at Cha Cha’s Surf Avenue, November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia also owns Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Last season, in addition to relocating his Coney Island bar to Surf Avenue, he put his name on Cha Cha’s Steeplechase Park on Thor’s Stillwell Avenue property. The park had carnival rides as well as an al fresco bar. Will Cha Cha’s name turn up in another location in Coney Island? That depends whether he still has sand in his shoes after Sandy. We’re not saying goodbye to Coney Island’s “Home of Wild Women and Wise Guys” and “Live Entertainment for the Hole Family” just yet.

Cha Cha's

Cha Cha’s Bar & Cafe on the Coney Island Boardwalk. June 1, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita

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May 17, 2012: Coney Island’s Cha Cha Puts His Name on Steeplechase

April 7, 2012: Cheers! First Drink at Relocated Cha Cha’s of Coney Island

January 16, 2012: Photo of the Day: Signs of Coney’s Club Atlantis Resurface

October 30, 2011: Nov 1: Auction Sale at Cha Cha’s, 4 Others on Coney Island Boardwalk

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sand dune parachute jump

Sand Dune with Parachute Jump, W 15th Street, Coney Island. January 30, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

On Wednesday afternoon in Coney Island, the Parachute Jump was barely visible through the fog and there wasn’t a soul on West 15th Street. There were only the footprints on the temporary sand dunes, which will not be staying around as a tourist attraction. The sand, which was blown off the beach by Superstorm Sandy, is being cleaned by the Extec screener in the photo below and returned to the beach. As ATZ reported in November, the Army Corps of Engineers established a “temporary storage site,” or TSS, at West 15th Street after moving an estimated 32,000 cubic yards of sand, the equivalent of roughly 12 Olympic-size swimming pools, out of Coney Island neighborhoods to nearby Jacob Riis Park.

sand dunes Coney Island

Temporary Sand Dunes at W 15th Street, Coney Island. January 30, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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January 24, 2013: Occupy Sandy’s New Warehouse in Coney Island Landmark

December 7, 2012: Photo Album: Signs of the Times in Post-Sandy Coney Island

November 4, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: A Few Stores Reopen, Most Delayed by Damage

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

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Coney Island Sunset

Coney Island Sunset with Scream Zone and Parachute Jump. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

While putting together “Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2012,” we considered doing a fave unposted photos of 2012 feature but there were too many pix to choose from. If a photo isn’t or doesn’t become newsworthy, it often gets overlooked. Since there’s a post-holiday lull in the usual Coney Island Melodrama, here’s an album of quiet photos from early December. What these images have in common are pieces of the Coney Island skyline.

Coney Island Skyline

Coney Island Skyline, December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Hoax photos from Hurricane Sandy of the Parachute Jump snapped in two and real photos of a coaster underwater in Seaside Heights have visitors coming to ATZ to find out if Coney Island’s rides survived. The answer is yes! Coney Island’s rides will open for the 2013 season on March 24th, Palm Sunday, with a complimentary spin on the Wonder Wheel. Seen in the photo above from left to right: the Astro Tower, which is no longer an operating ride, but will be lit with LEDs; the Cyclone Roller Coaster; Deno’s Wonder Wheel, minus its cars, which are removed for the winter; and Scream Zone’s Steeplechase Coaster and Zenobio.

Brooms lined up post-Sandy

Brooms lined up post-Sandy inside Luna Park Coney Island. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

In November, Luna Park pitched in to help Coney Island recover from Hurricane Sandy by rewarding volunteers who signed up for four hours of clean-up with an unlimited ride, four-hour wristband to the park. “Over 300 people volunteered their time with Luna Park as part of a massive effort to rebuild Coney Island,” according to a post on the park’s Facebook page. “Luna volunteers cleared 4 parks and playgrounds, served 3 churches, cleaned 9 homes and 2 streets and helped clear the boardwalk by the amusement areas.”

Victim of Sandy

Victim of Sandy. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

This surreal image of a discarded carnival prize in post-Sandy Coney Island was just too sad to post on the day that we snapped it. A big part of it was the game that it came from is owned by a friend. The storm-damaged plush bear and fellow prizes were photographed here and there in the amusement area before being carted away.

The Last of McCullough's Kiddie Park

The Last of McCullough’s Kiddie Park. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Even sadder was our last look at the last remaining ride sign in McCullough’s Kiddie Park, which had been torn down and was being trucked away. The Bumblebees, Kiddie Ferris Wheel and Himalaya are all gone. Today, there’s an empty lot where the kiddie park existed since the 1960s. As ATZ reported in September, the McCullough family operated amusements in Coney Island for four generations and are related to the Tilyous of Steeplechase Park. They closed the kiddie park, their last remaining business here, after being unable to come to an agreement on terms for a lease extension with property owner Thor Equities.

On the bright side, Pete’s Clam Stop and its old school signage on Surf Avenue at 15th Street is here to stay. Along with Williams Candy next door, it is owned by Peter Agrapides, who has worked in Coney Island for six decades.

Pete's Clam Stop

Pete’s Clam Stop, Coney Island. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

January 3, 2013: Photo Album: New Year’s Day Coney Island Photo Diary by Bruce Handy

December 7, 2012: Photo Album: Signs of the Times in Post-Sandy Coney Island

May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

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

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