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Nathan's Famous

Nathan's Famous at Night, Surf Avenue in Coney Island. August 8, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Instead of doing a Best Photos of 2011 in December, we’re going to feature some images that we either overlooked or didn’t have time to upload to flickr during the busy summer. The signage of Nathan’s Famous, a fave subject for us and many who regularly photograph Coney Island, is today’s better-late-than-never “Photo of the Day.”

Nathan’s was in the news on Monday when the Jericho, NY-based company announced they will buy back up to $11 million worth of their common stock–up to 500,000 shares– beginning on December 8th. “The Company intends to fund this tender offer with cash on hand. At September 25, 2011, the Company had approximately $15.2 million of cash and cash equivalents and $16.9 million of marketable securities,” according to the press release.

At $3.80 per hot dog (including tax), $11 million will also buy you 2,894,736 hot dogs. Thatsa lotta beef, but last year Nathan’s, which started out selling franks for a nickel in 1916, sold over 425 million of their world-famous hot dogs.

In 2012, Nathan’s Famous will open a huge new restaurant at the corner of West 12th on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Gyro Corner Clam Bar’s former location. Their satellite restaurant at the corner of Stillwell on the Boardwalk has closed and the signage was removed last week.

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October 17, 2011: Popeyes Chicken Returning to Coney Island’s Surf Avenue

June 9, 2011: Photo of the Day: Mango Vendor in Coney Island

January 28, 2011: Colorado’s Hot Dog-Shaped Coney Island Boardwalk Diner For Sale

January 19, 2010: Nathan Slept Here! Coney Island’s Feltman’s Kitchen Set for Demolition

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In past years, ATZ has posted Coney Island resident and photographer Bruce Handy’s first snow of the season photos on December 4 and December 27. Thanks to Saturday’s freaky snowstorm, dubbed Snowtober on the web, we’re celebrating this tradition two months early!

In addition to a snow-covered Boardwalk, Bruce’s flickr slide show offers snow-dusted Halloween characters and the rare sight of the Wonder Wheel’s cars, which ordinarily have been taken down for the winter before the first snowfall. One of our perennial favorites is a white-on-white view of the Cyclone’s snow-covered track. It’s a visual reminder that the first roller coasters were Russian ice slides called “Russian Mountains” and the word for coasters in the Romance languages is the lovely “montagnes russes” in French, “montagne russe” in Italian, and “montaña rusa” in Spanish.

Unfortunately, the October snow that transformed Coney Island into a winter wonderland on an autumn day coincided with the last weekend of the season. Outdoor events such as the second annual Children’s Halloween Parade were cancelled on Saturday, though Ruby’s Bar stayed open and the show went on at Creep Show at the Freak Show. Have no fear about going out to Coney Island for tonight’s “Freaks Night Out” party at Luna Park. The snow and ice on the beach and boardwalk have already melted and the temp is a balmy 52 degrees. If it wasn’t for Bruce’s Coney Island Photo Diary, Snowtober would have vanished without a trace. Enjoy the tricks and the treats—Happy Halloween!

Halloween

Snow-dusted Halloween Character at the Cyclone. October 29, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

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December 27, 2010: Photo of the Day: First Snow on Coney Island Boardwalk

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

December 4, 2009: Photo of the Day: Let It Snow! in Coney Island

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Across the street from the Coney Island Cyclone. August 6, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i

This surreal window display is across the street from the Coney Island Cyclone. Located on the north side of Surf Avenue, where the original Luna Park was in business until 1944, the shop is sandwiched between furniture stores that are forever having going out of business sales. If the days of furniture stores named after amusement parks (Luna Park, Astroland) are numbered, it’s because bars and restaurants are blossoming down the block. The flower shop’s window unexpectedly conjures up memories of set pieces from Coney’s vanished wax museums and historical shows, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever see such amusements again on the north side of Surf.

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Mango Vendor

Mango Vendor in Coney Island. May 29, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Lunchtime in Coney Island! What could be better than a mango carved into a flower on a hot summer’s day?

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May 31,2011: Cat Photo of the Day: Target the Coney Island Cat at Work

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

April 6, 2011: Made in Coney: TV Commercial for Bonomo Turkish Taffy

March 12, 2011: Signage: Fresh Crispy Popcorn, Candy Caramel Apples

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Target

Target the Cat, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Nobody makes calling in customers look easier than Target, the world-famous Coney Island Cat. All he has to do is sit in his spot on the counter of Jimmy’s Balloon Dart. Some girls can’t walk by without stopping to pet him and ask his name. Next thing you know they’re busting balloons and winning prizes.

When Target the Cat is not working, he likes to patrol the Bowery or hang out across the way at Deno’s Super Shot. Of course, Target and his owner, Manny Cohen of Coney Island Arcade, plan to ride the Wonder Wheel at the Coney Island park’s first annual Pet Day on June 11. The cat declined to enter the pet costume contest though. “He’s natural, ” Manny says.

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February 21, 2011: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty

January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless

February 7, 2010: Coney Island Valentine: Get a Sea Lion Kiss at New York Aquarium!

January 27, 2010: I Love NYC Pets Month Preview: Coney Island Cat Rescue

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Notice

Notice to All Park Users... May 23, 2011. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

“Notice to All Park Users…Effective May 23, 2011, smoking will not be allowed within the park. Thank you for your cooperation.” This solitary warning posted in a vitrine at the Parks Department’s restrooms on the Coney Island Boardwalk has been up for quite a few weeks. The citywide smoking ban at parks, beaches and plazas went into effect on Monday and the beach officially opens this weekend. The Wall Street Journal reported that Parks is in the process of putting up thousands of permanent signs and launching a media campaign to alert people to the new law.

If the ban is enforced, we expect to see smokers step off the Boardwalk onto the sidewalks of West 10th and 12th Streets just to have a cigarette. We also expect to see some interesting pix of people having a surreptitious smoke in Coney Island this summer, despite the ban.

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May 11, 2011: Coney Island 2011: Summer Photography Workshop

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

March 2, 2011: Photo of the Day: Looking Back at Brooklyn Biarritz

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Target the Cat

Target the Cat, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last week ATZ dropped by to visit Coney Island Arcade & Game operator Manny Cohen and his world-famous cat. Even during the off-season, Target the Coney Island Cat can be seen making his rounds on the Bowery. We found him sitting on the hood of Manny’s car.

Pretty and Target

Pretty and Target, Coney Island Arcade Cats. February 11, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Last May, Target’s shy sister Targette aka Targeretty died in the terrible fire that destroyed the Coney Island Arcade. For weeks, Target kept searching for her in the ruins of the building and crying. A few months ago, Manny took in another cat to keep Target company. Pretty is a calico who roamed the amusement area. She’s not shy like Targette, but she is skittish. No one has been able to pet her yet, though we’re going to keep trying. In these photos, Pretty reminds us of our calicos Lola and Nadja, who are in cat heaven.

Pretty the Cat

Pretty the Cat, Coney Island. February 11, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

When the games are open for business, the gregarious Target is most likely to be found sitting on the counter of the Balloon Dart helping out Jimmy. Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken enough pix of our favorite Coney Island cat to make a flickr set called Target the World Famous Coney Island Arcade Cat. His photo has also been featured in a New York Times slide show about Coney Island and magazines all over the world.

Target

Target the Coney Island Cat. February 11, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless

September 6, 2010: Cutie & Patootie: Coney Island Kittens Up for Adoption!

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

January 27, 2010: I Love NYC Pets Month Preview: Coney Island Cat Rescue

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