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Mermaid Parade 2009: Metrocard Chrysler Building Mermaid. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Mermaid Parade 2009: Metrocard Chrysler Building Mermaid. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

If you’re coming to Coney Island to see the Mermaid Parade, we recommend taking the subway ( F, Q to West 8th Street; D, F, N, Q to Stillwell Ave) as this Metrocard Chrysler Building Mermaid did last year. Or take your submarine….

Mermaid Parade 2009: Yellow Submarine Merman. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Mermaid Parade 2009: Yellow Submarine Merman. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

If you want to avoid traffic jams, leave your car at home! Although parking is available at MCU Park, New York Aquarium and private lots, Mermaid Day is one of Coney’s busiest days of the season. If you must come by car and want to avoid traffic jams, we recommend parking a few subway stops away and then hopping on the train. Bicycling is also the way to go!

Mermaid Parade 2009: Rabbi Abraham Abraham & Bob Stewart of the Coney Island Ice Breakers.  Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

Mermaid Parade 2009: Rabbi Abraham Abraham & Bob Stewart of the Coney Island Ice Breakers. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

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Lighted Sign at Coney Island's Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

The E Is Fixed: Lighted Sign at Coney Island's Stillwell Terminal. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Yesterday we received a message that the “E” in CONEY had finally been fixed and was two-third’s lit! And the crooked “L” in ISLAND had been straightened out, too! Yay and hooray! We’re almost tempted to say the repair of the Stillwell Terminal’s signature sign after months of neglect presages the rebirth of Coney Island.

One thing for sure, somebody at the MTA must read blogs. Last week ATZ posted “Will MTA Ever Fix Burned out “E” in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell?” The light had been out for several months and complaints to the MTA that the darkened E ruined an iconic photo op at the showplace station went nowhere. Thanks to curbed for reblogging our plea that the light be fixed in time for the opening day of Coney’s comeback season.

This morning on the way to work photographer and Coney Island resident Bruce Handy took these historic first photos of the relit E. “The people waiting for the bus must have thought I was crazy taking photos at 5:30 in the morning. But you never know, later today the E could be fully lit. I wanted to capture the 2/3 look.” Actually he found “BIG E is 4/5 Lit.”

We’re looking forward to taking a picture perfect shot of the front of the station sometime soon. Burned out bulbs on building have yet to be replaced. Maybe tomorrow?

BIG E is 4/5 Lit. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Iconic Photo Op: BIG E is 4/5 Lit. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ...

March 12, 2010:Will MTA Ever Fix Burned out “E” in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell?

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

December 20, 2009: Coney Island Photo of the Day: First Snow on the Cyclone

June 2, 2009: Coney Island is Alive and Kicking in 2009 Photo of the Day: Dusk on the Boardwalk

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CONEY ISLAND is CON_Y ISLAND! Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

CONEY ISLAND is CON_Y ISLAND! March 11, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

How many MTA employees does it take to change a light bulb? How many months or years does it take them to get the job done? Or did alphabet lights get slashed from the MTA’s budget?

Last night we took this photo of the entrance to the MTA’s Stillwell Terminal, the largest above-ground subway station in the world and the gateway to Coney Island. It would be a postcard perfect shot except for the fact that the “E” in CONEY ISLAND is burned out and has been burned out since last summer. We con you not: the photo below of CON_Y ISLAND was taken in July 2009.

When we phoned the MTA’s customer service line in June, the rep dutifully took down the info. But he just didn’t get it: “You can still read it,” he said of the burned out “E.” Personally we think it ruins an iconic photo op. We called up a friend who has a job at the MTA and asked him to pass the word along to the correct department. He wouldn’t and couldn’t. Told us it was against protocol.

Dear MTA Chairman Jay Walder, please send a crew over to fix the “E” and replace the other burned out bulbs asap before Coney Island’s opening day! That will be March 28th, just 16 days away. And while they’re here, get them to straighten out the “L” in ISLAND, which looks like somebody gave it a whack. Millions of visitors will arrive and depart via Stillwell Station this year. We want the new Coney Island to put her best face forward. Burned out lights say who the hell cares.

UPDATE March 17, 2010:

Yesterday we received a message that the “E” in CONEY had finally been fixed and was two-third’s lit! And the crooked “L” in ISLAND had been straightened out, too! Yay and hooray! We’re almost tempted to say the repair of the Stillwell Terminal’s signature sign after months of neglect presages the rebirth of Coney Island. See “Photo of the Day: The “E” is Relit in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell”

Welcome to Con-y island! All Aboard! Coney Island, NY. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Welcome to Con-y island! All Aboard! Coney Island, NY. July 25, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 17, 2010: Photo of the Day: The “E” is Relit in Coney Island Sign at Stillwell

March 8, 2010: March 23: Rescuing Coney Island’s Shore Theater from 35 Years of Neglect

February 11, 2010:Photo of the Day: NYCEDC Signs Herald New Coney Island Amusement Park

January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

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