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Coney Island Always

Window detail at Coney Island Always, West 12th St, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita

The famed life-size dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” and the miniature animated rides of “Coney Island Always” are getting spruced up today in anticipation of Coney Island’s official Opening Day. Palm Sunday is just two weeks away on March 29th.

Window washing and replacement of some of the novel items on display are currently underway. The big news is that one of Miss Coney’s dancing cats is retiring and a dancing white rabbit doll is getting the spot. This means that Miss Coney Island will have possibly the only coney in Coney! Coney Island was of course named Conyne Eylandt –Rabbit Island– by the Dutch after the wild rabbits that lived here in the 17th century.

These whimsical, independently owned amusements cost only 25 cents each to enjoy and along with games of skill such as Skin the Wire and Feed the Clown are located on West 12th Street beneath Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. If you would like to spend the summer with Miss Coney Island and her friends, games operators are needed for the 2015 season. Apply in person or tweet @MissConeyIsland.

Miss Coney Island

Coney Island Always, Miss Coney Island, and Games of Skill on West 12th Street. Photo © Tricia Vita

UPDATE…

Related posts on ATZ…

April 6, 2014: Photo of the Day: Miss Coney Island’s Dancing Cat

April 5, 2014: Photo Album: A Solitary Evening Stroll in Coney Island

September 30, 2012: Photo of the Day: Last Dance With Miss Coney Island

April 27, 2012: The Dancing Doll “Miss Coney Island” Speaks

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This weekend is your last chance to dance with the life-size dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” and enjoy the miniature animated rides of “Coney Island Always” before they close for the year. These independently owned amusements cost only 25 cents each and are located on West 12th Street off the Boardwalk, beneath Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park.

When ATZ “interviewed” Miss Coney after she moved from Jones Walk in 2012, it was revealed that in a past life she was an Indian princess automaton at Connecticut’s Great Danbury Fair. Though you’d never guess it after her glam makeover, this doll dates back to the 1930s. The shimmying mannequin is a magnet for visiting divas. Catch her at 2:20 in Beyonce’s music vid XO and with Rita Ora in a fashion shoot for Vibe Magazine. Miss Coney Island’s taglines on twitter are “Don’t Postpone Joy” and “25 cents to fall in LOVE.” (more…)

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Miss Coney Island's Dancing Cat

Miss Coney Island’s Dancing Cat. April 6, 2014 . Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

New for 2014 in Coney Island! One of Miss Coney Island‘s dancing cats is sporting a Marilyn Monroe badge. Just call her Marilyn.

The dancing doll and cats are a popular attraction on West 12th Street across from the Steeplechase coaster. It costs a quarter a dance.

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Related posts on ATZ…

April 5, 2014: Photo Album: A Solitary Evening Stroll in Coney Island

March 29, 2014: Photo of the Day: Chomping at the Bit for Coney Island’s Opening Day

September 30, 2012: Photo of the Day: Last Dance With Miss Coney Island

April 27, 2012: The Dancing Doll “Miss Coney Island” Speaks

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Luna Park Lights at Jones Walk

Luna Park Lights at Jones Walk, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

This weekend, Deno’s Kiddie Park and Ruby’s Bar on the Coney Island Boardwalk will open for the 2014 season, to be followed by next week’s official Palm Sunday Opener for the Wonder Wheel, Cyclone and the rest of the amusements. The park and concession owners are busy getting ready, but by the time we went for a stroll on Wednesday evening around 8 pm, almost everyone had gone home for the night. Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk were lit up but eerily deserted.

Wonder Wheel and A Wish

Wonder Wheel and A Wish on the Bowery, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Wednesday was our first glimpse of the Wonder Wheel’s cars back up on the wheel. The freshly painted cars were rolled out of winter storage and put up on Tuesday. We missed it this year, but the annual ritual is the first sign of spring in Coney Island. Being there to see the red, blue and white cars go up, the Swinging ones first and then the Stationary, is like seeing crocuses bloom before your eyes.

Jones Walk Bowery Coney Island

Jones Walk at the Bowery, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

This mural at the corner of Jones Walk and the Bowery is one of the few remaining works of Steve Powers and Creative Time’s Dreamland Artist Club. It’s still holding its own. John “Crash” Matos painted the rolldown gate of the Snack Bar in 2005, but the work of Ronnie Cutrone, which was just above it, was stripped and taken away a couple of years ago, as were the rest of the signs on Jones Walk.

Miss Coney Island

The Dancing Doll ‘Miss Coney Island,’ West 12th St. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

On West 12th Street, the feet of the dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” and her dancing cats were peeking out from beneath the partially open metal shutter. Miss Coney as well as the window featuring the miniature rides of “Coney Island Always” will be open this weekend. They’re located on West 12th Street next to the Coney Island History Project and a few steps from the entrance to Wonder Wheel Park. Still 25¢ to Fall in LOVE!

Clown Game on West 12th Street

Clown Game on West 12th Street, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Next door, Feed the Clown and the other independently owned games were brightly lit and the only place open on the block, though not yet open for business. The joints were being flashed for Opening Day. A group of marionette prizes danced in frenzied unison. Their strings were being manipulated by an unseen force. Merry-go-round music played. We made a movie (Stay tuned.) Did you ever notice that clowns look even creepier covered in plastic tarps?

Catch 1 Ball Win This Prize

Catch 1 Ball Win This Prize, West 12th Street, Coney Island. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

At Ruby’s Bar on the Boardwalk, the newly refinished floor was glowing. A solitary worker, who was about to leave for the night, opened the door so we could get a photo. Coney Island’s oldest bar and its famous jukebox opens on Saturday for the season. Cheers!

Newly Refinished Floor at Ruby's Bar

Newly Refinished Floor at Ruby’s Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

On Wednesday, the Parachute Jump was lit blue for Autism Awareness Day. There was a ceremony at 6:30 in the evening, but by the time we got there no one was on the Boardwalk. Slivers of light glimmered beneath the metal shutter of Place to Beach Bar. Workers opened the side door, ready to call it a night. A crescent moon was suspended in the sky over the Jump.

Parachute Jump and Place to Beach Bar

Parachute Jump and Place to Beach Bar, Coney Island Boardwalk. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Currently, the Parachute Jump is lit nightly from 4:30pm until midnight or later. The landmarked tower’s 8,000 LEDS are illuminated year-round like the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower. The light show changes according to the day and the season. It was specially programmed with a “Happy Holidays” message and Christmas-y colors by Luna Park. In celebration of the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl win, the Jump was lit in sea green and blue light, and it was green on St Patrick’s Day.

Parachute Jump Lit Blue for Autism Awareness

Parachute Jump Lit Blue for Autism Awareness Day. April 2, 3014. Photo © Tricia Vita

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Related posts on ATZ…

February 28, 2014: Photo Album: Wonder Wheel Park Preps for Coney Island’s Opening Day

December 23, 2013: Coney’s Parachute Jump & Wonder Wheel Lit for Christmas

November 28, 2013: Photo Album: Parachute Jump Lights Way to Year-Round Coney Island

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

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Miss Coney Island

Carolyn with ‘Miss Coney Island.’ 25¢ to Fall in LOVE. November 10, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Dig those quarters out of your purse. The dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” is open for business this afternoon from 1pm. Still 25¢ to Fall in LOVE! The window featuring the miniature rides of “Coney Island Always” as well as games of skill and Christmas gift shop will be open too. Located on West 12th Street a few steps from the entrance to Wonder Wheel Park.

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Related posts on ATZ…

November 8, 2013: Photo Album: Early November in Coney Island

October 30, 2013: Photo Album: Four Transformations, One Year After Sandy

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

December 7, 2011: Jones Walk’s “Miss Coney Island”
Shimmies Over to 12th St

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Eldorado Bumper Cars

Eldorado Bumper Cars, Surf Avenue, Coney Island. September 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Bump and dance! Coney Island’s amusement parks closed for the season at the end of October, but this weekend–November 2nd and 3rd– you can still go for a ride at the Eldorado Bumper Cars, play games in the arcade, bust balloons at the stands on the Bowery, and dance with Miss Coney Island.

Gordon Lee, who operates the independently owned disco palace of bumper cars on Surf Avenue, says he will keep it open Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon till whenever–usually 8 or 9pm.

Miss Coney Island

Miss Coney Island, 25 Cents a Dance. October 20, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

On West 12th Street near the Boardwalk, the windows featuring the dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” and the miniature animated rides of “Coney Island Always” will be open from 2pm, along with Skin the Wire, Roll-A-Coaster and other whimsical games. “Don’t Postpone Joy,” says a sign on the door. It’s still costs only 25 cents a dance or to set the mechanical rides awhirl.

Treasure boxes

Next Door to Miss Coney Island: ‘Limoge Inspired’ Treasure Boxes for Sale. October 20, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

You can start your Christmas shopping too. The stand next door to Miss Coney Island has been transformed into a gift shop with glass pendants ($5.00 each) and “Limoge inspired” treasure boxes galore ($8.00 each). ATZ bought a mermaid-shaped treasure box but there are plenty more. Each box holds tiny secret treasures like the three little ducklings seen below.

See “Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round” for info on what’s doing in Coney’s amusement area in November.

Tiny ducks

Tiny ducks inside the duck-shaped treasure box. October 20, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

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Related posts on ATZ…

September 2, 2013: Photo of the Day: Skin the Wire and Feed the Clown

March 21, 2013: Photo of the Day: Miss Coney Island Meets Miss Coney Island

April 27, 2012: The Dancing Doll “Miss Coney Island” Speaks

March 27, 2012: Video of the Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter at Coney Island (2011)

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Miss Coney Island Meets Miss Coney Island

Lefty Lucy, Vice President of Miss Coney Island USA and Dancing Doll Miss Coney Island, May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita

Looking for a photo of the Tilt-A-Whirl in action, we came across this unpublished pic from last summer that’s too delicious not to share right now. On the left is Lefty Lucy, winner of the Miss Coney Island 2011 title at the burlesque beauty pageant and now Vice President of Miss Coney Island USA. “Miss Coney Island” on the right is the dancing doll whose motto is “Don’t Postpone Joy” and “25 cents to fall in LOVE.”

Coney Island USA’s burlesque beauty pageant was started by Bambi the Mermaid in 2003. Miss Cherry Delight is the titleholder for 2013. The dancing doll known as Miss Coney Island made her debut on Jones Walk in 1998 after a previous career as an Indian Princess automaton at Connecticut’s Danbury Fair. Now located in a window on West 12th Street near the entrance to the Wonder Wheel, the dancing doll and her dancing cat open for the season on Coney Island’s Opening Day, March 24th. Lefty Lucy is teaching a workshop on stage kittening this Saturday at the New York School of Burlesque.

ATZ has previously interviewed both Miss Coney Islands here and here.

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 8, 2012: Sunday Matinee: Princess Rajah’s Chair Dance (1904)

September 13, 2012: Video: Coney Island Dancing 2012 by Jim McDonnell

August 19, 2012: Dance Video: Coney Island Dancers Street Festival

August 16, 2011: Video of the Day: “IT Girl” Clara Bow in Coney Island

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