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Posts Tagged ‘New York Aquarium’

Find the perfect holiday gift for the Coney aficionado on your list with ATZ’s 12 Days of Coney Island Christmas Gift Guide. Like the People’s Playground itself, some of the selections are seasonal pleasures, while others can be enjoyed year round. All can be purchased online.

Polar Bear Plunge

I Did It! New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita

The 111-year-old Coney Island Polar Bear Club has hats, T-shirts, hoodies and blankets ($15-$40) sporting their bear-y adorable logo for sale online. The blanket will come in handy if you plan to join the annual January 1st Polar Bear Dip. Did you know this hugely popular event is also a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine, where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families can enjoy a summer vacation?

You and your friends can register online now and pledge a donation to this year’s plunge or help participants like “Cold Is The New Hot!!!” and Lutheran Medical Center’s “Team Spartacus” meet their fundraising goals here. Seven per cent of the $50,000 goal has been raised as of December 9th. Any plunger raising $100 or more will receive a long sleeve Freezin’ for a Reason shirt. Participants over 21 also will receive a limited edition “The Plunge” pint glass, compliments of Coney Island Brewing Company, and an invitation to an after party with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club at Peggy O’Neill’s on Surf Avenue.

Frozen custard

Frozen custard from Rita’s Italian Ice

Rita’s of Coney Island is closed till spring but sells gift cards ($5-$100) online year-round. When store owner Ezra Shalam opened the Rita’s franchise this year on Surf Avenue, he brought genuine frozen custard back home to the place of its origin. The dessert made its debut in 1919 when the Kohr brothers opened a stand on the Coney Island Boardwalk. The nickel treat was a sensation, selling 18,460 cones on the first weekend! Rita’s menu also offers Italian ice, layered gelati, sundaes with a choice of 20 toppings, sugar-free treats, and items that blend Italian ice with frozen custard.

Coney Island Snow Globe

Coney Island Snow Globe, Lola Star Boutique

Lola Star’s souvenir boutique, which started out on the Coney Island Boardwalk in 2000, has a satellite location on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg as well as an online store stocked with her unique designs. This Coney Island Snow Globe features a mermaid amid miniature versions of the amusement area’s landmark rides ($8). For the same price you can also get a Coney lovebird-themed mousepad. Other stocking stuffers include shot glasses ($6) and an array of Lola Star T-shirts for kids of all ages and adults. Disappointed the games are closed and you can’t spend money to win a plush toy? Order a Hello Kitty Coney Cupcake or Polka Dotted Octopus ($7-$10).

Brooklyn Cyclones

The Brooklyn Cyclones’ Foam Hand

Since Brooklyn Cyclones’ tickets for the 2015 season won’t go on sale till next year, you could write an I.O.U. and drop it in the Christmas stocking. Or buy the fans something they can get their hands on now: A Foam Hand in Christmas-y red or blue with a #1 emblazoned on the index finger and the Cyclones’ roller coaster logo on each side ($7.99). A plush snow bear ornament sporting a Cyclones scarf and a red hat ($11.99) and Cyclones apparel are also available at their online store along with merch for the Brooklyn Bolts, the team that brought pro football back to Brooklyn for the first time since the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946.

Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride

Zipper: Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride

“A small-time ride operator and his beloved carnival contraption become casualties in the battle over the future of Coney Island” is the capsule description of Amy Nicholson’s documentary Zipper, which is available on DVD for just $10 via the film’s online store.. Read ATZ’s review of the film here and see the trailer here. The Deluxe Edition DVD ($20) has Spanish subtitles plus a few extras: A 15-minute movie of the film crew’s trip to Honduras to find the Zipper, where it was sold after being evicted from Coney Island, and a short funny “adult” story by Zipper crew members Joey and Don. Through January 1st, the store is offering a free Zipper tote with a two item purchase.

Ruby's shirt

Red Ruby’s Bar & Grill Tee

In 1975, Ruby Jacobs bought the Hebrew National Deli and Bar on the boardwalk, which had opened in 1934, and turned it into Ruby’s Bar and Restaurant. This summer, his daughter and son-in-law and their kids, who run the place, marked the beloved hang-out’s 80th anniversary. These red Ruby’s T-shirts ($20) with “Celebrating 80 Years” on the back are among the Ruby’s souvenirs in the bar’s online store. “As is our tradition, we WILL be open for the Polar Bear Club’s annual plunge on New Year’s Day,” says a post on their Facebook page.”Ruby’s is looking forward to seeing you again in 2015!”

Steeplechase horse

Steeplechase horse at the Coney Island History Project

An original Steeplechase horse from one of Coney’s first thrill rides is among the rare artifacts on view at the Coney Island History Project. The history organization offers 1-1/2 hour walking tours ($20 per person) year-round that include a private visit to their exhibit center during the off-season. Advance tickets for 2015 may be purchased online. Walking tours are based on History Project director Charles Denson’s classic book Coney Island: Lost and Found ($29.95), which along with other publications is available on the History Project’s website.

Paul's Daughter

Paul’s Daughter Tee from Brooklyn Brewery

While Papa Burger, an A & W Root Beer figure from the 1960s, still anchors the Luna Park side of Paul’s Daughter’s rooftop, Mama Burger was damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The eight-foot-tall fiberglass figure got knocked over — at first she was thought to be missing– and her hamburger and Brooklyn Brewery mug blew away. The Brewery has come up with a T-shirt to pay tribute to Mama Burger ($25) and raise funds toward her restoration. “They have a real love for Mama Burger,” says Paul’s Daughter Tina Georgoulakos, who recalls how one day her father took a Brooklyn Brewery sign and stuck it on the figure’s beer mug. “I have to find people who can restore her.”

Beer Book

28 Beers at 28 Bars for $28

Brokelyn.com’s The South Brooklyn and The Rockaways Beer Book ($28) has vouchers for 28 beers at 28 bars including Coney Island’s Freak Bar, Peggy O’Neill’s and Ruby’s Bar & Grill. So that’s $1.00 a beer! The other 25 vouchers are an enticement to bar hop to Bay Ridge, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Sunset Park, and Rockaway.

The Tickler, A Wild Mouse style coaster, at Luna Park. Photo © Tricia Vita

Coney Island’s amusement parks open for the 2015 season on Palm Sunday, March 29th. Though Luna Park is currently closed for a winter’s nap, the park is offering a December discount on pre-ordered wristbands. Customers who buy one wristband for $32 get a second one free. The deal offers unlimited access to 22 rides at Luna Park for a 4 hour period. Extreme thrill rides, such as the Cyclone and Thunderbolt, and the B&B Carousell are not included on the wristband. Check website for details.

Sea Otter NY Aquarium

Sea Otter at NY Aquarium. Photo © Julie Larsen Maher/WCS

While recovering from Sandy and building the new “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit, scheduled to open in spring 2016, the New York Aquarium remains open 365 days a year. Gift memberships help the Wildlife Conservation Society save wildlife and wild places worldwide and start at $75. Benefits include free admission to the Aquarium as well as the Bronx Zoo and three other zoos in the City. One of the perks of premium membership ($119-$189) is free parking in the Aquarium’s lot, which is a very desirable perk for frequent visitors to Coney Island.

Mermaid Parade

The first bribe of the Mermaid Parade? The Chief Justice pouring rum. Photo © Tricia Vita

It’s time to deck the halls with boughs of holly, but is anyone else dreaming of summer? It’s not too early to buy a judgeship for the annual Mermaid Parade, which is Saturday, June 20, 2015. Parade organizer and arts org Coney Island USA’s $150 Big Spender membership entitles the giftee to be an official Judge of the Mermaid Parade with VIP seating on the reviewing stand and a Mermaid Parade Judge T-shirt. Oh, and partake in the bribes offered to the judges by the paraders: beer, vodka, more beer, chocolate cake, beer, lubricants, play money, glow in the dark octopus toy, more beer, more vodka, lemonade, rum balls, and finally more beer. It’s no wonder the judgeships are “sold out” well before the parade. Memberships support arts programming at CIUSA and start at $35 with benefits including free admission to the freak show.

Happy Holidays to All!

Related posts on ATZ…

December 18, 2013: Photo Album: Christmas Peddlers in Old New York

December 13, 2013: Photo Album: Gingerbread Coney Island in City Harvest Extravaganza

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

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

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New Yokr Aquarium Mural

Detail of Mural at New York Aquarium After Removal. March 21, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Back in March, the New York Aquarium’s popular mural on the Coney Island Boardwalk at West 8th Street was partially taken down due to the poor condition of the wall. Two-thirds of the approximately 211-foot-long mural was removed. We were waiting to see what would happen at the site before writing about it, but no work has been observed since then.

The frequently photographed mural depicts such Coney Island landmarks as the Parachute Jump, Cyclone and Wonder Wheel along with tidbits of historical info and quotes such as George C Tilyou’s famous line “If Paris is France, then Coney Island, between June and September, is the world.” Details that were removed include Dreamland’s Iron Tower, a capsule from Astroland’s Skyride, and scenes of undersea life. The artwork was painted in 2006.

New York Aquarium Mural

New York Aquarium: Reconstruction of Crumbling Wall Aquarium Required Removal of Mural

Several readers have emailed to ask if the mural will be repainted after repairs to the wall. “The mural is being taken down for safety reasons,” WCS spokesperson Barbara Russo replied to a query from ATZ. “I’ll give you more updates as I have them.” Word from the Aquarium staff is no decision has yet been made.

Mural at New York Aquarium

Detail of Mural at New York Aquarium After Removal. March 21, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

According to the Mural Locator website, the seaside mural was a pro bono project taken on by artist Thanh X Tran and VSA Partners.

Working on a very tight deadline, a four-person team completed the illustration using Adobe Illustrator and stock photos as tracing references. In partnership with Colossal Media—one of the last sign painting companies in New York—we transferred the complicated design onto the wall’s surface. Over one hundred volunteers painted the mural (approximately 15 x 211 feet) in the span of a week, to the delight of Coney Island’s locals.

New Yokr Aquarium Mural

The Aquarium’s Coney Island Mural was a Popular Spot for Musicians. February 22, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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November 5, 2013: Ghost Signs on Coney Island’s Mermaid Avenue

June 1, 2013: If Paris Is France, Coney Island, between June and September, Is the World

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

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SeaGlass Carousel

SeaGlass Carousel. Courtesy Battery Park Conservancy

A unique carousel celebrating the history of the Battery as the first home of the New York Aquarium, which opened in 1896, is almost set to spin. After a decade of fundraising and construction, the Battery Conservancy issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the operation and maintenance of the SeaGlass Carousel along with food and merchandise carts in Manhattan’s Battery Park. There will be a recommended proposer meeting on March 11, with a due date for proposals on April 14th. To download the RFP, visit http://www.thebattery.org.

Designed to simulate a dive to the bottom of the sea, the carousel features iridescent fish set on four moving turntables within a nautilus shell structure. “Combined with swivel and the up-and-down motions of the fish mounted on these turntables, these various systems generate up to 25 axes of motion…swimming indeed,” according to the RFP.

SeaGlass Carousel was conceived and designed by WXY Architecture + Urban Design and their engineering teams, George Tsypin Opera Factory and Show Canada. The $16 million dollar project was funded with a combination of public and private funds.

Upon the opening of the carousel in 2014 and the Battery Garden Bikeway in 2015, over 90% of the park’s rebuilding will be complete. One of New York’s oldest parks, dating back to 1693, Battery Park was once home to the New York Aquarium, which was located in Castle Clinton from 1896 until 1941. The SeaGlass Carousel is expected to operate 7 days a week, year-round.

The Battery Conservancy’s original vision for the park’s redo included working with the New York Aquarium at Coney Island to develop a ferry link from the Battery waterfront to a dock near the aquarium. In 2007, then City Councilman Alan Gerson, whose district included Battery Park, told the New York Sun, “I would like to get the job done during the next fiscal year, especially now that Coney Island is being rebuilt.”

The NYCEDC commissioned a Coney Island Ferry Feasibility Study focusing on three potential ferry pier locations to be built or refurbished in Coney Island: Steeplechase Pier, West 8th Street and a location in Coney Island Creek, but Coney Island was not among the prioritized sites in the NYCEDC’s 2013 Citywide Ferry Study. Friends of Coney Island Creek Ferry Landing + Park, a group advocating for a recreational ferry link between Coney Island and The Battery, held a test run last June.

New York Aquarium in Castle Clinton

May 31, 1934 aerial image of the New York Aquarium, then located at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, during a Navy visit to New York City. Photo via NYC Parks Department

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August 22, 2013: In Memoriam: Carousel & Amusement Park Operator Jimmy McCullough

May 26, 2013: A Portrait of Abe Lincoln on Coney Island’s B&B Carousell

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New York Aquarium

Cotton Candy Vendor in front of New York Aquarium. Photo © Tricia Vita

Imagine having a summer job in Coney Island, where you can eat cotton candy for lunch and go for a swim after work. Coney’s amusement parks and attractions, which open for the season on April 13, generally hold their first job screening in late February (Scroll down for an update on registering for this year’s first screenings on March 4th and 6th. The second series of job screenings will be on April 21 and 22.) A few businesses and non-profits are already advertising for year-round and seasonal help.

The New York Aquarium is seeking Teaching Fellows for a 12 week program from June through August. “The WCS Education Department’s Conservation Education Fellowship program is a unique opportunity for current undergraduate students, recent college graduates, and graduate students to explore conservation education,” according to the job description. Fellows teach summer camp programs for children. One year prior teaching experience and educational background in ecology, environmental science or education is preferred. Pay is $12/hr. Check the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Careers page for details.

Coney Island Lifeguard

Coney Island Lifeguard. Photo © Joe Fishman. All Rights Reserved

If you want to be a New York City Parks lifeguard, you’ve got another week to take the qualifying test for the 2014 summer season. The test is being held on January 17th at Abraham Lincoln High on Ocean Parkway. Additional dates and sites in the five boroughs are listed on the “Become a Lifeguard” page of the New York City Parks Department’s website. A Parks spokesman tells ATZ that assignments are by seniority, but lifeguards may request a preferred or convenient location such as Coney Island Beach. Lifeguards work 48 hours per week and earn a minimum of $13.57 per hour for a weekly salary of over $650.

Pool at New Coney Island YMCA

The Coney Island YMCA has a four-lane lap pool and a recreational pool. Photo courtesy YMCA of Greater New York

The beautiful new Coney Island YMCA on Mermaid Avenue opened in December and still has many year-round job openings. They are hiring lifeguards and fitness coaches, as well as instructors of swimming, ballet, tae kwon do, and group exercise. Other positions include property manager, child watch aide and porter. The Coney Island facility houses the largest aquatic center of any YMCA in New York City and offers some pretty nice perks. YMCA part-time and full-time employees receive free individual memberships and are encouraged to use all parts of the facility when they are not working to support a healthy lifestyle. Full-time employees receive a family membership, and part-time employees receive a discount for all family members. Visit the YMCA’s career opportunities page to apply.

lola star

Lola Star Boutique, Coney Island Boardwalk. Photo © Tricia Vita

Lola Star Boutique, which has locations on the Boardwalk and in Stillwell Terminal, is hiring a store manager. “Our sales associates are more like Hosts and Hostesses at a party rather than a conventional sales clerk. We are looking for a store manager that will go above and beyond in maintaining our shops, welcoming guests, managing employees and creating a unique and delightful experience,” says the ad on Craigslist. “You’ll spend your days by the ocean meeting a diverse array of people from all over the world. Everyday is a new adventure! You’ll also be encouraged to express your stylistic individuality. You’ll spend your days by the ocean meeting a diverse array of people from all over the world. Everyday is a new adventure! You’ll also be encouraged to express your stylistic individuality.”

Coney Island Bar & Grill

Coney Island Bar & Grill, Surf Avenue, coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita

Coney Island Bar and Grill, formerly known as Bratva Bar, is on the north side of Surf Avenue near West 12th Street. They’re seeking a cook with at least three years experience as a line or lead line cook who has experience working all stations in the kitchen. “We are looking for someone who is willing to grow with us, share ideas and most of all have a passion for the kitchen,” says their ad. “You must also be very RELIABLE; looking for someone we can count on. Be available for lunch, brunch, late night.”

Across Surf Avenue, arts organization Coney Island USA, which runs Sideshows by the Seashore and the Mermaid Parade, is seeking a Book-keeper/Office Manager with a B.A. in Accounting or Business Management. “Responsibilities include day to day financial management through Quickbooks, running weekly payroll, preparation of financial reports, maintenance of files and overall administrative support for the organization. Experience in the not-for-profit sector preferred.”

UPDATE February 23, 2014:

The Alliance for Coney Island has partnered with HireNYC, Brooklyn Workforce1 and NYC Department of Small Business Services to host this year’s screenings for seasonal jobs in Coney Island. The first round of screenings are for jobs at Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and Nathan’s. Among the new employers at the Coney Island job fair will be Rita’s Italian Ice, which is set to open this spring on Surf Avenue. Available positions include Ride and Game Operators, Food and Beverage Service, and Customer Service/Retail Sales. Candidates must register online prior to attending one of the screening events scheduled for Tuesday, March 4th and Thursday, March 6th in Coney Island. More information regarding the available jobs and a link to online registration is available here. You can see a listing of Luna Park’s open positions here.

Coney Island USA

Neon sign at Coney Island USA. Photo © Bruce Handy via flickr

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December 4, 2013: Curator of the Unusual Seeks Sideshow Freaks & Working Acts for 2014

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December 22, 2011: Wanna Be A Coney Island Lifeguard This Summer?

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Usually we tweet event listings instead of posting them on the blog, which is why you should be following ATZ on twitter. Today is an exception since there happens to be a trio of Coney Island special events outside of Coney, where it’s freeeezing on the Boardwalk. The three events are pretty much at the same time so you’ll have to choose…

“Last Summer at Coney Island” at Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

When “Last Summer at Coney Island” premiered in August 2010 at BAM, the audience got teary eyed during the scene in which Astroland’s lights were extinguished, ride by ride, for the final time, and the illuminated Astrotower made its last descent. The award-winning documentary by JL Aronson chronicles changing times in Coney Island with riveting scenes featuring Thor Equities CEO Joe Sitt and Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert, among others. The film ends with the City Council passing the rezoning in July 2009. Presented as part of the Film Wax series “Brooklyn Reconstructed,” the screening will be followed by a discussion with the film-maker and Nate Bliss of the Alliance for Coney Island and NYC Economic Development Corporation about how Coney Island is faring today.

Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00pm at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, 53 Prospect Park West in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, 11215. Suggested $5 donation.

Coney Island Circus Sideshow at the Slipper Room

While Coney Island USA’s theater is closed for renovations after flood damage from Superstorm Sandy, the Coney Island Sideshow is performing on Wednesday nights all winter long at the Slipper Room. This week’s stars are knife-thrower extraordinaire The Great Throwdini and his target girl Lynn, and sword swallowers and fire eaters Kryssy Kocktail and Adam Realman. Last week Adam debuted the sensational act shown in the video — blowing up a hot water bottle till it bursts!

Wednesday, January 23rd. Doors at 7:00 pm, Show at 8:00 pm. Slipper Room, 167 Orchard St, New York, NY, 10002. Over 21. Tickets $10.

Brews for the New York Aquarium at Brooklyn Brewery

Sponsored by the Young Patrons Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Wednesday’s “Brews for NYAQ” is a fundraiser for the New York Aquarium, which is also closed due to damage from Sandy. The event includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a presentation at 8:30pm by Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director, New York Aquarium. In Charles Denson’s film shown above, Dohlin dives Coney Island Creek in a Mark V diving helmet. The film was shot several days before the hurricane and the flooding of the Creek.

Wednesday, January 23rd from 7:30pm-10:30pm. Brooklyn Brewery, #1 Brewers Row, 79 North 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249. Tickets $50 online, $65 at door.

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December 10, 2012: Coney Island Nonprofits Begin to Raise Funds After Sandy

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

November 24, 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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Gargiulo's Restaurant

Gargiulo’s Restaurant Will Host the Alliance for Coney Island’s Winter Celebration on December 13. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

On December 13, Coney Island’s newest nonprofit, the Alliance for Coney Island, is having its first fundraiser at the recently reopened Gargiulo’s Restaurant. Coney Island’s Winter Celebration will benefit Coney Recovers, an initiative launched in the days after Hurricane Sandy to organize volunteers and relief efforts. Tickets for Thursday’s benefit, which includes entertainment, cocktails and dinner are $100 via advance purchase and $120 at the door.

The Alliance’s board consists of owners of businesses in the amusement area including Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Nathan’s and Gargiulo’s, as well as the nonprofit New York Aquarium and Astella Development. Although the members of the Alliance suffered storm damage and most remain closed while they recover and rebuild, the priority of the new organization has been to aid neighborhood residents and businesses.

Astella Development

After Sandy: Astella Development on Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island. December 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Coney Recovers, which is a coalition of Astella Development Corporation, the Alliance for Coney Island, Coney Island Hospital, and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, recently received a $100,000 grant from the Brooklyn Foundation and $25,000 from Robin Hood’s relief fund. Their plan is to set up an office to organize rebuilding and immediate needs, create the “Coney Corps” to provide job opportunities and skills training for local residents to help in the rebuilding, and develop a long-term recovery plan for the community. The Alliance is a successor to the Coney Island Development Corporation and will take over the CIDC’s tourism marketing efforts for Coney Island.

Kiddie Whip Car

Amanda Deutch Cleaning Kiddie Whip Car at History Project After Hurricane Sandy. November 1, 2012. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project.

Coney Island’s three nonprofit attractions–the New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA and the Coney Island History Project, were extensively damaged by flooding from Hurricane Sandy and have asked for donations via their websites. Their fundraising efforts have been decidedly low-key since many of their own personnel were flooded out of their homes and the focus of relief efforts has been residents without heat, electricity or basic services. If these nonprofits are to reopen as planned in the spring or summer, they will need to drum up more funds from supporters to recover and rebuild.

Coney Island USA

Patrick Wall Continues Clean-Up at Coney Island USA Sideshows by the Seashore. December 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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

November 24, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: A Few Stores Reopen, Most Delayed by Damage

November 20, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Mini-Golf or Roller Rink to Replace Denny’s?

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

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Toys for Coney Island Kids

Donate Here: Toys (New Only) for Coney, Tom Restaurant, Coney Island. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Last weekend at Tom’s Restaurant on the Coney Island Boardwalk, ATZ spotted this sign for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s annual toy drive. A hand-lettered note says “Toys (New Only) for Coney” and there’s a donation box on the floor. From November 17th through December 31st, the WCS is accepting new, unwrapped toys at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo. Due to recovery efforts at the Aquarium, which was flooded by Hurricane Sandy and remains closed, donations in Coney Island are instead being accepted at Tom’s.

“Thank you for joining the New York Aquarium along with the newly formed Alliance of Coney Island to collect toys for families in need this holiday season,” says a post on the WCS website. “Toys donated will benefit families in need as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Donations can be dropped off at Tom’s Diner on the Coney Island boardwalk.” Donors will receive one free general admission ticket to the Bronx Zoo for every donated toy.

Tom’s Coney Island is open daily from 8am till 5pm with weekend hours till 7pm. The new restaurant, which opened only a few weeks ago, was miraculously spared damage from Hurricane Sandy and is one of the few stores in the area with electricity. Owner Jimmy Kokotas was able to quickly reopen and be here for the community. Tom’s has served as a command center for volunteers and a host for breakfast meetings about storm relief for Coney Island business owners.

Tom’s Coney Island, 1229 Boardwalk (at Stillwell Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11224. Phone 718-942-4200

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November 18, 2012: Photos of the Day: Mayor Bloomberg at Tom’s Coney Island

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

October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

September 23, 2012: Photo Album: First Brunch at Tom’s Coney Island by Bruce Handy

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